Most homes built to code minimum standards (the worst possible home you can build by law) are energy hogs. This home is no exception.
Doing an energy audit and using a thermal image camera, you can immediately see there are problems. The band board in the basement is glowing, showing a huge thermal bridge to the outside. This is often an area lacking proper air sealing and insulation in this type of home. It does not cost more to get this right, it just takes time and education for your builder.
There are many more issues found from missing insulation to leaking duct work. Here you see air leaking from an interior wall showing a lack of proper air sealing in the attic.
Recessed lights are also often not installed with any thought put into insulation bridges. You can see this one is neither air tight nor insulated right.
Avoiding these common issues is not hard. Having the proper specification included in your initial design will stress the importance to your builder of energy efficiency goals. Give us a call if you want to learn more about how a proper set of construction documents can save you more money than it costs to create them.