Thursday, November 13, 2008

It's Easy Being Green

We've posted earlier blogs about the EarthCraft Virginia certification program. On Tuesday, we met with Chris Conway, our EarthCraft technical advisor; John Spears, our architect; and Aaron Holmes, our construction manager, to review the EarthCraft certification standard and to determine if we met the requirements and could achieve enough points for the house to be EarthCraft certified.

EarthCraft has three levels of certification: regular
EarthCraft House, Tier 2 (known as EarthCraft Select), and Tier 3 (known as EarthCraft Premium). As you might guess, the required standards are even more stringent for tiers 2 and 3 and more points are required for each higher tier. (150 for regular, 200 for tier 2, and 230 for tier 3)

It took over three hours to review the certification technical standards worksheet line-by-line and compare that with our house plans. Since we set out for this to be a green house, we expected to easily achieve the regular EarthCraft House certification. After the careful review, it became clear that we had met all of the requirements for EarthCraft Premium certification AND we earned 462 total points as we calculated them. The certification restricts the total number of points that can be earned for certain categories (e.g., Durability, Energy Efficiency) and when we capped our points for these categories, we were still left with 331 points. Since Tiers 2 and 3 are new categories as of April this year and, to the best of our knowledge, no one else has built an EarthCraft Premium certified house, we have a chance at being the first EarthCraft Premium House in Virginia. That would be wonderfully amazing if we can make it a reality.

Kermit the Frog says it's not easy being green. I beg to differ. It is easy - you just need the right architect!

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