Here is a great article from Michele Krueger of the NWI Times rerarding green home building and the different certifications that can be achieved. The article references LEED Certifications and HERS Ratings along with programs from NAHB, DOE and EPA. These were the same certifcations and goals that provided motivation for the consutruciton of 723 Spring Street, Ann Arbor’s First Platinum Certified Home with a HERS rating of 40.
For more than a decade, the green-building movement has been gaining momentum based on one simple fact – when you reduce the consumption of energy in your home, you save money.
In tracking the trends that are driving the growth of green building, McGraw-Hill Construction’s 2011 Green Outlook reports 70% of buyers would prefer to purchase a green home over a conventional one. The top 3 reasons cited include reduced operating costs, increased value and a greater return on investment.
According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), which certifies residential building projects that meet the criteria of The National Green Building Standard, green homes comprised 17% of the overall residential construction market in 2011 and are expected to grow to between 29% and 38% of the market by 2016.
“The building science has been around for a while, and now we have programs and labels from organizations like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) to quantify it,” Jerry Thatcher of Valparaiso’s Energy Diagnostics, a leader in the energy rating industry since 1992, said. “We work with builders primarily in the tri-state area (Indiana, Illinois and Michigan). The most common certification we do is the residential Green Building Standard through NAHB. We also certify homes through the ENERGY STAR® program, RESNET and LEED for Homes.”
A joint program of the EPA and DOE started in 1992, ENERGY STAR promotes energy efficient products and practices that help save money and protect the environment. In addition to new homes, the blue ENERGY STAR label appears on over 60 product categories. In 2011, ENERGY STAR saved consumers more than $23 billion on utility bills and reduced greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to the annual emissions from 41 million vehicles.
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