Supplement to “Building Green is Red Hot”
The Green Build Kentucky Task Force adopted the following seven-point standard for builders to follow in Kentucky if they want a home to be certified as green. Green Build Kentucky is a voluntary program based on the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Green Building Standards and the federal Energy Star program. Homes built according to these standards are certified by a third-party verifier before they become an official Green Build Kentucky home.
Kentucky adds two additional requirements to the NAHB criteria, says Paul Brantingham, an Elizabethtown home builder.
He is referring to the fact that in Kentucky you must meet Energy Star requirements to have a certified green home. Also, each person buying a green home must be given a manual explaining all the green aspects of their new home (not just appliances) and how to maintain them in green ways and keep them as green as possible.
1. Lot Preparation and Design—Careful planning can reduce the home’s impact on natural features such as vegetation and soil. Simply placing the home on the lot to take advantage of the sun will help save energy costs.
2. Resource Efficiency—Advanced framing techniques and home design can effectively optimize the use of building materials. Builders can also manage their construction waste more efficiently.
3. Energy Efficiency—The Energy Star requirements provide for the creation of a better building envelope and encourage the use of more energy-efficient systems. This also includes energy-efficient appliances and lighting fixtures.
4. Water Efficiency and Conservation—Education and conservation implementation for indoor and outdoor water use can reduce utility bills drastically. Water shortages are becoming more widespread and without conservative measures, forced reduction may become the norm.
5. Occupancy, Comfort, and Indoor Air Quality—Effective management of moisture, ventilation, and other issues can create a more comfortable and healthier indoor living environment for the homeowner and family.
6. Operation, Maintenance, and Education—Given the level of effort a home builder goes through to create an energy-efficient home using sustainable materials, it would be reasonable to expect that instruction on operation and maintenance be discussed with the homeowner. Under the Green Build Kentucky program, a homeowner manual with information on products specific to the home is given to the owner. Using the guidelines in this manual can provide the owner with information on how to keep their home green for years to come.
7. Global Impact—If every homeowner adopted a “reduce, reuse, recycle” lifestyle, the contribution to our environment would be enormous. The use of low- or no-VOC paints and low-VOC sealants would greatly reduce the adverse effects that paints, varnishes, etc., have on a home’s indoor air quality. The objective of the program is to have all homes/buildings constructed be energy-neutral by 2025.
To read the Kentucky Living May 2009 feature that goes along with this supplement, go to Building Green is Red Hot.