Advancing sustainable, affordable and energy efficient construction through education and technical support.
The need to introduce a green building program to Virginia was conceptualized in early 2004 by Annette Osso, Executive Director of Virginia Sustainable Building Network, Karl Bren, President of Green Vision Consulting, and Chuk Bowles of The Energy Consortium. Initial funding was obtained by VSBN through a Department of Energy Building America grant. Support was provided by Mike Toalson, Chief Executive Officer of Virginia Home Builders Association and Katie Hayes, the former Executive Director of the Blue Ridge Home Builders Association in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Katie called on her membership to form a green building committee of interested members to create a pilot program to introduce green building to the Commonwealth. The committee devoted much time and effort in deciding whether an existing program would meet our needs, or should a program be created unique to the mid-Atlantic region. Eventually the EarthCraft Homes program, created in 1999 by a partnership between Southface Energy Institute and the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association, was selected. This program was designed to address the climatic factors of the southeast as well as introduce green building to the construction industry in a way that could be easily integrated into the building process.
The EarthCraft Homes program, the largest in the southeast, has proven itself as a successful green building program. An initial “EarthCraft Parade of Homes” in Charlottesville resulted in the first six EarthCraft homes being constructed in the Commonwealth. This endeavor was an overwhelming success and provided the impetus to expand the program statewide. Ralph Nodine, Executive Director of Virginia Community Development Corporation, provided an initial home for the organization prior to receiving its -501c-3 status. K.C. McGurren (now Bleile) joined EarthCraft Virginia in 2006 as the first Director of Operations and now serves as Executive Director. Under her leadership additional partnerships were formed with the Virginia Housing Development Authority and Habitat for Humanity to introduce sustainable development to low income affordable housing.
In 2016, EarthCraft Virginia became Viridiant, expanding our efforts in education, consultation and certification to serve an even broader audience. We will continue to serve hundreds of professionals and thousands of homeowners with the EarthCraft family of programs. And now as Viridiant – by focusing on our three Pillars of Sustainability – we will be able to do even more to demonstrate how the latest building science can set a path for businesses and homeowners to create structures that are more affordable, more livable and more durable.
To date, Viridiant has evolved into one of the largest regional green building programs in the country and continues to grow and provide a more sustainable future for all.