Research and Resources

Innovative Construction Technologies

for Healthy, High-Performance Homes

The holistic approach to house-as-a-system remains true as code, the industry and products continue to evolve. Critical components of high-performance building include: the building structure or envelope, HVAC, and ventilation and dehumidification. This bulletin aims to show how EarthCraft program sponsors deliver to meet industry needs.

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Highland Park Senior Apartments

Balancing Energy Efficiency, Historic Preservation and Affordable Housing

Community Preservation and Development Corporation’s (CPDC) Highland Park Senior Apartments is a 77-unit rental project located in Richmond, VA. The project provides a case study opportunity to explore how Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTCs) as well as state and federal Historic Tax Credits can be used to balance green building, affordable housing, and historic preservation goals when financing an affordable housing development.

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Benchmarking

Measuring Building Performancefront-page-and-table-graphic

People quantify many aspects of the world around them – from the fuel economy of vehicles to their heart rate while exercising. Benchmarking has become increasingly commonplace, but it has lagged behind in the building sector even though it is easier to do than many might think. In this bulletin, we show how to get started with building benchmarking and how to use the data to make more informed decisions.

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Planning for Resilient and Sustainable Building

A resilient building is also a sustainable building.

Buildings that do not need replacement or significant repairs after a disaster are more sustainable by nature. More critically, resilient buildings provide a safe shelter to their occupants during adverse weather events and following days. In this bulletin, we provide resources to help building owners perform a hazard assessment and begin to take action.

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Energy Efficient Retrofits

The most resource efficient form of construction is renovation.

In the U.S., buildings account for 41% of the energy we consume (source: IEA). Whether through homeowner education, basic energy improvements or deep energy retrofit, there are many strategies to improve the performance of an existing home. In this bulletin, we discuss materials and systems that take the ‘what if’ out of renovation.

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Water in Buildings

Water In BuildingsTake a look at moisture, nature’s solvent.

Water intrusion is the most common cause of building and building material failure, not to mention indoor air quality issues associated with organic growth. In this report, we review the different ways moisture and condensation occur in buildings and how both can be remediated and often prevented.

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The Impact of Energy Efficient Design and Construction on LIHTC Housing in Virginia

A housing study finds EarthCraft certification has a significant impact on energy efficiency in Virginia LIHTC housing

Viridiant partnered with Housing Virginia and the Virginia Center for Housing Research on a first-of-its-kind study that demonstrates the impact of energy efficient incentives in the construction of affordable rental housing. The study, conducted over the course of year, analyzed actual utility usage data from 15 Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) properties across the state of Virginia to compare to savings projections developed  through the EarthCraft program as administered by EarthCraft Virginia. The study included a variety of communities – new construction, rehabilitated, adaptive reuse, senior and family – and analyzed actual utility consumption data and correlating behavior surveys.

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The Impact of Green Affordable Housing

Our partners, Southface Energy Institute and the Virginia Center for Housing Research (VCHR) at Virginia Tech, published The Impact of Green Affordable Housing (would be great to link on our website) in January 2016. The results suggest green developments are nearly 5% less expensive on total construction costs per square foot and more than 13% less expensive on soft construction costs than the non-green developments. More specifically, analysis indicates that green certified developments in GA, NC and SC cost less to design and build than non-green alternatives in AL and SC. A similar study on the Virginia LIHTC market is being led by the Virginia Center for Housing Research (VCHR) at Virginia Tech with findings anticipated in 2017.

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