Imagine a home that’s full of clean air. A building cleansed of pollutants and contaminants. One that contributes positively to your comfort and the well-being of your family. EarthCraft buildings do just that through well-designed ventilation, effective moisture management, and the selection of smart construction materials that minimize off-gassing. Millions of Americans suffer from allergies or asthma, and if you do too, it’s important to know that indoor pollutants and excess moisture in your home or workplace are often a bigger problem than outdoor sources. The EarthCraft program addresses occupant health by requiring every building it certifies to address indoor air quality. As a result, you can breathe easy!
Top benefits of green building
Lower utility costs
Homes built and certified to EarthCraft standards are sustainably constructed with an emphasis on durability and efficiency. Utility bills can be reduced by more than 30%, directly translating to monthly savings while lessening your impact on the environment. You can feel good about conserving energy and water, and you’ll be happy with the extra cash in your wallet!
Enhanced indoor air quality
Consistently, experts have linked building design and quality to occupant health and safety. EarthCraft homes and businesses are properly air sealed and ventilated, addressing mold growth, allergen spread and pest infestation – avoiding respiratory problems often experienced by occupants of conventional buildings. In addition, EarthCraft encourages proven radon mitigation measures and low-VOC materials, reducing long-term cancer risks.
Have you ever walked upstairs in your home in the summer and noticed that it feels about 5 degrees warmer? So many of us assume this is normal in any home, but this issue, called stratification, should and can be avoided! With a tight, well insulated building envelope and properly designed mechanicals, EarthCraft homes better maintain set temperatures and feel comfortable on any floor and in any season.
Reduced home maintenance
Water vapor and moisture are building pollutants and can lead to mold growth and decay. With a focus on durability, several EarthCraft program considerations aim to prevent moisture from entering the building envelope and controlling indoor relative humidity. EarthCraft homes are built with durability in mind, reducing your time and money spent on home maintenance.
Higher resale value
Projects that receive EarthCraft certification meet increased demand in the rapidly expanding green building market. While real estate markets have always been driven by consumer preferences for low-cost, attractive homes and buildings, public concern about resource use and energy efficiency now influences the old equation, and consumers are increasingly interested in eco-friendly homes and workplaces. Long-term assessments of green building have demonstrated their cost advantages, and EarthCraft projects have consistently sold for higher market values and have spent less time on the market than conventionally built facilities.
We worked with EarthCraft builder Mark Waring last year to build a near net-zero 3,200-square-foot home in Chesterfield County, at surcharge of approximately 5 to 10 percent over current code construction. The entire energy bill for the first 10 months of 2011 totaled approximately $900. With the sale of our Solar Renewable Energy Certificates, our annual energy cost is estimated to be under $500. The home is very solid, still, quiet, comfortable and conventional appearing. We are secure in the idea that we have reduced our annual operating expenses while conserving dwindling resources. Enlightened individual decisions will continue to make the Richmond metropolitan area a wonderful place to live in the years to come.
We have found the EarthCraft home to be another important benefit. This home is roughly 25% larger than our previous one, yet the heating and cooling bills appear to be less than that from our last home. This was a pretty hot summer and we were pleasantly surprised by the utility bills.
Last year I moved into My EarthCraft Certified Home (rating of 61) which is approximately 35% larger than my previous home in Northern Virginia which was built in 2001. Currently I use roughly 30-40% less energy + have an additional child. My family & I have noticed healthy indoor air quality & no temperature changes as you walk through the house. After speaking with a few of our neighbors which live in new homes & co-workers (mix of old and new homes) (none of them have EarthCraft Certified Homes) our utility usage through the very cold months was 20-50% less than theirs – which shows me that the components of an EarthCraft Certified Home work & save money.
We’re appreciating the comfortable, steady temperatures in the house, day and night. No drafts, no sudden changes. The prompt hot water delivery is quite a treat. We rarely hear outside noises. Barking dogs and neighbors’ power tools are the only exception. Otherwise it’s a joy. Our air exchanger appears to trap any fine dust and we don’t get to breathe it – so we’ve been quite healthy since we moved in at the beginning of last July. Our electric bills have been remarkably low – and that’s been a welcome change. Three cheers for Promethean Homes!
Viridiant is doing more than any other organization as they deal with making residential homes more energy efficient and changing the construction field.