10,000 Dwelling Units Certified in Virginia through the EarthCraft Multifamily Program

June 4, 2013                                                                                                           News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                     


Contact:  Stuart Raper, Director of External Affairs

EarthCraft Virginia





10,000 Dwelling Units Certified in Virginia through the EarthCraft Multifamily Program

EarthCraft Virginia Reaches Milestone in Providing Residents with Energy Efficient, Affordable Homes


Richmond, VA – June 4, 2013 – More than 10,000 multifamily dwelling units representing 147 projects across the state of Virginia have earned EarthCraft certification through the Multifamily program, according to EarthCraft Virginia, the Richmond-based non-profit that administers the EarthCraft family of green building programs in the state. In reaching this milestone, Virginia leads the Southeast as the state with the highest number of EarthCraft certified multifamily units.


EarthCraft Multifamily is the country’s first multifamily-specific green building certification program. It addresses both new construction and renovation and serves market-rate and affordable developments. The result of an EarthCraft Multifamily certification is housing that is healthy and operationally cost effective, as well as energy, water and resource efficient. Since its launch in Virginia in 2006, 10,010 dwelling units have certified, 3,299 new construction, 6,711 renovation. Throughout the Southeast, there are more than 18,750 EarthCraft Multifamily certified units.


This achievement is the result of support from a variety of stakeholders, most importantly the builders, developers and investment partners who believe in the program and bring it to life. The success of the EarthCraft Multifamily program is also closely tied to the Virginia Housing Development Authority’s (VHDA) commitment to sustainable, affordable housing by incentivizing the use of the EarthCraft Multifamily Green Building Certification program as part of their Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP) for the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program.


“VHDA chose EarthCraft as one of our QAP green building options because of the comprehensive guidance it makes available for developers of both single and multifamily affordable housing,” said Jim Chandler, VHDA Director of LIHTC Programs. “The certification process follows a checklist designed to verify that each EarthCraft development addresses site planning, energy efficient techniques and equipment, waste management, and indoor air quality. Any size or style of unit can achieve EarthCraft certification by meeting the flexible guidelines.”


“As a result of this program, 100% of VHDA’s competitive tax credit projects chose to certify under EarthCraft for the fourth year in a row,” Chandler adds. “Because 100% of developments are receiving competitive tax credits each year, that means approximately 2,000 additional EarthCraft-certified units are added to Virginia’s affordable housing stock each year.”


Today, EarthCraft Virginia celebrates the dedication of Virginia Supportive Housing’s Heron’s Landing, a 60-unit development in Chesapeake, VA that earned EarthCraft Virginia its 10,000th certified multifamily dwelling unit. Designed by Community Design Studio and built by The Breeden Company, units in this permanent supportive housing development will use approximately 44% less energy than a standard, code-built home, significantly lowering energy bills.


“Virginia Supportive Housing and EarthCraft Virginia share common goals for energy, water and resource efficiency, durability, and enhanced indoor air quality, all key factors in achieving a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle for our formerly homeless clients,” said Alice Tousignant, Virginia Supportive Housing’s Executive Director. “We congratulate EarthCraft Virginia on certifying over 10,000 multifamily units in Virginia and thank EarthCraft for guidance and support on our most recent collaboration. We look forward to developing more EarthCraft-certified permanent supportive housing for the homeless.”


“Reaching the 10,000 multifamily unit milestone would never have been possible without the hard work of all of our building partners,” says KC McGurren, Executive Director of EarthCraft Virginia. “Together, we have delivered multifamily projects with an average of 33% energy savings over code for new construction and 42% energy savings from pre-existing conditions. Not only do these projects consistently generate higher tenant demand and greater return on investment for the developer, but residents experience reduced utility bills and greater comfort. We are pleased that so many families are already enjoying these healthy, affordable, high performing homes, and we look forward to introducing many more to the ‘EarthCraft Home’ experience.”


About EarthCraft Virginia

EarthCraft Virginia, a 501c3 non-profit, was established in 2006 in partnership with the Home Builders Association of Virginia and Southface Energy Institute with assistance from the Virginia Community Development Corporation. The organization strives to advance sustainable, affordable, resource and energy efficient construction through education and technical support. EarthCraft Virginia’s partners include Southface Energy Institute, the Home Builders Association of Virginia, Habitat for Humanity of Virginia, and Virginia Housing Development Authority.


About EarthCraft

EarthCraft, originally founded in 1999 by non-profit Southface and the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association, is a green building certification program designed to address climate, energy and water issues unique to the southeastern United States.  Administered by EarthCraft Virginia within the state, EarthCraft serves as a blueprint for energy and resource efficient single family homes, multifamily structures, renovation projects, community developments and light-commercial buildings. Throughout the Southeast, the program has certified over 8,250 homes and 18,750 multifamily dwelling units.


For more information on EarthCraft Virginia or EarthCraft, please visit www.earthcraftvirginia.org and www.earthcraft.org.


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