House of Pressure

Developed by EarthCraft Technical Advisor Anthony Cox, the House of Pressure is a nationally recognized prop used to visually demonstrate home performance testing using pressure diagnostics. It’s a useful tool to show stack effect and the movement of pollutants through homes. Attendees of our lecture on Oct. 11, 2018, Managing HVAC in High Performance Buildings, had the opportunity to see the House of Pressure first-hand. Click the video below to see a full demo:

Stay tuned for a full lecture recap and other energy efficiency tips that Viridiant will share throughout October for Energy Action Month!


Video Source:

Happy Energyween

Halloween is about more than candy and pumpkins for us energy nerds! This time of the year we celebrate Energyween to spread the word about energy tips and tricks. It’s a great way to cap off Energy Awareness Month. Here are a few quick tips to help you save energy and money, especially with colder weather lurking just around the corner:

October is not the only time to make energy improvements, you can take steps all year long! Looking for more tips & tricks? Check out our other posts during Energy Awareness Month!

Video Source: U.S. Department of Energy

Annual Report & October Newsletter

Click here to see the full October Newsletter

Dear Friends & Supporters,

Thanks to your generous support, Viridiant continues to deliver the EarthCraft family of programs to thousands of individuals each year. After a decade of service, over 21,000 families are housed in sustainable, energy-efficient homes proven to save 35% when compared to standard code construction, reducing resources used, saving energy, and ensuring residents have comfortable, healthy housing. We are excited to share our 2016 Annual Report so you can better appreciate the lasting impact that you helped build!

We hope you will consider supporting Viridiant’s mission this October as we celebrate National Energy Awareness Month to spread the word about the importance of sustainably managing energy resources. Any gift helps Viridiant build a more sustainable future for all. Viridiant will continue to administer programs and develop services that will accelerate the shift toward high-performance buildings throughout the industry.


KC Bleile
Executive Director

2016 annual report

Download Viridiant’s 2016 Annual Report to learn more about our impact over the last year, including highlights on our Habitat for Humanity Virginia partnership, The Little Ten Housing Authorities, 2016 EarthCraft energy savings, and the Single Family Renovation Project of the Year! The annual report was mailed to our supporters in August. Interested in getting a hard copy? Email Viridiant at


upcoming events


Thursday, October 19, 3:00 – 4:30 pm | free
Location: In-person lecture @ Gather, Richmond, VA | Online via webinar

Join us for our October lecture to highlight the greater Richmond community’s work on healthy homes and healthy communities that support socioeconomic and physical health necessary to build strong communities. The lecture will cover recent research on Market Value Analysis by Richmond Memorial Health Foundation to help communities understand real estate market conditions and plan a coordinated and equitable investment strategy, an introduction to the Maggie Walker Community Land Trust (MWCLT) and associated benefits, a case study on Project: HOMES’ first EarthCraft Home of the MWCLT, currently under construction, and the City of Richmond’s efforts to bring the nationally accredited Green and Healthy Homes Initiative program to Richmond.

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Energy Efficiency Day Site Visits with Virginia Legislators

To celebrate Energy Efficiency Day, Virginia Energy Efficiency Council (VAEEC) is conducting site visits with legislators in their districts to demonstrate what energy efficiency looks like and educate about all of its many benefits. Viridiant helped organize and lead this morning’s tour with Newport News Delegate David Yancey (R-94).

Del. Yancey joined representatives from VAEEC, Viridiant, Newport News Redevelopment & Housing Authority (NNRHA), and Excel Property Management for coffee and a tour of 801 Main Senior Apartments, an EarthCraft Multifamily (ECMF) Platinum certified project.

801 Main Senior Apartments is a new construction affordable housing development that achieved ECMF Platinum certification in 2017. The community, located conveniently in the heart of Newport News, is designed for seniors. Various energy-efficient systems were utilized to increase building efficiency and lower energy costs for all 44 one and two bedrooms apartments. The development also features 100% Universal Design units. Additional amenities include a laundry room, computer center, and garden plots.  The project team consisted of Landbridge Development, Martin Riley Associates, Agile Construction Company, and Excel Property Management. Their work demonstrates attention to our environment as well as the residents’ health, comfort, and financial stability.

This project was possible with funding from Virginia Housing Development Authority’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program. NNRHA was also a critical partner that provided $350,000 through the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) as well as eleven Project Based Vouchers (PBV). To learn more about this project check out our full case study.

Later today VAEEC and Project: HOMES will lead another legislator site visit in Goochland, Virginia. Stay tuned for more details. Today’s outreach is a collaborative effort to share the positive impacts of energy efficiency and green building programs with Virginia legislators. Partners, policy, and funding mechanisms that encourage energy efficiency have a positive impact on more than the environment, they support affordable housing and job creation in the Commonwealth.

Save Energy | Save Money

October 5 is Energy Efficiency Day, a day of recognition for conserving energy resources. We at Viridiant are supporting Energy Efficiency Day to put the spotlight on the best way to manage energy demand. Energy Efficiency Day is a collaborative effort and its message is simple:

Save energy. Save money.

Smarter energy use means we don’t have to generate as much power to meet our needs. Energy efficiency offers us the most bang for our buck, helping stretch resources to make our homes, schools, and businesses more comfortable and efficient. And those improvements create jobs for people to manufacture and install efficiency upgrades. Energy efficiency is the key to unlocking deeper cost savings and allowing businesses to innovate and thrive.

We have witnessed the impacts of energy efficiency and sustainable construction firsthand while we’ve guided thousands of building professionals and homeowners build and renovate towards a more sustainable future. Our board, staff, and team of technical advisors, are committed to supporting sustainable building processes through education, advocacy, consultation, and certification programs like EarthCraft and Viridiant Net-Zero™. Research shows that EarthCraft’s energy-efficient standards equal measurable utility bill savings.¹

Since its inception, EarthCraft has dispelled the myth that green costs too much. The EarthCraft program takes a practical approach to constructing environmentally responsible projects, making them accessible to a variety of market sectors, including affordable housing. EarthCraft assures energy and water savings, healthier indoor air quality, and reduced maintenance and utility costs – attributes that are critical to moderate and lower income residents. Through its affordable housing work, EarthCraft ensures that the benefits of green building reach those who need them the most.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a building professional, energy nerd, or inspired resident, we can all make energy-efficient changes to our homes, businesses, and behaviors. Check out our last blog post for more ways to save energy and money!

¹Housing Study | Virginia Center for Housing Research at Virginia Tech

Ways to Save

October 5 is Energy Efficiency Day, a day of recognition for conserving energy resources. We can all take steps toward a more sustainable future, saving energy and money. Here are a few ways you can save:

  • Switch to LED: Innovation and technology can make your life easier. LEDs last up to 25x longer and consume 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs.¹ By switching just five of your home’s most frequently used bulbs with ENERGY STAR certified LEDs, it’s possible to save 9% on energy costs annually. You can complete the Light Bulb Challenge by upgrading at least one light bulb to LED, take the pledge!
  • Seal Air Leakage: Heating and cooling account for almost half of a home’s energy consumption, but leaks in the building envelope mean energy and money is wasted. Air can escape through leaks the width of a business card! All the little leaks can be equivalent to leaving open a 3-foot-by-3-foot window. You can save up to 20% on heating costs by taking simple air sealing steps like caulking windows, sealing leaks around chimneys and recessed lighting, and sliding draft guards under your doors.
  • Know How to Use Your Thermostat: Don’t waste money heating or cooling an empty home. Install a programmable thermostat and schedule your home’s heat to lower (or raise cooling temp) when you are away or asleep, and turn back up (down) when you are returning home or waking-up. Follow the U.S. Department of Energy recommended temperatures and be energy-efficient all year.
  • HVAC System Maintenance: Make sure to clean or change your filters regularly. A dirty filter will slow down air flow, making the system work harder to keep you warm and costing you more money. Consider getting a winter tune-up. Just as a tune-up for your car can improve your gas mileage, a semi-annual or yearly tune-up of your heating and cooling system can improve efficiency, saving you money and making your home more comfortable.
  • Look for ENERGY STAR: It is the simple choice for energy efficiency. Available across more than 70 product categories, the ENERGY STAR blue label makes it easy to find products that have been independently certified to use less energy. If you are undertaking a major home remodel or new build, consider installing ENERGY STAR certified HVAC equipment and windows. ENERGY STAR labeled windows can cut heating costs by as much as 30%  compared to single-pane windows. ENERGY STAR also certifies electronics and office equipment. In order to save money and energy, you must be an educated consumer, stay mindful of the products you purchase and whether there is a more energy-efficient alternative.

Looking for more detailed tips to save energy? Join our Home Energy Pledge to download a free checklist and 6-page guidebook.


“Energize” Your Neighborhood with Energy-Themed Pumpkins

Looking for a fun way to celebrate Energy Awareness Month with the office, friends, or family? Try an energy-themed pumpkin carving contest! You can download these Energyween Pumpkin Patterns or make your own design. Share pictures of your energized pumpkins with #Energyween on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or by email to We’ll share our favorite submissions in the week leading up to Halloween!

Visit to learn more about Energy Awareness Month and our fundraising campaign. We will be sharing energy tips & tricks all month long!

October is Energy Awareness Month

We celebrate National Energy Awareness Month to spread the word about the importance of sustainably managing energy resources. When you think of the biggest energy consumers your mind might go to the transportation or industrial sectors, but the residential and commercial building sectors actually consume 40% of U.S. energy and 70% of U.S. electricity annually.¹

The building industry represents a huge opportunity to have a positive impact on our environment and energy consumption. Encouraging sustainable building approaches is hard, as is the work to incentivize quality affordable housing. Viridiant’s mission is to advance sustainable, affordable, energy-efficient construction through education and technical support. The EarthCraft program, specific to the southeast mixed-humid climates, has helped thousands of builders, homeowners, and residents create structures that are more affordable, more livable, and more durable. Viridiant continuously works to support the building industry towards sustainability.

Anyone can help raise awareness and take steps toward sustainability. Here are a few ways that you can celebrate this October:

  • “Energize” your neighborhood with energy-themed pumpkins
  • Join the Home Energy Pledge – by signing up you will receive a useful checklist and a 6-page guidebook to help you make sustainable, energy efficient updates to your home.
  • Help turn awareness into action by supporting Viridiant’s mission this October! Any gift helps Viridiant build a more sustainable future for all.

Visit to learn more about the campaign, we will be sharing energy tips & tricks all month long!

¹U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). (2016). Electricity Data. Retrieved from

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