Remembering the 2020 RESNET Conference

As members of Viridiant staff continue to work remotely, we look back on our experiences at the annual RESNET Conference in February. The RESNET Building Performance Conference provides a diverse and dynamic opportunity for HERS raters to obtain usable solutions in an evolving industry. Viridiant staff attends every year to network with like-minded professionals and take home fresh information from the nation’s best experts in the industry. It’s also an opportunity to share Viridiant’s work in the Southeast with professionals around the country. Viridiant led a session on: What We’ve Learned from 10 Years of Multifamily HERS Rating.

Session Presenters:

They discussed Viridiant’s work with over 20,000 multifamily units, both new construction and existing, in building types ranging from garden style to high rise. Session information included the similarities and differences between multifamily and single-family ratings as well as strategies and potential pitfalls to consider. The presenters offered perspectives on energy modeling, quality assurance, field verification, and project management.

The RESNET Emerging Leadership Council (ELC) hosts a fellowship opportunity for young professionals in the industry to attend the conference for free. Viridiant’s Operations and Outreach Manager, Manon Shankle, was recognized as one of three fellows. Click to learn more about the ELC and fellowship program.

Pictured from left to right:

  • Rachel LaMantia, EnergyLogic, 2020 ELC Fellow
  • Leo Jansen, Energy Efficient Homes Midwest, Inc., ELC Chair
  • Manon Shankle, Viridiant, 2020 ELC Fellow
  • Steve Baden, RESNET Executive Director
  • Aaron Hope, Southern Energy Management, 2020 ELC Fellow

We will look forward to next year’s conference when we can safety engage with the industry in a conference setting. Viridiant will continue to share industry news and positive highlights during these uncertain times. Click to view Viridiant’s response to COVID-19. RESNET staff is working with the rating community on determining creative ways that will allow us all to keep our employees safe while getting our business done. Click to see RESNET’s response and resources for the HERS Rating community.






Virginia Residential Energy Code Field Study Report Released!

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Building Energy Codes Program is conducting a series of research studies investigating building energy code implementation to assist states in measuring energy code compliance and to identify areas of focus for future education & training initiatives.

Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA) led the initiative in Virginia and provided funding for Viridiant to perform a field study in 2017-2018 to assess how well the residential energy code was being implemented across Virginia in new construction single family buildings. Following Viridiant’s data collection and analysis by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), the Baseline Report was released in October 2019. Key findings include:

  • Significant energy and cost savings potential exist through increased compliance with targeted measures. Potential statewide annual energy savings are 150,752 MMBtu, which equates to nearly $3 million in cost savings, and emission reductions of nearly 75,000 MT CO2e. Over a 30-year period, these impacts grow to 70 MMBtu, $1.3 billion, and over 34 million CO2e in avoided emissions.
  • Duct leakage and envelope air leakage measures showed the greatest potential for energy savings.
  • To achieve potential energy savings focus should be applied to energy code compliance-improvement programs including educational, training, and outreach initiatives.

Based on the results of the study, SEEA provided funding for Viridiant to lead energy code trainings across Virginia. These trainings are intended to provide code officials, builders, architects, and subcontractors with a better understanding of compliance with the targeted energy code measures and how to meet 2015 energy code changes.

Learn more:

Award Finalists Honored at the Building Sustainability Conference & Awards

On Thursday, April 25th, regional leaders in the advancement of sustainable design and construction were honored at Viridiant’s Building Sustainability Conference & Awards. The annual event highlighted efforts to build sustainability in our communities and infrastructure with a focus on health, resilience, and innovation. This year’s event aimed to educate and recognize innovative solutions of today to meet the needs of the evolving building industry of tomorrow.

Viridiant hosted four conference sessions and an inspiring keynote address from Dr. Danny Avula. The featured sessions and speakers shared knowledge and inspired discussion, all in an effort to drive change in the protection of our living environments, both inside and out. The speakers’ presentations are available for download HERE. Topics included:

  • Energy Code Research
  • Municipal Sustainability Programs in Virginia
  • Building Resilience into Commercial and Residential Structures
  • Construction Delivery of the Future
  • Keynote: Building a Culture of Health in RVA

Awards were presented to recognize the region’s leaders in high-performance construction with a focus on projects, programs, and initiatives that represent the future of sustainable building. Nominees and winners were honored in a variety of categories based on work completed in the last three years in the Mid-Atlantic region. Award winners include:

  • Visionary Award: Sustainable Design Consulting, LLC (SDC)

  • Program, Initiative, or Partnership: Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy (AIRE)

  • Next Generation: Jennifer Kearney – University of Richmond

  • Builder or Developer: Metro Green – Arlington, VA

  • Habitat for Humanity Affiliate: Habitat for Humanity in the Roanoke Valley

  • Project or Development: Presented to outstanding projects or developments with a focus on energy efficiency, integrated design, resource efficiency and conservation, resiliency, innovation, and/or community impact.
  • Top High Performance Homes: Presented to the top three homes certified by Viridiant in 2018 with consideration for design, construction, energy efficiency, and systems.

Special thanks to our 2019 event sponsors!

Habitat for Humanity Volunteer Day with DMME

Viridiant staff recently visited a single-family home under renovation by Richmond Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity and were joined by volunteers from the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy (DMME). The home is a 1,200 square foot cape-cod built in 1969 and located just outside the Randolph neighborhood in Richmond, VA. Like many Habitat homes, it is pursuing EarthCraft certification.

During the volunteer day, Viridiant’s Executive Director KC Bleile talked about the unique partnership between Viridiant and Habitat for Humanity as well as the history behind the EarthCraft program and its introduction into Virginia. Viridiant Technical Advisor Bill Riggs discussed the requirements associated with meeting the EarthCraft certification, HERS modeling, and the quality assurance provided through the inspection process. Additionally, blower door testing was conducted at the home to show the method for capturing envelope leakage and provide a first-hand demonstration to volunteers. This Habitat home has undergone extensive renovations: completely gutting the interior; re-insulating; installing brand new mechanical equipment, appliances, and finishes. These improvements will result in a much more comfortable, healthy, and energy-efficient home.

The benefits of green construction are especially apparent in affordable housing. That’s why Habitat for Humanity and other nonprofits partner with Viridiant. For families fighting their way out of poverty, energy-efficient homes represent a major step toward their American dream. Every gift to Viridiant pushes that dream forward, helping us touch more buildings, educate more industry professionals, and advocate for high performance construction. Whatever the amount, charitable contributions make our services more affordable, fuel research, and drive educational outreach. We hope you’ll stay involved in our vital work and consider making a tax-deductible gift.

Winners Honored at 9th Annual Sustainable Leadership Awards

Winners Honored at 9th Annual Sustainable Leadership Awards

On Thursday, April 19th, just three days before Earth Day, regional leaders in the advancement of sustainable design and construction were honored at Viridiant’s Annual Sustainable Leadership Awards. The annual awards recognize the premier developers, builders, government officials, and other industry professionals for their work in advancing the benefits of sustainable building through green building programs including EarthCraft, ENERGY STAR, and LEED for Homes. Winners were announced at a reception held at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture which drew over 150 guests.

Prior to the award presentation and reception, Viridiant hosted a lecture. Speakers from the Virginia Center for Housing Research at Virginia Tech discussed a recent study showing that EarthCraft certification in Virginia’s LIHTC multifamily housing not only lowers energy use, but can also cost less to build.

During the program, attendees also enjoyed speakers:

  • John Warren, Director of Virginia’s Department of Mines, Minerals, & Energy
  • Craig Toalson, Chief Executive Officer of the Home Builders Association of Virginia
  • Robert Reed, Senior Director of the Southface Energy Institute

Award nominees and winners were honored in a variety of categories to cover new construction, renovation, single family, multifamily, and more. Winners were awarded based on projects completed in 2017. This year’s award winners include:

  • Visionary Award: Bill Shelton, Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development


  • Single Family Developer: Ryan Homes – Williamsburg, VA


  • Single Family Builder: Stony Point Design/Build – Charlottesville, VA


  • Single Family New Construction Project: Home on Carriage Hill Lane – J. Hall Homes


  • Single Family Renovation Project: Home on Hanover Ave – Habitat for Humanity in the Roanoke Valley


  • Single Family Debut Award: Old Dominion Innovations – Richmond, VA


  • Habitat for Humanity Affiliate: Richmond Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity


  • Multifamily Developer: SCG Development – Fairfax Corner, VA


  • Multifamily New Construction Project: Newport News Seniors – Landbridge Development & RHG, Inc.


  • Multifamily Renovation Project: Highland Park Senior Apartments, Richmond, VA – CPDC


  • Top Ten High Performance Homes:

VAEEC: Building Codes in Virginia

Viridiant’s Executive Director KC Bleile as well as Viridiant board member and EarthCraft homeowner Sylvia Hallock gave featured testimonials in Virginia Energy Efficiency Council’s Building Codes in Virginia (video available below). People want to live in higher performing homes, and Virginia has energy reduction goals. A modern-day building code would be an effective policy approach to address both goals. Click the video to learn more about the importance of energy efficient residential building codes in the Commonwealth. Further information available at

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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Viridiant Awarded Virginia Residential Energy Code Field Study

Staff Post by Sean Evensen-Shanley, Director of Residential Operations

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has been conducting field studies in select states around the country to determine the level of compliance with energy codes in the field. DOE affirms,

“The goal of the study is to help document baseline practices, target areas for improvement, and quantify related savings potential. This information is intended to assist states in measuring energy code compliance and to identify areas of focus for future education & training initiatives.”

Recently, Viridiant was awarded funding by the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA) to conduct the study in Virginia. SEEA is a regional non-profit organization dedicated to leveraging energy efficiency for the benefit of all citizens. SEEA collaborates extensively with five other regional organizations and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to benefit utilities, businesses, consumers, and governments throughout the United States.

This project will look at how well a random sample of single family builders in 29 jurisdictions around the Commonwealth are implementing different energy related measures of the building code. The success of this project will largely rest on the cooperation of builders and building code officials.

Help us spread the word that this study will be underway through the end of 2017, with data collectors visiting over 100 homes that are under construction or recently completed!

About the Contributor

Sean Evensen-Shanley is the Director of Residential Operations at Viridiant, administering the EarthCraft, LEED for Homes, and ENERGY STAR programs, as well as providing quality assurance and training. Sean previously served as the Director of Customer Success at WegoWise, a Boston-based company providing utility benchmarking software. When he’s not at work, you’ll find Sean on a rock wall or pining after old homes in need of love and energy efficiency improvements.


Blower Door Equipment Image Source: My Florida Home Energy






Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy May Be Coming to a Community Near You!

Guest Post by Daniel Farrell, Virginia DMME

Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) is gaining momentum quickly nationally, and in Virginia local governments can authorize C-PACE assessments in their jurisdiction. C-PACE allows building owners longer-term financing of energy saving (or energy producing) improvements, such as insulation, new HVAC equipment or solar panels. C-PACE financing is paid back via a special assessment on a building owner’s property tax bill. The program is voluntary for building owners, but a tremendous potential resource for clean energy. PACE loans may be paid back over longer terms than typical property improvement loans, up to 20 years. If an owner sells a building with a C-PACE assessment, it transfers to the new owner. The new owner and tenants benefit from lower energy bills, improved cash flow, and building comfort.

A number of organizations have collaborated to advance C-PACE in Virginia, including Abacus Property Solutions, Arlington County, Virginia Community Capital, and the VA Energy Efficiency Council. Eligible building types include: commercial office, manufacturing/industrial, agricultural, and multifamily buildings with more than four dwelling units. In 2016, Virginia’s Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy successfully applied for $500,000 in grant funding from the US Department of Energy’s State Energy Program (SEP) to create the Mid-Atlantic PACE Alliance or MAPA.

MAPA’s key role is to promote communication and coordination among C-PACE program sponsors, program administrators, and other key stakeholders in the mid-Atlantic region. MAPA just announced its first regional C-PACE conference, entitled “Winning with PACE: Game Plans for Financing Energy Improvements” for Monday, November 13, 2017.  For more information and registration details please visit the MAPA website.

About the Contributor

Dan Farrell is the Energy Financing Program Manager with Virginia’s Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy (DMME). Dan oversees several energy efficiency and clean energy financing programs, including the Virginia SavesGreen Program, the Commonwealth Energy Fund, and revolving loan and loan loss reserve funds. He is also facilitating a multi-state working group to promote growth of Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) loan programs in VA, MD and DC, funded through a State Energy Program grant from US Department of Energy. Dan previously served as Project Manager with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) in Albany, NY.


Viridiant Spring 2017 Newsletter

View Online

Spring 2017

by the numbers

  1. Bench Mark Builders – HERS 30, EarthCraft certified
  2. Green Valley Builders – HERS 44, EarthCraft and ENERGY STAR certified
  3. Green Mountain Construction – HERS 47, EarthCraft certified

upcoming events

Wednesday, May 17th, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Fairlington Community Center, Arlington, VA

This 7-hour builder training provides a comprehensive overview of best practices for sustainable construction and design as well as explores how the EarthCraft program can help you get started in the green building sector.

For more information and to register, click below.

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Phase I Submissions Due May 26th
Fairlington Community Center, Arlington, VA

The deadline for Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development‘s Blueprint for the Future Design Competition has been extended to May 26! Register at the link below, then submit a short narrative, a site plan, and two sets of scaled drawings. The competition is open to all Virginians, including students, amateurs or professionals, and individuals or teams. The winning design will receive a cash prize and be announced and displayed at the Governor’s Housing Conference![trx_button type=”square” style=”filled” size=”medium” bg_style=”custom” color=”#fff” link=”” popup=”no”]MORE DETAILS[/trx_button]


Thursday, June 15th, 3:00 – 4:30 PM followed by our Summer Social
This lecture, held in conjunction with the Home Builders Association of Richmond’s EarthCraft Builders Council, will take place at a Richmond-area EarthCraft home. It will be followed by our yearly Summer Social! More details and registration coming soon.


sustainable leadership awards


Regional leaders in the advancement of sustainable design and construction were recently honored as winners of Viridiant’s Sustainable Leadership Awards. The event, which took place on April 20th, drew over 150 individuals representing home builders, non-profit and for-profit housing providers and developers, program sponsors, homeowners, affordable housing advocates, and those interested in creating green housing opportunities in Virginia. Attendees also enjoyed a housing policy and research panel with Art Bowen of Virginia Hosuing Development Authority, Andrew McCoy of Virginia Center for Housing Research at Virginia Tech, and Angela Navarro of the Office of Governor McAuliffe, moderated by Bob Adams of HDAdvisors. Pre-awards educational sessions also took place with Michael Hubbard of Dominion Virginia Power, Andrew McCoy of Virginia Center for Housing Research at Virginia Tech, and Sean Evensen- Shanley of Viridiant.

To learn more about this year’s winners, and help us celebrate their achievements, please click below.

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earth day 5K race without a trace


On Earth Day 2017, over 100 people came out for the 5th Annual Richmond Earth Day 5K Race Without a Trace, presented by Sigora Solar, showing off the best the city has to offer. Folks ran, walked, and strolled, many with their kids and furry friends, down the newly completed Virginia Capital Trail and saw the beauty of the James River and its downtown surroundings. Participants also learned easy ways to help the environment along the course and finished just half a mile from RVA Earth Day. Local plants and local gift cards were presented to winners in categories like leaders of the pack, best dressed, best dramatic finish and more. Electric vehicles were on hand to shuttle runners to the festival after the race. To learn more or see photos and race results, please click below.

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Did you miss our recent lectures?


In April, Viridiant hosted three educational sessions – two in advance of our Sustainable Leadership Awards and one during the awards presentation. We have prepared bulletins to summarize what was discussed during each of these lectures/educational sessions.

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green climate corp fellow pilot program


On February 8, 2017, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded The Little Ten Housing Authorities of Southwest Virginia, Inc. (The Little Ten) one of twelve spots nationwide in the Affordable Housing Utility Benchmarking Fellowship program. Through a competitive grant process, The Little Ten will receive a Climate Corp fellow during Summer 2017 to provide assessment of actual utility consumption for the portfolios of ten housing authorities.

The Little Ten, representing ten authorities in southwestern, rural Virginia, will leverage a Climate Corps fellow to identify a sample of the housing stock throughout the region, train authority representatives, create a benchmarking plan, initiate benchmarking, and with support from non-profit partner, Viridiant, provide options and return on investment (ROI) for utility improvement. This investment would lower residents’ utilities, provide more accurate utility allowances, and help housing authorities to strategically reinvest resources. Viridiant has committed to assist the fellow and housing authorities in interpreting benchmarking results, prioritizing opportunities to reduce utility cost through management, education, and resident operation and energy efficiency improvements and determining anticipated ROI.

lectures: help steer the conversation

We are constantly looking for opportunities to improve our lecture series overall, and as we plan the remainder of the 2017 series, we’re seeking your input on lecture topics. Please provide your thoughts below. You don’t need to have attended a lecture in the past to give us your feedback.

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your support matters

Viridiant, a 501c3 non-profit, prides itself on offering superior quality, affordable programs that can suit the needs of any builder or developer who shows a commitment to high performance home building. With nine full time employees in our Richmond office and technical advisors around the state, we strive to remove any financial barriers to green building by delivering our programs at a fraction of the cost of similar programs.

Residential buildings make up almost 27% of the energy consumption in Virginia. With your support, we can touch more houses, making a significant impact not only on the state’s energy use but also on the lives of the residents who will enjoy comfortable, healthy, and affordable homes.

Please consider making a donation to Viridiant today.

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