Big Announcements Made at 7th Annual Sustainable Leadership Awards

Big Announcements Made at 7th Annual Sustainable Leadership Awards

Regional leaders in the advancement of sustainable design and construction were recently honored as winners of Viridiant’s Sustainable Leadership Awards. Winners were announced at the organization’s 7th annual awards ceremony on March 22nd at the historic Bolling Haxall House in downtown Richmond. The event 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.

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Winter Newsletter

In case you missed it, our Winter Newsletter is hot off the press with strategic updates, information on upcoming events, an article on the true cost of owning an EarthCraft home, and more!

Click here or on the image below to check it out.

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Virginia lawmakers looking to drive energy costs down

By Mark Tenia Published: January 20, 2016, 6:01 pm

 

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond resident Aaron Gibson and his wife recently made some improvements to their 100-year-old home in Richmond. Gibson says just adding insulation to the roof cut down on their electric bill considerably.

“You think you might be in good shape and they come in and run the tests and it’s pretty scary how much improvement you could do,” Gibson told 8News reporter Mark Tenia.  “If more people could see the benefits that we’ve seen then I don’t think anyone would hesitate to do it.”

Lawmakers are hoping to help consumers across the state make similar improvements, introducing a bill that would have Virginia join a multi-state group, like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative or RGGI, that puts a cap on power plant emissions. Power companies would pay a fee for their emissions, and those fees would go into a fund to help consumers make their homes more energy efficient. Supporters say the energy savings would drive costs down and save everyone money.

Supporters say the energy savings would drive costs down and save everyone money.

“Electricity prices have dropped about 2% compared to an increase in the rest of the nation because of the reduced energy demand,” said Dawone Robinson with the Chesapeake Climate Action Network.

Advocates say people could save $50 a month, and up to $650 a year on their power bill, but Dominion Virginia Power says it’s not quite on board yet with the plan. In a statement the company says:

“We do have some concerns because it would raise electric rates considerably in Virginia. That would come at a time when dominion’s residential rates are currently 32% below the average of states under the RGGI structure.”

Upcoming Events! Lectures, Awards, and 5K

We’re looking forward to a busy several months here at EarthCraft Virginia with plenty of opportunities for you to engage with us.  Check out the exciting details below.

2016 Lecture Series

First 3 topics announced – now every other month throughout the year

  • Net-Zero Case Study: Grissom Lane – Thursday, February 18th, 2016
  • Water in Buildings – Thursday, April 21st, 2016
  • Energy Efficient Retrofits: Lessons Learned and Best Practices – Thursday, June 16, 2016

Register lecture in person

Register lecture via webinar

 

Sustainable Leadership Awards

Registration and call for nominations open

We hope you’ll join us at our Annual Sustainable Leadership Awards as we celebrate our 10th Anniversary! EarthCraft Virginia will host its annual Sustainable Leadership Awards on March 22, 2016 at the Bolling Haxall House in Richmond to recognize the region’s premiere developers, builders, architects, government officials and other industry professionals for their work in 2015.

  • Date: Thursday, March 22nd, 2016
  • Time: 4 – 6:30 PM
  • Location: The Bolling Haxall House, 211 E Franklin St, Richmond, VA 23219
  • Price: $45

RSVP-Register button

Want to submit a nomination? Nominate here. Awards and nominations are for the entire year of 2015. If you are nominating a project, it must have been certified in 2015. If you are nominating a person/company, explain their accomplishments in 2015. Submissions must be received no later than 5:00 pm on Friday, February 12th, 2016. We are taking nominations for the following categories:

  • Single Family Builder of the Year
  • Single Family Project of the Year
  • Multifamily New Construction Project of the Year
  • Multifamily Renovation Project of the Year
  • Habitat for Humanity Affiliate of the Year

 

Richmond Earth Day 5K Race Without a Trace

Registration now open

Date: April 23rd, 2016
Race Start/End Location: Great Shiplock Park, Richmond, VA
Race Time: Race begins at 10:30 AM
Price: $30

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Sustainable Leadership Awards Nominations

We hope you’ll join us at our Annual Sustainable Leadership Awards as we celebrate our 10th Anniversary! EarthCraft Virginia will host its 7th Annual Sustainable Leadership Awards on March 22, 2016 at the Bolling Haxall House in Richmond to recognize the region’s premiere developers, builders, architects, government officials and other industry professionals for their work in 2015.

Want to submit a nomination?
Nominate Graphic

We are taking nominations for the following categories:
  • Single Family Builder of the Year
  • Single Family Project of the Year
  • Multifamily New Construction Project of the Year
  • Multifamily Renovation Project of the Year
  • Habitat for Humanity Affiliate of the Year

Awards and nominations are for the entire year of 2015. If you are nominating a project, it must have been certified in 2015. If you are nominating a person/company, explain their accomplishments in 2015. Submissions must be received no later than 5:00 pm on Friday, February 12th, 2016.

Fall Newsletter

In case you missed it, our Fall Newsletter is hot off the press with information on new strategic endeavors, upcoming events, a recent single family renovation and more!

Click here or on the image below to check it out.

2014 Annual Report

Check out our 2014 Annual Report by clicking here or on the image below.

2014 was a great year for us! Thanks to everyone involved.

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Click the image or link above to see the full report.

Building Science Lectures Announced!

 

Thanks to all of you who provided feedback through our electronic survey. Based on your input, we are excited to announce that our lecture series will now take place every other month throughout the year.

And we’re kicking things off on October 13th with something a little different – a full day training from national speaker, Gord Cooke. Check out details on October and December lectures below or by clicking here, and stay tuned for details on the 2016 series starting in February.

 

Building and Selling High Performance Homes
with national speaker Gord Cooke

FREE to EarthCraft Virginia lecture series attendees with code Earthcraft13

Tuesday, October 13th
9 AM – 4 PM (8 – 9 AM registration and networking breakfast)
Location: Cox Communications, 3080 Centerville Road, Herndon, VA 20171

button-register

Join us as Gord Cooke gives a presentation on building science based technologies, techniques and solutions that will help you build and sell high performance single family homes. Held in conjunction with Northern Virginia Building Industries Association and Owens Corning.

Learn more about:

  • Meeting code changes with advanced building solutions
  • Building Science and its role in building and selling homes
  • Marketing and selling high performance homes to differentiate yourself from your competition

*Note: No webinar option for this lecture.
Registration hosted by NVBIA.

 

Model First, Then Measure
What We Learned from VT/Housing Virginia Study
with Philip Agee, EarthCraft Virginia

Thursday, December 17th
In-person from 8 – 9:30 AM, Richmond, VA, FREE
Via webinar from 11 AM – 12 PM, $10/registrant

button-register
As the industry pushes toward high performance buildings, energy modeling has become a tool for practitioners to project performance outcomes. However, few people measure building performance once the building is operational, and that’s where the fun begins. Join us as we discuss a first of its kind study that examines modeled vs. measured building performance. We will dive into how building performance impacts operations and maintenance (O/M) and how modeling in the future might help the industry finally deliver the results it has been promising.

Lecture Series Input – We want to hear from you!

This survey closed on August 26th. Thanks for all of the great feedback!

Richmond Times Dispatch: How renters can save money, and the planet

Richmond Times Dispatch
Posted: Tuesday, August 4, 2015 10:30 pm
By Bob Newman and Susan Hill

Despite Virginia’s low electricity and natural gas prices, the poor energy performance of our multifamily housing stock leads to energy costs that are significantly higher than they need to be for many low- to moderate-income renters. As a percentage of income, low-income households pay utility bills that are as much as 10 times greater than the bills of higher-income households. Additionally, many low-income families live in older apartments or homes that badly need repair and energy efficiency improvements.

About 30 percent of the U.S. population lives in multifamily housing, and many of these households are lower-income families. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has estimated that $3.4 billion in annual energy savings could be attained by making multifamily housing across the nation more energy efficient. A recently released study by Housing Virginia and the Center for Housing Research at Virginia Tech demonstrated that savings for residents of multifamily housing that received energy efficiency improvements significantly exceeded projections. Another recent study shows that with aggressive development of energy efficiency measures in multifamily buildings, Virginia could cut electricity usage by 28 percent and reduce gas usage by 19 percent in affordable multifamily housing. The benefits from these savings include fewer late payments, improvements in tenant health and safety and higher property values — leading to higher local tax revenues.

It’s clear that improving efficiency in multifamily buildings improves housing affordability for lower-income Virginians. Renters are spending a larger percentage of their income on rent than they have at any time in the past 30 years, because of rising rents and stagnant incomes. Many of today’s renters are also trying to save money to become tomorrow’s home buyers. So the entire housing market benefits from making multifamily rental housing more energy-efficient and affordable.

Why hasn’t this already happened? At least in part it is because in most cases the tenants are responsible for utility costs, meaning that owners have a less direct incentive to invest in energy efficiency. That’s why new efforts are needed. They will provide the resources to improve these apartments for current and future tenants. It’s a triple return for Virginia — tenants save, energy usage is reduced and our environment benefits from lower power plant emissions.

Virginia currently spends only about 2 percent of utility energy efficiency budgets on programs for low-income renters. We need to do better, and we now have the opportunity to move in the right direction on low-income energy efficiency due, in part, to legislation passed in the last General Assembly session that includes new pilot efforts by utilities. These programs should include the following elements:

  • Design that maximizes effectiveness by addressing all cost-effective energy efficiency measures;
  • Improved building owner access to energy usage information so that owners can make informed business decisions regarding investments in energy efficiency;
  • Financial incentives for tenants and building owners that are sufficient to stimulate participation; and
  • Partnerships with housing authorities and nonprofit housing providers that are already operating in the affordable housing and energy efficiency space.

Governor McAuliffe and Dominion Virginia Power have announced an initiative that is a big step in the right direction. Dominion’s new pilot will include substantial funding for multifamily energy efficiency improvements. The wider variety of measures included in this pilot ensure that homes can be weatherized more efficiently, resulting in greater savings for the residents.

Overall, Dominion is committing $57 million over five years, which will be distributed between an expanded “Energy Share” program and funding for single-family and multifamily weatherization improvements. That’s a big commitment and should have a real impact throughout their service area. Dominion also plans to engage with housing authorities and nonprofit affordable housing providers to find the right multifamily pilot projects for the program. This is a smart strategy, since utility programs have historically included primarily owner-occupied, single-family housing. Flexibility and learning from experience will be critical to refining an efficient and effective multifamily program.

Investments in energy efficiency for affordable multifamily housing will yield energy savings for building operators and tenants. Beyond that, a program for low-income energy efficiency means less pollution, more stable rents and improved health and safety for the tenants. Finally, we are positioned to address a long neglected need in our commonwealth: increasing the energy efficiency of our rental housing stock. By moving forward now, we can make Virginia a leader in utility driven, cost-effective energy efficiency programs for lower-income renters.

Read the article on Richmond.com here.

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