Single Family Building Certification
EarthCraft House is a regional green building program for homes built in the Southeast. It is for new construction homes, both single-family detached and attached. Projects follow a simple punch-list style worksheet and implement measures in site planning, resource efficiency, durability and moisture management, the building envelope, HVAC systems, indoor air quality, water, lights and appliances, and education and operations. Projects are able to optionally differentiate themselves in the areas of comfort, environment, health, and high performance through badges. Certified homes can expect to see a 30% reduction in energy usage when compared to similar code-built homes. As part of the certification, homes receive a duct blaster and blower door test, which can be used for code compliance in Virginia.
EarthCraft Renovation is a regional green building program for existing single-family homes in the Southeast that are doing holistic renovations to a home. The program is a mix of requirements and point items, to provide the flexibility needed when renovating a home, while also ensuring a baseline level of performance is met. Participating homes receive an initial energy audit to assess the current level of efficiency of the home and potential areas of improvement. Then, as renovations progress, two site inspections take place to verify the implementation of measures.
ENERGY STAR for Homes v3 is a national energy efficiency program for new single-family homes, both attached and detached. Homes are certified based on the results of an energy model and on-site verification. As part of the certification, homes receive a duct blaster and blower door test, which can be used for code compliance in Virginia. In Virginia, homes in Dominion’s service territory are eligible for an incentive when they receive ENERGY STAR certification.
WaterSense is a national water efficiency program. Through a checklist and on-site verification, indoor and outdoor water use is assessed for efficiency improvements over a standard home. Since this program only assesses water use, many builders pair it with the ENERGY STAR and Indoor airPlus programs in order to verify improvements in energy use, water use, and indoor air quality.
Indoor airPlus is a national program focused on improving indoor air quality. Through a checklist and on-site verification, areas such as mold and moisture control, HVAC, building materials, and pest management are evaluated, all with the goal of providing the occupants a healthy indoor environment for the long term. Viridiant Net Zero The Viridiant Net Zero program is a two part certification for verifying a home is net zero. The first part takes place during the design and construction of the home to verify that it’s design is likely to achieve net zero. The second part occurs after the home has been in operation for at least a year and there is sufficient data to determine if the home has been successful in meeting its net zero goals.
The ZERH program allows highly efficient homes to showcase that they are efficient enough to be net zero, if solar were to be added. The certification is meant to help homes identify the balance point between when it’s more cost effective to continue to add efficiency measures vs. when adding solar becomes the more cost effective option. Homes wishing to obtain this certification must also certify as ENERGY STAR and Indoor airPlus.