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Habitat Energy Star Home

West Michigan's first Energy Star Version 3 Certified Home

* correction - This is a new home and not a rehab.

The approach was a  LEED certified home that goes beyond most Habitat standards of just LEED silver and Energy Star Version 2.  The goal was to get a house to achieve the coveted Energy Star V. 3 certification and Indoor AirPlus certification by achieving higher standards for the HVAC.  The biggest hurdle for this house was installing a 95% efficient furnace coupled with an ERV mechanical ventilation system and flexible ducts in order to reduce energy costs and improve air quality throughout the 2-story house. The kitchen is outfitted with low VOC cabinets and a 100 CFM range hood which vents directly outside as opposed to in the attic or re-circulation.

The Indoor airPlus certification contributed largely to the Energy Star V3 Certifcation, as the higher quality HVAC system also covered many of the prerequisites. The biggest hurdle for this home was to find a credentialed HVAC installer who would work with the higher standards required for Indoor airPlus.   The water heater and furnace directly vent fumes outside and improve indoor air quality and efficiency of the equipment.  The HVAC also has LEED_TM_gold_13a MERV 10 rated filters and efficiently at 86 CFM, which fully circulates the air in the home approximately every 4 hours.  The furnace itself runs on a single speed PSC motor which runs at set intervals and uses the ERV to moderate the temperature.  The house also features a Superior Wall Foundation which contributes an R-Value of 5 to NuWool insulation installed on the walls for a total R-Value of 26.  To further increase the insulation of the house the rim joists were also insulated and earn an efficient .3 U-factor windows were installed to reduce air leakage.

The home appliances available in this house are Energy Star certified to accompany the Energy Star V3 certification on the house.  Outfitted with low formaldehyde pressed wood materials in flooring and cabinets, as well as low VOC paints and finishes on the cabinets and walls. .  Plumbing is outfitted using PEX piping as more flexible and reliable alternative to PVC or copper piping.

Habitat for Humanity Kent County is committed to 100% LEED Silver Construction and has saved homeowner's $1,000 a year in utility costs as well as improved their indoor air quality compared to living situations they were previously in.

1831 Willard Profile Complete

Indoor airPLUS checklist

Updated HVAC contractor checklist

LEED for Homes Registrations as of 2013 Q2

LEED Homes: New Energy Pathway & Program Market Share

"Starting with the LEED NC program, multifamily adoption of LEED really took off when the LEED for Homes and LEED Midrise programs were 

LEED for Homes Registrations as of 2013 Q2

launched in 2008. With only 4,000 units participating as of 2009, the LEED for Homes (and LEED Midrise) programs have grown to include over 117,000 units pursuing certification today. Much of this adoption has been in the multifamily market.  Nearly 90% of the units in the residential LEED programs are from multifamily buildings and as far as market share goes, during 2012 over 10% of all new US multifamily units chose LEED certification. "   Read More - Taken from USGBC.org

Based on the National Association of Home Builders Housing Start Data in the Midwest - LEED for Homes program market share has 2.1% of all new housing starts in 2012 including Multi Family and Single Family and was 1.3% of from Jan - May in 2013 (Included a 10K + Housing start increase). This really shows that those who choose LEED for Homes as their path are the top leaders in their field.

Out of the 40 Providers in the country has remained around the 10th for LEED for Homes Project Registrations & Certifications, with over 2,600 units certified and 6,000 + registered. You might be saying so what? What is the points of registration? Registration under LEED expresses intent. First off, it is not free and likely someone will not be paying to register until they have thought about the basic principals of LEED; Energy / Water  / Location Efficiency, Improved Indoor Air Quality, Durability, Waste Reduction, Materials Choice and Education/Awareness.  Most projects that have registered have engaged design, construction and energy/green rater professionals in order to think differently about their project and design for above code success. Whether they certify or not, we are excited about the upfront work and thought that leads to registration, finding the first step to be noteworthy.

LEED Certification YTD 13Q2USGBC nationally has now certified just over 40,000 units or a 3rd of all registered projects. Certification means the project team has subjected it self to 3rd party onsite visual verification and performance energy testing with Energy Star for Homes and the Home Energy Rating Score. Certification is not easy and shows the team has taken the steps to ensure their project is more sustainable and the house will be Energy Efficient, Healthy for Occupants, Built to Last and Attainable by Anyone.

Why are we so excited? 

At we celebrate all certified projects by show casing their accomplishments. This happens through helping set up tours to educate the public, documenting post occupancy success based on utility data / indoor air quality studies and overall comfort and homeowner satisfaction. After following up with homeowners and contractors we are showing others how they could accomplish LEED best practices and ideal certification at an affordable manner.

Anything less would be a failure to support our mission, we are not in the business to just certify homes but to use that certification as a success story.

As continues to pursue and celebrate LEED certification success with our community we are excited to see the USGBC continue to push the envelope.

"Continuous improvement ensures that the LEED rating systems stay relevant in a time when policies, technologies and the needs of the industry are constantly changing. In the last three years, residential construction energy codes rapidly have become more stringent, a trend we anticipate will continue. The updates in LEED v4 (the newest version of LEED for Homes) respond to these changes, and now USGBC aims to update the 2008 version of LEED for Homes by beginning an official update process. "

A ballot proposal is out to for "v2008 that will increase the stringency of the energy prerequisite by roughly 15%, approximately equivalent to the energy performance of ENERGY STAR v3, 15% above International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) 2009 and equivalent to IECC 2012. " Before a HERS Score of 85 was acceptable on a LEED certified home but this would push it to require a HERS of 70 now starting on April 1st 2014

" Currently, over 90% of all certified projects are scoring lower than a HERS 70." Learn more here

In order to keep the relevancy of the LEED for Homes program which has given a language to LEED. We celebrate registrations and certification, education and constant improvement is the direction to go.

Also see this report on Michigan

http://www.usgbc.org/sites/default/files/Green%20Building%20Market%20Brief%20and%20Snapshot_Michigan_0.pdf

QAP_Energy Star Homes _ HVAC Know How Graphic Brett

Energy Star V3 Homes – HVAC Lessons Learned – Recorded Webinar CEUs

In this webinar, Ryan Miller, Program Manager of Advanced Energy’s Quality-Assured Professional (QAP) for HVAC program, one of two national HVAC Contractor credentialing programs for the ENERGY STAR® Certified New Homes program v3.0, will present lessons learned from the HVAC Contractor owner/operators the program has worked with during its first year in operation.QAP_Energy Star Homes _ HVAC Know How Graphic Brett

Topics include:

1.    The changing role of HVAC Contractors working in the ENERGY STAR® program.  What HVAC Contractors are required to do and should be doing.

2.    How to save time, money, and increase customer satisfaction by performing quality ENERGY STAR® work.  Tips for developing internal quality control plans and procedures will be provided.

3.    Training crews on performing ENERGY STAR® jobs.  What they need to know, how you can train them, and resources available to them that can decrease their time and cost on jobs while increasing quality.

4.    Marketing your company as a (ENERGY STAR® v3.0 required) credentialed HVAC Contractor.  Tips for setting your company apart from others in the market.

5.    How to evolve your role with Builders and Raters from receiving design plans to having significant input in the upfront design process.  How acting as an HVAC design advisor on ENERGY STAR® jobs, not just an installer, can yield across the board savings for all parties involved and reduce comfort issues.

Target Audience: HVAC Contractor owner/operators currently working in or interested in working in the ENERGY STAR® Certified New Homes program.  Prior experience in the ENERGY STAR® program is not necessary

Recording can be viewed here 

Please take a min to fill out this survey after viewing. Thank  you! 

Ryan Miller PICInstructor

Ryan Miller: Project Manager II and Quality-Assured Professional (QAP) Program Manager, Advanced Energy Corporation

Ryan Miller joined Advanced Energy in 2011 to manage residential new construction projects for utility and other clients from across the country.  As a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and Six Sigma Black Belt, Miller brings significant project management and business process improvement experience to the organization and its customers.

In 2012, Miller managed the development and launch of the first nationwide residential energy efficiency program in Advanced Energy’s 30-plus year history with the Quality-Assured Professional (QAP) program.  As Program Manager, Miller is responsible for the managing the strategic direction of the program as well as the day-to-day administration of the staff and program participants.

Prior to joining Advanced Energy, Miller was the Operations Manager for a home performance contractor in Durham, NC, where he learned energy efficiency improvements and HVAC contracting from the ground-up.  Managing the office and warehouse functions of the company, Miller made significant operational and financial improvements to the organization.  Prior to this experience, Miller served as Business Process Manager for Texas Electric Cooperatives (TEC) in Austin, TX.  In this position, Miller again tackled business and system improvement projects throughout the state, working closely with the statewide electric cooperatives and other utilities to lower costs, improve efficiencies, and lead training initiatives. 

AIA & GBCI CEUs In order for CEUs to be processed we will need a  small donation based on what value you found on the course. As a 501(c)3 charitable organization (view our details), we deliver green building education courses throughout the Midwest at minimal cost and at no profit. Please support us to help keep these going. Your donation to the Green Home Institute may be tax-deductible. Please check with your accountant or tax attorney for details.

PHIUS_low res

PHIUS+ Passive Certification for Building – Recorded Webinar – CEUs

PHIUS+ Certification for Building Projects is the only voluntary certification program on the US Market at an affordable cost that requires both: a thorougPHIUS_low resh third party review of the design and energy/hygrothermal modeling of a project as well as a third party verification of the actual implementation on site through expert trained PHIUS+ RESNET Raters. A successful project earns the PHIUS+ Certified passive house or building plaque/certificate as well as the DOE Challenge Home and Energy Star labels.

GBCI / AIA - Recorded webinar instructions below 

Learning Objectives:

1) Understand why Quality Assurance is essential to verified performance

2) Learn about the pre-certification process and what is required for the design review

3) Learn about the onsite verification performed by a Certified PHIUS+ Rater

4) Learn about the collaboration and endorsement by the DOE challenge Home program

Review the Webinar here 

Presenter Katrin Klingenberg

Co-founder and Executive Director of the Passive House Institute US (PHIUS)
Katrin Klingenberg

www.passivehouse.us

Katrin Klingenberg is Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Passive House Institute US (PHIUS). PHIUS promotes the wide adoption of passive building principles in North America through specialized consultant training and certification, project and product certification, and educational efforts for building professionals and the general public.

Ms Klingenberg designed and built the very first home built in the United States using the European standard and design specifications in 2002-2003. She has designed and consulted on numerous passive projects since across North America’s varied climate zones and has made proposals for the possible refinement of current passive house standards to North American climate zones. In addition to her executive role she is the lead instructor for PHIUS Certified Passive House Consultant training. In that role she directs curriculum. She also directs the technical and research programs of PHIUS. She holds a Masters Degree in architecture from Ball State University and is a licensed architect in Germany.

In order to be approved for GBCI/AIA you must follow the below steps

1. View the Audio/Visual Recording Here 

2. Complete Survey + 10 Question Quiz and get a passing score of 80% 

3. In order for CEUs to be processed we will need a  small donation based on what value you found on the course. As a 501(c)3 charitable organization (view our details), we deliver green building education courses throughout the Midwest at minimal cost and at no profit. Please support us to help keep these going. Your donation to the Green Home Institute may be tax-deductible. Please check with your accountant or tax attorney for details.

QAP AE LOGO

Quality Assured HVAC Training – ESV3 – High Performance Professional

QAD HVAC ESV3 AE has Partnered with Advanced Energy To help  HVAC contractors Qualify as High Performance Home leaders. Those installing systems in ENERGY STAR qualified homes are need to ensure are properly trained and qualified to perform HVAC QI services, EPA is requiring that contractors:

  1. Document that they possess the knowledge, skills, abilities, and tools (e.g., through training, work experience, and/or company policies) to effectively deliver the services required in the ENERGY STAR HVAC QI checklist; and
  2. Be credentialed and subject to oversight/quality assurance by an independent, third-party organization.

 Cost: $100 - $350 depending on location*

Other Fees (1/2 - 1/3 the cost of ACCAs program)

  • $199 Application Fee
  • $299 per year renewal fee
  • $35 per job up to 50 jobs
  • less for more than 50 jobs

Why Become Qualified High Performance Energy Star Version 3 Contractor

QAP AE LOGO

  • Scalability – whether you are working on one house or 5,000, our program offers scalability to fit your needs.  The primary fee associated with our program is a per-unit quality assurance review process, meaning that you only pay for what you use.
  • Technical assistance – if you find yourself struggling while out on an install or designing a duct system, Advanced Energy is here to help you.  As a participating contractor, you have easy access to the technical resources you need to ensure quality work on your ENERGY STAR installations.
  • Contractor development – our program is more than just a certification, we strive to make you better. If you think your business could use some additional help, or if the program's standards are not being met, hands-on training and consulting will be provided by program staff to get you up to speed. We can also help you put the policies and procedures into place to ensure quality installation to help you continue working on ENERGY STAR jobs.
  • Streamlined ENERGY STAR quality assurance process - we have automated the reporting process making it quick and easy to track your progress and view all of your ENERGY STAR jobs in one place.
  • Click here to view or download our Program Brief for HVAC Contractors.

HVAC Quality Installation Oversight Organizations (H-QUITOs) are the EPA-recognized independent, third-party oversight organizations that establish the required credentialing programs and provide oversight/QA activities for HVAC contractors who install systems in Version 3 ENERGY STAR qualified homes.

Date/Time*

Event Title / Location

Mon, Apr 29, 2013
8:15 AM - 5:15 PM
Quality Assured HVAC Training - ESV3 - High Performance Professional 
WARM Training Center
Detroit MI
Tue, Apr 30, 2013
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Energy Star Version 3 for HVAC Contractors - Get Credentialed 
Jackson Systems
Indianapolis IN
Tue, Apr 30, 2013
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Quality Assured HVAC Training - ESV3 - High Performance Professional 
Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation (WECC)
Madison Wisconsin

What the H-QUITO Does

As an H-QUITO, Advanced Energy is required to:

  • Develop and maintain a credentialing program for qualified contractors;
  • Provide general orientation training for contractors on the ENERGY STAR Version 3 guidelines;
  • Maintain a database and a publicly-available, online list of credentialed participating contractors;
  • Conduct periodic quality assurance of participating contractors;  and
  • Develop and maintain a participating contractor dispute resolution process that includes procedures for investigation of complaints, contractor probation, dismissal, and appeals.

More From the GBA Blogs - The 7 Biggest Opportunities for HVAC Contractors

Highlights from Energy Star Version 3, Revision 05.

Revision 05 of the Version 3 guidelines has now been posted to the ENERGY STAR website. Partners are
permitted to use this Revision immediately, at their discretion, but must apply this Revision to all homes permitted
on or after March 15, 2012.

As part of this Revision, all major program documents have been updated. A Revision 05 Version Tracking Document, containing all of the specific changes in this Revision, has also been created. EPA strongly encourages partners to review these documents. The most substantial updates are summarized below:

Thermal Enclosure System Rater Checklist
 A new alternative to meeting 2009 IECC insulation requirements has been provided for homes that achieve ≤ 50% of the infiltration rate defined in the ENERGY STAR Reference Design.
 The timeline for complying with the minimum insulation levels required at attic eaves has been extended. In the interim, homes with space constraints are permitted to meet less stringent levels.
 Drywall adhesive (but not other construction adhesives) may now be used to seal drywall to top plates.
 Foam sealant may now be used in place of caulk to seal sill plates to foundations or sub-floors. Note that a foam gasket is still also required beneath the sill plate if resting atop concrete or masonry and adjacent to conditioned space.
 Batts that completely fill floor cavities enclosed on all six sides may be used, even when compression occurs due to excess insulation, as long as the R-value of the batts has been appropriately assessed based on manufacturer guidance and the only defect preventing the insulation from achieving the
required installation grade is the compression caused by the excess insulation. This policy replaces the
list of specific permutations of R-values and cavity depths that are permitted to be used.
 The methodology for evaluating compliance with the reduced thermal bridging requirements for mass
walls that are not part of a passive solar design (e.g., CMU block or log home enclosure) has been
clarified.

HVAC System Quality Installation Contractor Checklist
 Until credentials are available specifically for heating, cooling, and ventilation system designers, either the builder (or a firm or HERS Rater hired by the builder) or the credentialed HVAC contractor (or a firm or HERS Rater hired by the credentialed contractor) are permitted to design such systems and to complete Sections 1 through 5 of the Checklist. As always, the designer must comply with applicable codes and laws that regulate HVAC designers and HVAC designs. In all cases, Sections 6 through 12 of the Checklist may only be completed by a credentialed HVAC contractor.
 If there are no forced-air heating or cooling systems in the home, then Section 1 is the only section of the Checklist that must be completed. This is true even in such homes that use a forced-air ventilation system, because ASHRAE 62.2-2010 does not prescribe room-level duct design requirements for the ventilation system.
HVAC System Quality Installation Rater Checklist
 The maximum total Rater-measured duct leakage limit has been increased to 8 CFM25 per 100 square feet of conditioned floor area for all homes.
 Because the Checklist already limits total duct leakage, the mandatory requirement to seal and inspect duct boots has been removed. This change simply allows partners to use their judgment to determine when to seal duct boots to floors, walls, and ceilings to meet the total duct leakage limit.
 The method for performing bedroom pressure balancing tests has been clarified to require that all bedroom doors be closed and all air handlers be operating.
 The sone limits for multispeed ventilation and exhaust fans have been clarified by requiring that they be met when producing no less than the minimum airflow rate required.
 A footnote has been added to Item 2.7 and 2.8, which relate to balancing, to indicate that these
requirements do not apply to ventilation ducts

Energy Star Updates can be found at http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=bldrs_lenders_raters.nh_v3_policy_changes_clarifications

Musings on LEED and Passive House

LEED for Homes has always required ENERGY STAR (a HERS rating of 85) as a prerequisite, and rewarded increasingly low HERS ratings with more points in the rating system. However, significant changes in the next iteration of the rating system (LEED 2012) will be even more performance-oriented, which should play well to Passive House customers. Especially those customers who want not only energy-efficient performance and good IAQ, but also those that want to go beyond and incorporate broader aspects of sustainability into their homes. This is where Passive House and LEED become intertwined. Read more

LEED for Homes 2012: Overview of Changes

The first public comment period is open for LEED for Homes changes that will go into effect in 2012.  The comment period closes at the end of this year - Jan 14, 2011.  You can download the full version at but as a LEED for Homes Provider, has distilled some of the highlights for you.  This information comes from the LEED for Homes Specialty Update given Nov. 19 at Greenbuild 2010.

Implementation Timetable: (all dates approximate)
First Public Comment:  NOW  through Jan 14., 2011 download and comment
Second Public Comment:  July 1  - Aug 15, 2011 (tentative schedule)
Revisions released for balloting: August 2012
Implementation: Nov 2012

Note: In addition to the public comment periods, ongoing feedback can be given online via the Stakeholder forum at LEEDuser.com

Let's go through the major changes section by Read more