GreenStar Homes Certification Program Update

July 2016 GreenStar Homes Certification Program Update 
Ext

Summary of changes 

  1. New construction home size adjuster removed
  2. Home size credited expanded
  3. No changes to square feet credit removed
  4. Numbering is fixed!
  5. Updates made to drought tolerant / adaptive or native plants
  6. WaterSense water budget tool for outdoor water performance added.
  7. GreenStar Qualification requirement education opportunity.

These changes may have impacted your existing project workbook, if your project was registered or you plan to register it soon, AND you were impacted negatively, please let us know so we can just adjust your points. You must register by the end of July.

Catch the 30 min webinar here 
Download the slide handouts 

New Construction Home Size Adjuster removed 

We have removed the new construction home size adjuster and instead created a New Construction credit. Now, just like when selecting the project (remodel, addition, etc. Project cert project level, you can simply select new construction and desired certification level. This remains in section 1 but has been moved to the over prerequisite category.

Home size credit moved and updated. New added square feet credit removed

The Home Size credit has been updated to rewarded smaller homes all the way down to “tiny home” size starting 750. We also removed all health and water credits associated with this since those have little to do with home size.  This credit now also applies to new homes since the home size adjuster was removed. Note this credit had its category along with with the credit that rewarded for not increasing square feet in a remodel.  It has now been moved right into the 2.2 Design section.   Also, we have updated the language to reflect how to measure a home which now under ANSI Standard Z765-2003.  Multifamily projects will use average unit size for this credit.

Numbering is fixed!

It has been a long time but yes, the numbering is finally all matched up. Also, several sections have now changed what their numbers use to be. If you create alternative documents, it always best to name the credits too, just so that you can reference it if the number changes. Section 1 is now overall prerequisites (use to be section 2) and section 2 is now preconstruction design strategies (formally Section 3) and so on.  Also, Air leakage reduction has been moved in section 2 and some sections in finishes and materials have been moved to lower numbers, properly ordering that section.

 WaterSense water budget tool & drought tolerant plants 

Drought tolerant / Native plantings have been moved out of Irrigation and moved to Plantings/trees section.  Also, this section was updated to award Land (place) points for these categories, and the section was expanded to rewarded for 30% of the landscape incorporating these plant types.   – 3.3.6 Plantings have been removed because of this Water sense water budget tool has been incorporated into the program.We have been altered to the fact that in some cases greenstar rewards more for irrigation system vs having a landscape plan that does not require irrigation. This is one of the efforts to fix that issue.  You can now collect more points for achieving 60% or more of a reduction below the baseline of your project type. This already rewards for Land (place) points at higher levels since those will require native/adaptive plantings.

 Greenstar Qualification opportunity update

We have updated the online on-demand education to become Greenstar qualified. The idea is that anyone looking to certify a project should have a very basic understanding of the residential green building. The course you need to take is called The Basics of Residential Green (Re) Building & introduction to GreenStar Homes certification. These two courses total 4 hours of education and two open note quizzes that you can take at your own speed. Use coupon code GSHqualified to get 75% of the course(s) costs. Both of these courses can count toward your GreenHome Associates, which can get you more credit in the system. Remember this is just of the four ways to get qualified.

PS: Radon only needs to be tested on homes without systems. Currently, you do not need to test homes with passive systems but it is highly recommended. Here is a very neat resource on Radon for your clients. 

Learn more about GreenStar Here

Grand Teton Eco-Smart Home goes LEED Platinum & Zero Energy Capable in IL

7 Free Tools from the Sustainable Building Advisor (SBA) Program

Sustainable building is changing. Green Home Institute is proud to announce along with Earth Advantage, BuildingGreen, HeatSpring, NESEA, and many of the industry’s top thinkers, that we are teaming up to relaunch the Sustainable Building Advisor (SBA) Program . The course launches in Fall 2015 with room for just 30 professionals. (click to learn more about becoming an SBA). GreenHome Institute will be serving as your feet on the street, in person project mentors to help you build greener and better and complete your SBA.

Here are 7 powerful free tools and lectures you can start on right now:

  1. Free Tool: Sustainable Building Advisor Student Guide
  2. Free Tool: Sustainable Building Advisor (SBA) Practice Test
  3. Free Lecture: “Integrative Design Process” with Bill Reed
  4. Free Lecture: “Life-Centered Design” with Carol Venolia
  5. Free Lecture: “Electrical Loads in High Performance Buildings” with Chris Calwell
  6. Free Lecture: “Low Carbon Building” with Bruce King
  7. Free Lecture: “High Performance Building Assemblies” with Peter Yost

Sustainable Building Advisor Program Starts October 19th!

You’ll meet great people, master new skills, and learn to see buildings in a new way. The course culminates with a capstone that offers real-world project experience.

Sustainable Building Advisors are architects, planners, builders, engineers, consultants, and building operators who value resilience, whole system thinking, and sustainable practices.

Becoming a Sustainable Building Advisor (SBA) is a three step process:

  1. Core Curriculum, including full membership at BuildingGreen.com and instruction from some of the world’s top sustainability experts.
  2. Project Experience, delivered within your local community by an approved field provider. – View a List of Current Providers
  3. Exam, which can be taken any time, at your own computer.

Continuing Education – CEUS – 10+ hours in 

  • GreenHome Professional (GHP)
  • Pending
    • GBCI
    • AIA (HSW)
    • NARI Green
    • NGBS
    • AIBD
    • State design or contractor liscences may apply

Registration includes full 1-year membership at BuildingGreen.com. You’ll use BuildingGreen’s tools, research, and data as part of your core SBA learning experience. Read more about each SBA program component.

Intro to LEED for Homes V4 – What is the difference? Webinar

LEED Building Design and Construction for Homes version 4 (V4) is in many ways different than the previous 2008 version. Come learn about the changes LEED4Hversion4-01that will take place and be ready for the October 31 2016 release before it comes. LEED for Homes v4 applies to new construction and major rehabs single family homes, neighborhoods, multifamily low, mid, high rise and mixed use buildings. Learn how you can use the program and now and be ahead of the game before the launch date.  We will discuss what’s new, what stayed the same and answer questions to help you understand V4 better.

Who?

Builders, Designers, Architect, Developers, Remodelers, Researches and Policy Makers who have past LEED for Homes experience and understanding.

Lessons Learned

  • Know  the basics of the new credits or credit changes in V4 vs 2008
  • Understand what credits remained the same
  • Know where to find more resources on LEED v4
  • Know who can help you in your market achieve V4 LEED

CEUS – 1 hour

  • AIA (HSW)
  • GBCI – LEED H Specific
  • NARI Green
  • CGP
  • AIBD
  • State design & contractor licence may apply

Presenter & Developer – Jay Hall, Ph.D, LEED APH “Jay has 30 years experience in market transformation, sustainable design of buildings, and energy efficiency. He is an expert in building energy modeling, and green building verification. Jay earned his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Duke University. In 1989, he began with ICF International as a consultant working on EPA’s Jay HallENERGY STAR market transformation programs. Since 2004, Jay has provided independent consulting services to the US Green Building Council in developing the LEED for Homes program. Jay was Acting Director for LEED for Homes for two years. He is also the lead programmatic and verification consultant for the Green Communities Offset Fund. Jay has served on the Home Depot Foundation Awards of Excellence Selection Committee; the Habitat for Humanity International Partnership for Sustainable Buildings Advisory Committee; and, The Healthy House Institute Advisory Board. Jay is also a LEED Faculty member.  Born and raised in Ontario, Canada, for the past 25 years, Jay and his wife, Kim, have resided with their two sons in Annapolis, Maryland. Jay Hall & Associates.

 Steps to access the program and get your completion certificate

1. Download the PPT Slide Handout Guide

2. Watch the recording here.

3. Complete the quiz below

4. Pay the non member ce submittal fee (Members get free submittal) – PAY HERE

Eco House 2009: New Home Gold

Eco House 2009

Minnesota State Fair – Built to MN GreenStar Standards

For the third year in a row SALA Architects was honored to design the ECO House for the Minnesota State Fair’s Eco Experience. The General Contractor the did the work was Showcase Renovations, Inc. The 2009 ECO House is an innovative design solution using sustainable principles for domestic needs. This house’s focus is Net Zero, which we’ve defined as “using only as much energy as it produces on site.” The house features a south facing working facade that incorporates photovoltaic and solar hot water panels into the architecture. Not only does this working facade aide in the production of energy, it is designed to also serve the many other needs of the house such as; summer shading, winter passive solar heating, water collection, and operable thermal blanketing. Our goal is to design a house that not only responds to the demands of today, but also to the future needs of our planet.

By SALA Architects

For more information on this project visit www.salaarc.com.

Wilcon Construction, Inc. – Project 3: New Home Bronze

New Home Bronze

Wilcon Construction

A trifecta of SIPS panels, solar panels and a geothermal system were the heavy-hitters used to achieve a HERS (Home Efficiency Rating System) score of 29 in this new home located in south-central Minnesota. This means that this house is projected to consume 71% less energy than a house built to just meet the 2006 IECC and 41% less energy than a typical MN code home. Actual results have exceeded expectations, and the homeowners are very pleased.

Site impact was an especially important consideration during the building process. The home is located near a lake, one of Minnesota’s most valuable natural resources. The orientation of the home takes full advantage of beautiful views and the benefits of natural daylight.

The Rivers’ home also won a building-excellence-award from SIPA (Structural Insulated Panel Association) based on the following features:

  • 6-inch SIP walls, 10-inch SIP roof
  • Geothermal heating system
  • In-floor radiant heating
  • ENERGY STAR lighting and appliances
  • Onsite solar generation
  • Recycling program implemented during construction
  • All low VOC paints, sealants and finishes

For more information on this project visit wilcon-construction.net.

The Landschute Group: New Home Gold

Landschute Group, LLC

This MN GreenStar (Gold), Minnesota Green Path (Master certification), LEED for Homes (Platinum certification) home designed and built by The Landschute Group embodies all that Don and Barbara Shelby have looked for in their dream home: Barbara’s love of warm, cozy, cottage architecture mixed with Don’s passion for sustainability and cutting-edge construction. For more than thirty years, Landschute has built homes that infuse new construction technology with a warm, rich architecture – but never to this level. In fact, at the time, no other home in the country had earned this triple certification. Landschute was able to effectively respond to key sustainability issues such as water management, insulation, energy reduction, material reuse, and indoor air quality.

With over 165 attributes contributing to make this a sustainable home, there are too many to list here. Some of the project highlights are listed below.

  • Many materials were reused such as wood from the building previously on the site, reclaimed Douglas Fir flooring, recycled roofing (90% recycled plastics and tires), and reclaimed doors and hardware.
  • A water management system includes a 3,000 rainwater collection cistern to irrigate plant beds (made of native, drought-tolerant species), a permeable paver driveway and walkway (providing an additional 3,500 gallons of water storage), and an interior graywater system.
  • Natural temperature control includes using triple-pane windows, spray foam insulation to achieve higher R-values, LED lighting options, ground-source heat pumps, and a 5.5 kW solar array.
  • To improve indoor air quality, materials contained no added urea-formaldehyde (UF) and VOCs were kept to a minimum by using No-VOC finishes. For example, the floor was finished with vegetable oil based floor finish that is a No-VOC product.
Landschute Group, LLC
Landschute Group, LLCLandschute Group, LLC

For more information, please visit http://www.landschute.com.

Benoz Homes: New Home Bronze

Benoz Homes

Working with architect Phil Rader and builder Benjamin Akhigbe, the owners had several clear objectives for their new house in an established South Minneapolis neighborhood.   The house needed to be accessible to people of varying physical abilities and be a house in which the present or any future owners could “age in place” if they so desired.  Examples of universal design features in the house are a landscaping plan that provides an attractive stepless route into the house and from the house to the garage, wide interior doorways and corridors, and a main floor bedroom with a generous bathroom that includes a curbless, doorless shower.   Closets are aligned to have the option of installing a personal elevator serving the basement, main floor and second floor if that need should ever arise.

It was important for the scale of the house to fit as much as possible in with the built-up neighborhood, and so it has a one-and-a-half story presentation like most of the other homes nearby.   Through various structural choices, such as using TJI joists rather than wide open trusses, the house’s overall height was kept to a minimum while still allowing nine-foot ceilings and ample room for two bedrooms and baths on the second floor.  With a wide mix of architectural styles in the immediate neighborhood, the owners felt the freedom to draw on their Asian and Scandinavian heritages to result in a design that might be described as craftsman-influenced with clean lines, wide overhangs, generous square-jointed trim, and an open floor plan.  Thanks to placing windows in sets of two or three in most rooms along with keeping the garage slightly detached, interior rooms receive abundant light and ventilation, with views of the streetscape and the nearby community garden.

In order to avoid maintenance of gutters, roof runoff is channeled via the four roof valleys into ground level catchment beds where heavy flows are directed through below-grade piping away from the house and to a rain garden.  Plantings are primarily native plants, shrubs, and trees.  A minimal amount of turf remains from erosion control during construction, and it is being replaced with slow-grown fescue mix and with non-turf groundcover.   A front porch was important to the owners, and to enable a sloping roof that does not interfere with second story windows, a curved design is used, with traditional beadboard porch ceilings.  The roof design is repeated on a smaller scale above the back and garage doors.

With a generous amount of maple trim on the interior, a challenge was use of low VOC finishes which were more difficult to work with than traditional finishes.  Kitchen countertops include granite from a quarry near Isabella, Minnesota, and a commercial butcher block which one of the owners personally salvaged from a restaurant demolished to make way for the K-Mart centered “urban renewal” at Lake Street and Nicollet Avenue in South Minneapolis.  Toilets are dual flush, the water heater is sealed combustion, and other features such as a mechanical air exchanger and generous insulation help to keep energy costs at a minimum.

While a lot of design attention went into the “green” and “universal design” features of the house, most visitors are oblivious to those features, simply enjoying the house for its comfort and attractive design.
For more information on this project call 612-508-7927.

Wilcon Construction, Inc. – Project 2: New Home Bronze

Mankato, Minnesota

This multi-level home qualified as the first Minnesota Green Star home in the Mankato area. Residents of the home enjoy a lovely view of a large retention pond in the Sakatah Fields subdivision in Mankato. The home has the following eco-friendly features:

1) Energy Star windows, doors, furnace, appliances and air-conditioning.

2) Low-flow faucets, toilets and showers.

3) Eco-friendly grass is drought resistant and requires 50% less mowing.

4) Over half of the floors are hard surface contributing to improved indoor air quality.

5) South facing windows provide ample natural daylight and reduced winter heating costs.

This home demonstrates energy efficient, eco-friendly homes can still have excellent curb appeal and spacious family living space.

By Wilcon Construction