Green Building Practices

Our Homes are EarthCraft Certified. What Does That Mean?

Green Building practices that follow EarthCraft Standards save up to 75% on utilities for our residents. By addressing the factors that impact homes in this region, including high heat, humidity and temperature swings, EarthCraft serves as a blueprint for energy, water, and resource-efficient single-family homes, multifamily structures, renovation projects, community developments and light-commercial buildings. Homes certified through the EarthCraft program must meet a number of criteria that ensure sustainable, efficient design and function. 

Areas of focus include:

  • Indoor air quality
  • Energy efficiency
  • Water efficiency
  • Resource-efficient design
  • Resource-efficient building materials
  • Waste management
  • Site planning

What Do Green Building Practices Include?

Insulated windows and Low-E Glass: Windows can account for up to 30% of the annual energy consumed in a home. Energy efficient Low-E windows greatly save on monthly utility costs. Low-E is a clear, low-emissivity coating applied to one side of the glass. It filters the sun’s energy in the summer and reduces heat loss in the winter.

High efficiency HVAC and ERV: The centralized heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system used to regulate temperature, humidity, and air quality creates more energy output per energy input. Because the house is tightly insulated with polyicynene and cellulose insulation, an Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) system is installed. The ERV system transfers heat from the warm inside air to cold supply air in winder, and in summer the inside air cools the warm supply air to reduce ventilation costs.

Energy Star Appliances: Energy Star Appliances use less energy, save money, and help conserve the environment.

Fluorescent Fixtures (CFLs): Compact fluorescent lighting is significantly more efficient than incandescent and requires only 25-35% of the energy to produce an equivalent amount of light. As LED technology advances, costs will allow switching to LED for lighting.

Metal Roofing: Fire-resistant metal roofing is sustainable. It contains significant recycled content that lasts longer than most nonmetal roofing products and is 100% recyclable at the end of its useful life. It also provides greater energy savings than most other roofing materials and has a low cost due to its durability and long life cycle lasting 2-3 times longer than the average non-metal roof.

Fiber Cement Siding:  Nichiha siding is made of over 50% post-consumer recycled content including fly ash diverted from landfills and is extremely durable. It resists damage from extended exposure to humidity, rain, and termites. It is also low maintenance and flame resistant.

Zero-VOC paints/hard floor surfaces: VOCs (volatile organic compounds), are carbon-based gases given off by polymers, solvents, or plasticizers at room temperature. Some VOCs are known carcinogens and may also cause eye and upper respiratory irritation, nasal congestion, headache and dizziness. The use of zero-VOC paints, low-VOC finishes and hard floor surfaces avoid unnecessary health risks to occupants.

Solar Ready: When feasible, our houses are built solar ready in anticipation of donated solar panels or water heaters or the possibility of leasing solar panels in the future. Passive solar design is also utilized and we are currently installing our first donated solar water heater.

Materials: Building materials are sourced, salvages and recycled/reused from local non-profits and suppliers within a 500 mile radius.