EarthCraft is a green building certification program specifically designed for the southeast
The Proud Green Home at Serenbe features many of the latest and most innovative sustainable design practices and building science applications. This home has achieved the EarthCraft Platinum designation and ENERGY STAR version 3.0.
EarthCraft House certifications are determined through a points-based worksheet, which allows builders to select the sustainability measures that are best suited for their project. Worksheet items address proper site planning, energy-efficient appliances and lighting, resource-efficient building materials, indoor air quality, water conservation and homebuyer education, and all homes are verified during site visits and inspections. EarthCraft-certified homes must also pass diagnostic tests for air infiltration and duct leakage standards, and homes certified at the gold or platinum levels must meet ENERGY STAR requirements. EarthCraft technical advisors provide technical assistance to the builder during the initial design review and throughout project design and construction.
In addition to achieving EarthCraft Platinum certification, this house met Department of Energy Challenge Home program criteria and is tracking net-zero energy use. Net-zero energy use means at the end of a 12-month period, the home will have produced the same quantity of energy - if not more - than it has consumed.
The design specified by builder Imery Group and architectural firm LG Squared is expected to perform 59 percent better in energy costs than a similar-sized home built to Georgia’s minimum energy code requirements, before including the performance of the renewable systems. Builder Luis Imery has participated in the EarthCraft program since 2010 and has certified six EarthCraft Houses. While this is not his first EarthCraft Platinum certified project, it is his first net-zero home. “It’s all about the materials. In order to drop another 50 HERS indices to achieve net-zero, I knew this project’s material choices would be paramount to its success,” he said.
Features of this home include a 10kw solar array on the roof, a solar water heater, advanced ERV for fresh air distribution and mini-split duct systems to heat and cool the interior. There is also a passive solar design with solar shades on the exterior south side. A concrete slab as the interior floor acts as a heat sink helping to moderate indoor temperatures. Huber ZIP System® was installed as the integrative roof decking and exterior wall sheathing product to provide effective exterior moisture drainage and help achieve an extremely tight envelope leakage ratio by providing an airtight wall assembly.
Low VOC materials were used and low flow WaterSense fixtures were installed, as well as a central water distribution manifold to increase transport efficiency.
EarthCraft is a green building certification program specifically designed for the southeastern United States. EarthCraft serves as a blueprint for energy, water and resource-efficient single-family homes, renovation projects, multifamily structures, light-commercial buildings and community developments. Established in 1999 by the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association and Southface, EarthCraft guidelines add value for builders and save money for building owners. Learn more at www.earthcraft.org.