Builders’ Circle Blog: How Green is Greene?
Jim Baker 08/02/2012
Greene County has been "green" for years. My Grandmother decades ago told me things like, “take care of the land and it will take care of you. Waste not, want not.” And of course, “Turn off the light when you ain't using it.” Yes, she said "ain't" and she also had no “i-de” she was "green."
In fact, most folks around here in those days made what we now call “green" seem silly. Without conservation they could not have survived. Things started changing in the late fifties, and by 1973 with the gas crisis we all experienced the wakeup call. While some of the country soon forgot, there was a hard core group that did everything possible to keep to their green roots, years before they knew they had them. This was especially true in the home construction industry locally.
I have heard many a local contractor tell me year after year the many things they did to build “good houses”. And some of them have done a great job. I know, because I have taken my testing equipment, blower door and all, into these older homes and found out how green the really are.
They “did good” but in the last ten years house science has moved the bar to a much higher level. The "good" houses of yesterday don't, as Grandma would say, "hold a candle" to the new ones. And we can prove it.
At the end of 2011, The HBA jumped in and helped Habitat built their first Green Certified home in a four house project. This led the way for all Habitat’s future homes to green. Not, any kind of green, but certified NGBS Green. Habitat has taken the experience and has built six more since the first of this year for a total of ten.
In 2012, the HBA featured an NAHB Green Certified Parade Home by John Marion. Adrian Rhodes just finished his first, and Scott Kisling is nearing completion on his second Green Certified home.
How are they certified? Depending on the level it takes 222 up to 697 points from the National Green Building Standard ICC 700 rating statement. Each point is verified, tested, and documented. The process starts with the selection of the site, followed by protecting all natural resources. Water management, both inside and out, and all energy using items are also selected for efficiency, saving the owner money for the life of the house. Building materials are carefully managed and selected, often providing saving in the construction cost. And often neglected Air quality issues are carefully solved and integrated into all phases. The process ends with an owner education component to help guarantee a successful green product.
How green is Greene County becoming? Let's put it this way. These twelve newly completed homes, and ones to come are the most durable and environmentally friendly houses, proven to be green, that we have ever seen. The Parade Home on Camber has a HERS Rating of 45, and is also ENERGY STAR Certified.
Congratulations Springfield. Your Greene County is getting greener and greener.
Jim D. Baker, B & G Drafting
HERS Rater, and NAHB Verifier, LEED AP for Homes, LEED Green Rater