Green Building Programs
AES’ Role is to provide education and support for any of these programs to builders and project teams. With the vast experience we’ve accumulated, we prefer to work with programs that have performance-based verification, as these programs emphasize tangible results.
Many projects we work with achieve multiple certifications. For instance many green homes work to meet Passive House, yet go beyond energy to focus on other green building attributes and verify these through the LEED for Homes program. Additionally, since every LEED home is an Energy Star home too, these programs also work well together.
Whether you choose LEED certification or another third-party verification program, AES has the expertise to help you determine which programs best meet your goals, and we will help you implement them.
Home Energy Rating Score – HERS
This program is equivalent to a Miles Per Gallon rating to your house and can determine your likely energy costs per year. The program consists of a RESNET certified HERS rater who will come out to do energy testing using a blower door to determine air leakage in the home, look at insulation quality, amount and instillation and the homes appliances, heating & cooling equipment and windows/doors. After taking the into consideration a number from 0 – 200 is given. A standard of 100 is for a 2006 energy code home. Energy Star Homes score at 70 and zero energy homes can be found at 30 or lower. Old leaky and uninsulated homes can usually be found at 130 or more. More details @ http://www.resnet.us/hers-index
ENERGY STAR for Homes
The first national program for measuring and verifying the energy performance of a home has been revised several times. The latest release of the program, Version 3, went into effect on January 1, 2012, and is significantly different from previous versions. The new scope of work includes addressing potential moisture problems and inspecting HVAC system installations in addition to performing energy testing on the home (blower door, thermal infrared camera, air duct leakage test, and more). www.energystar.gov
GreenStar is a leading residential building standard and certification program created for Green Remodels of Existing Homes. The program promotes healthy, durable, high-performance design and construction across 5 key catagories; Energy Efficiency, Water Conservation, Indoor Environmental Quality, Site and Community Impact and Resource Efficiency. Fundamental to the program is an objective, third-party verification system that assures consumers that the new home or remodeling project performs as designed. Details: http://www.usgreenstar.org/
LEED for Homes standard
LEED for Homes is a rating system that promotes the design and construction of high-performance green homes. It starts with ENERGY STAR for Homes program and expands that to be more comprehensively sustainable. A green home uses less energy, water and natural resources, creates less waste, and is healthier and more comfortable for occupants. Every LEED home must first meet ENERGY STAR standards (see above). Benefits of a LEED home include lower energy and water bills; reduced greenhouse gas emissions; and less exposure to mold, mildew and other indoor toxins. The net cost of owning a LEED home is comparable to that of owning a conventional home. LEED is a broad, performance-based standard that incorporates energy efficiency, indoor air quality, water efficiency, materials, and location efficiency. The program will be updating to Version 4 after November 2013. Learn more. Does your project qualify? Register a project
Are Homes Sustainable if they are not Accessible? Twenty percent of Americans have accessibility needs and that number is growing. ZeroStep ™ helps to influence the design, development, construction, and use of new and existing homes through training, education, design review and third party verification/certification of proper Universal Design construction and remodeling. ZeroStep 2.0 Development is underway and will include not only Universal Design but opportunities and guidance on Aging In Place, ADA, Assistive Technology, Visibility and other necessary accessibility issues. Be on the look out for program upgrade by Spring 2014. Learn More!
National Green Building Standard
Developed by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the NGBS is an ANSI-approved green building rating system. Since it provides a flexible, expansive point-based system for certification, it also offers builders a process to build affordable green homes that meets their goals, appropriate for the climate, and meets the needs of the market and homebuyers. http://www.nahb.org/generic.aspx?genericContentID=194088
Green Built Michigan
For those interested in residential green building, Green Built Michigan is a valuable resource providing residential certification through a third-party verification system and the use of the NAHB Model Green Home Guidelines. Homes built to these guidelines will have higher standards of site management and waste recycling, water efficiency, indoor air quality, energy efficiency, materials, and homeowner education. Learn more about each of these components of a Green Built home. More details at greenbuiltmichigan.org
A systems-based design strategy carefully models and balances a comprehensive set of factors including heat emissions from appliances and occupants–to keep the building at comfortable and consistent indoor temperatures throughout the heating and cooling seasons. Continuous mechanical ventilation of fresh filtered air, assures superb air quality. Visit Passive House Alliance US where you will find a library of additional PH information in the library of: Videos; Articles; Books; Blogs; Tools, etc. as well as a directory of professionals around the US and Canada who can provide PH services to the consumer in need..
AES is heading up the Michigan Passive House Alliance Group – Click here to learn more and get involved
Living Building Challenge
The Living Building ChallengeTM is the built environment’s most rigorous performance standard. It calls for the creation of building projects at all scales that operate as cleanly, beautifully and efficiently as nature’s architecture. To be certified under the Challenge, projects must meet a series of ambitious performance requirements, including net zero energy, waste and water, over a minimum of 12 months of continuous occupancy. http://living-future.org/lbc