Innovation Home Gallery receives multiple high-level green, energy efficiency certifications

Christopher Schwarzkpf, Energy Diagnostics Inc.

What does it mean to be “Green”?

It’s extremely rare to find a product or a builder now a days that isn’t claiming what they have to offer isn’t “green.” The Innovation Home Gallery isn’t just saying it is “green”! The Innovation Home Gallery will be certified to The Nation Green Building Standard. What this means is Granite Ridge Builders isn’t just tell you how “green” they are. Granite Ridge Builders will be actually certifying the Innovation Home Gallery GREEN!

The innovation home gallery will be Held to the Highest Green Standard

The National Green Building Standard certification goes well beyond saying a home is energy efficient; it provides independent, third-party verification that a home, apartment building, or land development is designed and built to achieve high performance in six key areas: Site Design, Resource Efficiency, Water Efficiency, Energy Efficiency, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Building Operation & Maintenance.

What Color Green is the Innovation Home Gallery?

The Green Building Standard has many levels of certification. Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Emerald. Emerald, the highest level of certification is the level sought after by the Innovation Home Gallery.

Testing Homes to the Highest Green Standards

The Innovation Home Gallery will be certified to the rigorous requirements of the ICC 700 National Green Building Standard™ (NGBS) – the only residential green building rating system approved by ANSI as an American National Standard. The NGBS provides practices for the design and construction of all types of green residential buildings, renovations, and land developments. 

Earn the Energy Star

Verification of a home’s energy efficiency by a third-party organization is mandatory for earning the ENERGY STAR label. There are two paths to certify a home to earn the ENERGY STAR. The Prescriptive Path is based on a predefined package of improvements, while the Performance Path is based on a customized package of upgrades. The National Program Requirements define the core energy efficiency specifications for both the Prescriptive and Performance Paths. Both the Performance and Prescriptive Paths require completion of four inspection checklists:

• Thermal Enclosure System Rater Checklist
HVAC System Quality Installation Rater Checklist
HVAC System Quality Installation Contractor Checklist
Water Management System Builder Checklist

These checklists include building science practices that promote improved comfort, indoor air quality, and durability in certified homes. The Inspection Checklists document contains the four checklists that every home certified under Version 3 must complete. The Innovation Home Gallery easily made the efficiency requirement because this home has a HERS index score of -4!

Net Zero

The US Department of Energy defines a net-zero energy home as one that uses about 60 to 70 percent less energy than a conventional home, with the balance of its energy needs supplied by a renewable energy source such as solar or wind power.

Simply, it is a home that can sustain itself. That doesn’t mean that it is “off the grid.” Actually, it may use some energy from the local utility at certain times. But a net-zero energy home generates the bulk of its own energy and makes enough extra energy to sell it back to the utility through “net metering,” offsetting the amount purchased, the meter will actually spin backwards!

What Makes This Home Different?

The Innovation Home Gallery at first glance looks like any other nicely built home in the US — look closer! Standard wood frame construction wrapped with several layers of insulated sheathing make up the building shell. More insulation added between the studs and in the attic that more than doubles the R-values found in typical homes built today. The air infiltration target was less than a third allowed by building code. To ensure healthy indoor air quality this home will rely on a fresh air ventilator. The Geo Thermal HVAC will use energy from the constant 55 degree ground to heat and cool the super insulated structure. In the Home Energy Rating Industry there is a saying, “this house is so well built that you could heat this room with a candle” In a pinch, you just might be able to do that in the Innovation Home Gallery.