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Green Building

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  1. Green Building “The future of home building is green building” • Charlie Ruma, Immediate-past President of NAHB

  2. Definition • green building is the resource-efficient— 1. design 2. construction, and 3. operation • of buildings by employing environmentally sensible: 1. construction practices 2. systems, and 3. materials Source: National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)

  3. Facts • recent phenomenon (1991) • about a 2 dozen green building programs in existence: • municipal • voluntary (Austin, TX) • mandatory (Boulder, CO; Frisco, TX) • HBA • voluntary (Denver, CO; Atlanta, GA) • more to come…

  4. Components • main areas addressed by green building programs: • energy and resource efficiency • water conservation • health and environmental quality • materials and waste management • site design and protection

  5. Energy Standards • reduces energy consumption: • passive solar design • light-colored roofing • energy-efficient appliances • low emissivity windows • improved insulation • efficient lighting • energy-efficient AC and heating systems

  6. Resource Standards • draws on renewable resources where possible: • ground-source heat pumps • passive solar design • solar thermal water heaters • photovoltaic panels

  7. Water Standards • conserves water: • low-flow fixtures • low-flow toilets • greywater systems • rainwater harvesting • xeriscaping • “smart” irrigation systems

  8. Materials Standards • promotes best use of materials: • floor joists, wall studs at 24” centers • engineered lumber products where possible • laminated wood in lieu of solid beams • regionally-produced products • recycled content carpet and padding • recycled content roof material

  9. Waste Management Standards • encourages waste management: • recycle construction waste • outdoor composting • built-in kitchen recycling center

  10. Building Site Standards • protects the building site: • erosion control site plan • save and reuse topsoil • existing tree protection • replant or donate removed vegetation • maximize pervious surface

  11. Health/Environmental Standards • focuses on health and environmental quality: • low VOC interior paints • solvent-free, low-toxic finishes • radon mitigation • carbon monoxide detector • exhaust fan in garage • moisture control measures • central vacuum system vented to exterior

  12. Benefits of Green Building • lower operating cost • homes require less energy and use less water • lower maintenance • more durable building components/better building practices reduce upkeep and replacement costs • increased home value • lower documented utility bills • market for “green” homes • improved environmental quality • indoor (moisture control) • outdoor (resource-efficiency) Source: NAHB

  13. Existing Programs • Austin, TX • Boulder, CO • Denver, CO • Atlanta, GA • Frisco, TX

  14. Austin Green Builder Program • first green building program in the nation (1991) • voluntary, municipally-run program • city-owned utility company is a major partner in the program • certifies homes on a scale of one to four stars. • 5 content areas focusing on environmental issues • assists building professionals: • training • marketing • technical advice

  15. Austin Green Builder Program (cont.) • market-based and market-driven program (very little regulation) • energy code amendment to building code • 18 required items out of 170 • focus on education of consumers: • consumers drive the market • $150,000 marketing budget • certified approximately 600 homes in 2000

  16. Boulder’s Green Points Building Program • municipally-run program • mandatory (regulatory with some flexibility) • new construction/remodeling over 500 square feet • Green Points Application • 1 level with 8 content areas • few point requirements from the content areas • additional point for every 200 sf. over 2,500 • mix of city-inspection and self-certification standards • standards in packet (Appendix C)

  17. Denver’s Built Green Colorado Program • voluntary, HBA–run program • extensive marketing and education partnerships with state government • provides marketing and technical assistance to builders, as well as discounts on educational seminars • great flexibility • 21 content areas focusing on energy and materials • only 1 required item out of 136 • certified over 1,200 homes in 2000

  18. Atlanta’s EarthCraft House Program • voluntary, HBA-run program • provides builders with training, technical assistance, marketing materials, and direct referrals • NAHB “Guide to Developing Green Builder Programs” • 1 level with 12 content areas • certification by HBA • standards in packet (Appendix D)

  19. Frisco’s Green Builder Program • mandatory, municipally-run program (adopted May, 2001) • first city in the country to adopt the EPA’s Energy Star program requirements as minimum building standards for new homes • HERS score of 86 (30% more efficient than the 1993 Model Energy Code) • mix of third-party certification, government certification, and self-certification • requires builders to donate unwanted building materials to a non-profit building organization

  20. Summary of Programs • overall… • program administration • voluntary or mandatory • program partners • levels of certification • method of certification • number and design of content areas • total number of standards • number of required standards

  21. Why Aren’t There MoreGreen Buildings? • decentralized building industry • information barriers • split incentives • transaction costs • financial barriers • energy costs Source: Renewable Energy Policy Project (REPP)

  22. 1. Decentralized Building Industry • 5.5 million people in construction industry • from concept to occupancy, constructing a building requires: • developers, architects, landscape architects, site planners, engineers, contractors, craftworkers, interior decorators, realtors, lenders • vast number of companies and individuals require education and training in the concepts and techniques of green building before it will become the norm Source: REPP

  23. 2. Information Barriers • builders and consumers often lack reliable information about renewable or energy-efficient technologies • consumers lack information about energy consumption of appliances • builders lack information on latest techniques and materials used in resource and energy-efficient building • government officials lack information about the benefits of green building and how those principles can be applied in their communities Source: REPP

  24. 3. Split Incentives • developers, builders, landlords, and others who choose the structural components and equipment in a building often are not the ones paying the operating costs • minimize initial cost outlay to minimize the overall cost of the building Source: REPP

  25. 4. Transaction Costs • numerous transaction costs combine to emphasize speed in the building process • builders “go with what they know”: • often less expensive, less efficient products • don’t have time to try out new products • don’t have time to learn new techniques Source: REPP

  26. 5. Financial Barriers • many builders and homeowners only look at initial cost • technologies that increase the energy efficiency of buildings and substitute renewable energy for fossil fuels usually raise the initial cost of a building. • homeowners lack the capital • consumers don’t take advantage of the financial incentives that exist to help them • energy efficient mortgages (EEMs) Source: REPP

  27. 6. Energy Costs • often small cost of the total budget of building a new home • lack of interest on part of consumers leads to lack of action on part of builders Source: REPP

  28. Possible Solutions • overarching problems: • education • building industry • homeowners • government officials • financial • incentives

  29. Possible Solutions (cont.) • building industry: • continuing education and training for the building industry: • public (HUD, DOE, EPA) • private (NAHB and local HBA) • university-level • expand local programs: • EPA Energy Star • Green Advantage (Florida Energy Extension Service) • UF Center for Construction and Environment • Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC)

  30. Possible Solutions (cont.) • homeowners: • education on the benefits of buying green • local government • GRU • Local HBA • environmental groups • Green Advantage (FEES) • EPA Energy Star program

  31. Possible Solutions (cont.) • local government: • strengthen building codes • government sets building codes and regulations to: • protect against shoddy craftsmanship • promote public health and safety • ensure compatible land uses • protect community values • why not set codes and regulation to require more “greener” construction practices • Austin, TX • Boulder, CO • Frisco, TX • require municipal building to be green • marketing and technical advice for builders

  32. Possible Solutions (cont.) • local government: • builder incentives: • fast-track permitting • reduced builder fees • homeowner incentives: • GRU • property tax exemption • energy efficient mortgages (EEMs)

  33. Efforts to Develop Green Building Codes and Standards • U.S. Green Building Council • LEED (commercial buildings) • LEEDR (residential) • DOE Home Energy Rating Systems (HERS) guidelines • EPA Energy Star • qualifies homes for EEMs • Florida Green Building Coalition • third draft of standards

  34. Home Energy Rating Systems (HERS) • developed by DOE in1992 • 1993: 17 states had HERS • today: 49 states have HERS • rates the energy-efficiency of new and existing homes • rates homes between 0-100 • qualifies homes for energy efficient mortgages (EEMs) • 80 = EEM • 86 = Energy Star

  35. Home Energy Rating Systems (HERS) (cont.) • home energy rater inspects the home and and measures its energy characteristics: • insulation levels • window efficiency • wall-to-window ratios • heating and cooling system efficiency • solar orientation of the home • efficiency of the water heating system • diagnostic testing: • blower door test (air leakage) • duct leakage test

  36. Energy Efficient Mortgages • mortgage for which either: • underwriting guidelines have been relaxed specifically for energy-efficient features, or • financial incentives for energy-efficiency • new and existing homes • HERS score of 80 or above (1993 MEC) • more than $2.5 billion in federally-supported EEMs have been issued to date • Fannie Mae • Freddie Mac • HUD-FHA • VA

  37. Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) • non-profit corporation • mission: “to provide a statewide Green Building program with environmental and economic benefits.” • 5 universities (UF) • green building leaders from around the state • strong presence in Alachua County • latest draft of standards (Appendix B) • will begin certifying homes this summer

  38. Current Status of GB • Smith-Feinstein Bill • proposed January 2001 • tax credits of $750-2000 for homes that are 30-50% more efficient than the minimum requirements of the 2000 International Energy Conservation Code • up to $1,000 for installing solar water heaters • up to $6,000 for installing photovoltaic systems

  39. Current Status of GB (cont.) • U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) • Leadership in Energy and Environmental design (LEED) – commercial buildings • LEEDR - national standards for residential green building • Frisco, TX • newest “beast” of green building programs • adopts EPA’s Energy Star as a requirement for new residential construction • EPA Green Advantage programs • Florida Energy Extension Service • “Build Green and Profit,” etc.

  40. Current Status of GB (cont.) • EPA Energy Star program • 300 homes certified in Alachua Co. in 2000 • #1 per capita • NAHB guide to green builder programs • 115 page manual for developing a green builder program • designed primarily for use by local HBA chapters • local HBA green building programs • municipal green building programs

  41. Coffee Break!

  42. Green Building Programs How to Design a Local Program

  43. NAHB/EPA Guide • “A Guide to Developing Green Builder Programs” • released in April, 1999 • collaborated effort between the National Association of Home Builders and the Environmental Protection Agency • 11-step program

  44. Step One • determine member and home buyer interest in/basic knowledge of green building • focus groups • builder surveys • home buyer surveys

  45. Step Two • establish a development committee • builders • remodelers • HBA leadership • local government • lenders • realtors • environmental building professionals

  46. Step Three • set objectives of the program • prioritize developmental steps • establish goals • include the community • public sector • private sector • conduct a workshop • obtain feedback

  47. Step Four • determine program partners • government agencies • public utilities • building product manufacturers • non-profit organizations/foundations

  48. Step Five • determine program coverage • type of construction (e.g., residential, commercial, governmental, industrial) • area (e.g., incorporated city, entire county, only certain neighborhoods, only urban core) • builders (e.g., homes, remodeling, light commercial, developers)

  49. Step Six • discuss first year budget and structure of program fees • year 1: cost to develop and implement program • year 2+: cost for staff and advertising; fees for membership

  50. Step Seven • consider the role of existing programs • energy • EPA Energy Star • Edison Electric Institute E Seal • Home Energy Rating System (HERS) • indoor air quality • American Lung Assoc.’s Health House) • waste management • NAHB/KAB Build America Beautiful • energy & resource-efficiency • Good Cents EarthChoice or Environmental Home