NGBS Green Certified Home Focuses on Healthy Living and Performance

NGBS Green Certified Home Focuses on Healthy Living and Performance

Photos courtesy of High Performance Homes.

Recently High Performance Homes, LLC (HPH) certified its third home in the Links at Gettysburg community under the 2012 National Green Building Standard, this one at the highest Emerald level.

Two other homes by HPH in this flagship Pennsylvania golf-course community have already been NGBS Green Certified at the Gold level.

“With slightly less than 3 percent of all single-family homes in the NGBS Green program attaining Emerald-level certification, this HPH home is among the highest performing in the country in every category of green building,” according to Michelle Foster, vice president, Innovation Services for Home Innovation Research Labs.

Through its NGBS Green Certification Program, Home Innovation certifies homes to the rigorous requirements of the ICC 700 National Green Building Standard (NGBS) – the only residential green rating system approved by ANSI as an American National Standard. The certification goes well beyond saying a home is energy efficient; it provides independent, third-party verification that a home 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. A home certified to the Emerald level of the NGBS has to attain higher point thresholds in all six of these categories, not just one or two as some other national programs allow.

NGBS Green certification focuses on three primary attributes that benefit today’s discerning consumers:

Healthy Homes

  • Providing fresh air ventilation that improves indoor air quality
  • Limiting pollutants and contaminants in the home
  • Preventing moisture problems that can contribute to mold and attract pests

Lower Operating Costs

  • Reducing utility costs through cost-effective energy and water efficiency practices
  • Controlling maintenance costs through durable construction and product selection
  • Providing technical and educational resources to ensure the home’s optimum performance.

Sustainable Lifestyle

  • Promoting walkability
  • Reducing home maintenance through enhanced durability
  • Preserving natural resources through responsible land development practices

Building homes to this standard is a choice that the leadership of HPH has made for several reasons, not all of which the consumer may notice.

HPH Head of Construction Operations Kiere DeGrandchamp said, “I’m driven to build this way because I believe it’s the right thing to do for the world - and it’s what’sbest for the consumer. So, we’ve partnered with building programs that support that ideal.

High Performance Homes is a Home Innovation NGBS Green Partner, pledging a 100% commitment to design and construct each of its homes to the rigorous requirements of the NGBS. Additionally, the home builder is a U.S. Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Home Partner committed to meet all requirements set forth in the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home National Program, and has won a DOE 2016 and 2015 “Housing Innovation Award”. The award qualifies the company is in the top 1 percent of the homes in the country for quality and energy efficiency. HPH is also an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Indoor airPLUS and ENERGY STAR Partner.

“Our homebuyers are confident they can trust our quality because every aspect of our homes are third party verified to meet or exceed these programs’ quality standards,” DeGrandchamp said.

For the folks at HPH, the inspiration for high performance homes technology was born out of a desire to drive housing innovation – to reimagine what a home can be and revolutionize quality standards.  Until high performance home technologies were developed, home building had not really changed much from the stagnant model of the past 100 years or so.

DeGrandchamp said, "In a nutshell, our approach is to combine heirloom-quality craftsmanship with the best in home building technologies,It’s a whole house approach.  Not only to make the homes more energy-efficient, but also to include an array of technologies for overall better living.”

Built to exceed current codes and prepare for life under evolving codes in the future, the company's high performance homes features include:

Nationally Leading High Performance Building Technologies

  • Solar Shingles/Panels
  • Geothermal Heating & Cooling System
  • Energy Recovery Ventilation System
  • LED & CFL Lighting
  • Energy Star Appliances
  • High Efficiency Windows and Doors with Low E and Argon U-Value .28 SHGC
  • Super Insulated Exterior Walls- Structurally Insulated Panels 6 9/16” thick R-23
  • Rafter Insulation- 1-inch closed cell on top of ceiling drywall then blown-in insulation / R-53
  • Foundation - 2-inch XPS insulation (R-10) under 4-inch concrete slab
  • NA-21 Elimination Air Cleaning System
  • Air Quality Monitoring System
  • Low Volatile Organic Compound Materials
  • Controllable Damper System
  • Programmable Thermostats
  • Energy Complete Air Seal Package with Blower Door Test </=1.0 exchange per hour
  • Duct System Blast Test of </=6% leakage
  • Age In Place Home with Wider Doorways and Curbless Shower Entry in Master Bath
  • Smart Home Technology- home automation and energy monitoring technology is also included, enabling complete heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) control, as well as remote control of lighting, thermostats, and security from any smart device.

DeGrandchamp said that their homeowners’ experience shows that the homes perform as designed, with electric bills that show less than a dollar a month and even credits toward future overages.

"Another benefit that is very important for our homebuyers (especially those with allergies or other respiratory issues) is the vastly improved indoor air quality," he said. HPH homes include state-of-the-art air cleaning and air quality monitoring systems eliminate 99.7% of harmful airborne contaminants. The homes are also built with Low Volatile Organic Compound Materials.  According the American Lung Association, 87 percent of American homeowners are not aware that pollution may be worse inside their homes than outdoors.

“At the end of the day, homeowners don’t want to buy an obsolete home of the last century. Consumers want the best quality for the money with the latest technologies that help them save money, keep their family healthier, safer and more comfortable, and they want a home that’s value will increase over time. Partnering with industry-leading programs ensures HPH is meeting consumer demand for better built homes,” said DeGrandchamp.

Read more about green home certifications.

Topics: Building Green, Certification / LEED, Energy Audits, Energy Star, Heating & Cooling, Home Design & Plans, Insulation, Solar Power

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