A two-part program from EarthCraft Virginia will certify residential buildings that produce at least as much energy as they use in a year.
Now in its pilot stage, the two-part certification includes “Net-Zero Ready” once a project has successfully met the program design criteria, construction, and diagnostic testing goals, and “Net-Zero Certified” once homeowners have demonstrated that they have lived an energy-neutral or -positive lifestyle for one year.
The new program not only fills a void for builders looking for a holistic process for site net-zero building construction but also allows consumers the ability to identify a third-party standard for this type of residence, according to EarthCraft Virginia. Through the pilot program, EarthCraft Virginia hopes to demonstrate that net-zero energy homes are not only achievable but also affordable.
The organization will offer customized support to project teams during the design and construction process, focusing on the optimization of high performance buildings. The program is targeted to builders, designers, and homeowners throughout the Southeast and can be combined with the EarthCraft House program.
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Jennifer Goodman is Senior Editor at BUILDER and has 17 years of experience writing about the construction industry. She lives in the walkable urban neighborhood of Silver Spring, Md. Connect with her on Twitter at @Jenn4Builder.