The EarthCraft House program certifies homes that are sourced, constructed and designed to reduce environmental impacts. EarthCraft homes also save homeowners a projected 30 percent on their energy bills, relative to comparable buildings that use standard construction methods.
EarthCraft House certifications are determined through a points-based worksheet, which allows builders to select the sustainability measures that are best suited for their project. Worksheet items address proper site planning, energy-efficient appliances and lighting, resource-efficient building materials, indoor air quality, water conservation and homebuyer education, and all are verified during site visits and inspections.
Certified homes must also pass diagnostic tests for air infiltration and duct leakage standards, and homes certified at the gold or platinum levels must meet ENERGY STAR requirements.
In 1999, Pam Sessions, CEO of Hedgewood Properties, chaired the committee that led to EarthCraft, and her company built the first five EarthCraft homes, all next to each other on small lots in Buckhead.
Technical Advisors provide technical assistance to the builder during the initial design review and throughout project design and construction.
To participate in the single-family new construction program, builders first attend a one-day training that provides an overview of the program and basic building science approaches. Builders then apply to join the program. Once accepted, they are partnered with an EarthCraft Technical Advisor (TA) in their area who will work with them throughout the construction process.
The EarthCraft program takes a practical approach to constructing environmentally responsible projects, making them accessible to a variety of market sectors, including affordable housing. EarthCraft homes deliver energy and water savings, healthier indoor air quality and reduced maintenance and utility costs – attributes that are critical to lower income residents. Through its affordable housing work, EarthCraft ensures the benefits of green building reach those who need them the most.
Since its inception, EarthCraft has dispelled the myth that “green costs too much.” In recent years, EarthCraft has been incorporated into the state Qualified Allocation Plans in both Georgia and Virginia. Through these programs, affordable housing developers are able to access additional tax credits that drive down the cost of EarthCraft housing even further.
To register your EarthCraft House project please visit our resources page.