EarthCraft Light Commercial
EarthCraft Light Commercial is a regional green building certification program offering third-party verification for resource responsible design and construction practices for small-scale, or “light,” commercial buildings in the Southeast. The program focuses on site planning, energy and water efficiency, building durability, and improved occupant health and comfort. EarthCraft Light Commercial is best suited for commercial building projects sized 50,000 square feet or less, however projects up to 80,000 square feet may be considered for the program.
In 2017, EarthCraft Light Commercial released EarthCraft Light Commercial version 2, which provides updated technical requirements and documentation adjustments. For a complete description of EarthCraft Light Commercial updates, please reference the program’s updated guidelines and worksheet.
EarthCraft Fit Out
EarthCraft Fit Out certification offers third-party verification of sustainably constructed and designed commercial interior spaces. This specific certification option is targeted for restaurants, shops, or smaller office spaces that move into already existing commercial spaces. For many of these tenants and property owners, a complete building renovation is not financially feasible. EarthCraft Fit Out is designed to bring energy and water efficiency, as well as building durability and improved indoor air quality to the space through an accessible and streamlined process. EarthCraft Fit Out is best suited for commercial building projects sized 50,000 square feet or less, however projects up to 80,000 square feet may be considered for the program.
EarthCraft Fit Out Worksheet
EarthCraft Fit Out Guidelines
- Affordable high performance third-party certification program
- Collaborative Process
- No energy model or commissioning required
- Energy and building code
- Reduced paperwork
- Third-party field verification and diagnostic testing
1. Determine Project Eligibility
In order to start the EarthCraft process, design teams should contact an approved ECLC Technical Advisor. The Technical Advisor can provide guidance on which EarthCraft program(s) best fit the goals of the project and will inform the design team about EarthCraft program criteria. In order to be eligible for the program, the building must have a complete exhaust and HVAC system.
2. Project Registration
Project teams should register the project as early in the design phase as possible. At the time of registration, projects shall identify their Technical Advisor.
3. Design Review
The ECLC Technical Advisor will work to schedule a Design Review meeting with key members of the project’s design team, including the project architect, mechanical engineer/contractor, and owner’s representative. If the general contractor (GC) for the project has been identified at this stage in the process, it is recommended that they attend this meeting. This meeting is a “working” meeting, where the project team meets with the EarthCraft representatives to participate in a 3-4 hour review of the project’s plans. The design review is an opportunity to look carefully at the plans and determine how the ECLC program can be applied to the project. From this exercise, the team can ensure that all requirements can be met, and a tentative point total on the ECLC Worksheet can be determined.
4. Construction Kick-Off Meeting
Prior to construction, the GC (or primary project contact) must work with their ECLC Technical Advisor to schedule a Construction Kick-off meeting. The project’s construction manager and site superintendent are expected to be present for the meeting. HVAC and insulation subcontractors are encouraged to attend if available. The project goals and ECLC certification process will be discussed and review of the core requirements, required site visits, performance tests, and methods of collecting information will be presented. The ECLC Worksheet will be updated as needed.
5. First Site Visit
After the completion of all air sealing, but prior to the installation of cavity insulation and interior wall finishes, the general contractor (GC) must contact the ECLC Technical Advisor to schedule this initial project walkthrough. The Site Superintendent must be present during this visit. During inspection, the ECLC Technical Advisor will review project site strategies, building thermal envelope air-sealing measures, drainage plane/exterior insulation applications, and HVAC duct sealing measures. All relevant worksheet requirements and point items that can be visually verified will also be documented. Once inspection is complete, an inspection report with photographs will be prepared and distributed to team.
6. Second Site Visit
After interior envelope insulation is in place but prior to inter-wall finishing material, the GC must contact the ECLC Technical Advisor to schedule the second site inspection. The Construction Manager and Site Superintendent must be present during this site visit. During inspection, the ECLC Technical Advisor will review building thermal envelope, insulation coverage, and inspect installed ductwork, mechanical systems and additional air sealing opportunities to increase the likelihood of success of final performance testing. All relevant worksheet requirements and point items that can be visually verified will also be documented. Once inspection is complete, an inspection report with photographs will be prepared and distributed to the team.
7. Final Site Visit and Testing
Once construction is at a stage of substantial completion and all measures indicated on the project worksheet have been completed, the GC shall notify the ECLC Technical Advisor that the team is ready to schedule the final inspection. The Construction Manager and Site Superintendent must be present during this visit. During inspection, all required leakage tests will be performed and the team will participate in a final walkthrough of the building and project site. All relevant worksheet requirements and point items that can be visually verified will also be documented. Once inspection is complete, an inspection report with photographs will be prepared and distributed to team. A final worksheet with notes regarding any missing documentation will be provided to the team for final documentation gathering.
8. Certification Submission
Once all documentation has been complete and all requested remediated items from inspections have been resolved, the ECLC Technical Advisor will supply the project team with an ECLC Certification Application Form, which will state the certification level and points achieved. Upon receipt of the ECLC Certification Application Form, the team will be awarded an EarthCraft Light Commercial plaque to display on the building.
To officially begin an EarthCraft Light Commercial project, each project must be registered prior to the Pre-Drywall Inspection. The registration fee is non-refundable and does not guarantee the project will be certified. The totals below include EarthCraft administration fees, and do not include any additional fees as outlined by EarthCraft Technical Advisors or any additional technical assistance.
- ≤10,000 ft²: $2,000.00
- 10,000 ft² to ≤30,000 ft²: $4,000.00
- >30,000 ft² to ≤50,000 ft²: $6,000.00
- >50,000 ft² to ≤80,000 ft²: $8,000.00
Square footage based on finished condition square footage