This fall marks the 15th Anniversary of EarthCraft!
Congratulations to everyone for being a part of one of the most successful, transformative and meaningful green building programs in the nation. EarthCraft has changed the lives for many homeowners; everything from saving them money on energy bills, improving their children and family’s health, and for some even just getting a roof over their head. The work you do can be cumbersome and demanding, but without you the program would not exist. As you can see we chose a cover picture of the EarthCraft Multifamily project 755 North which has some frontage on the Eastside Beltline Trail located within one the most quickly transforming neighborhoods in Atlanta.. I think it’s safe to say that there has been a huge shift in the rate of development and construction over the past 5 years, but seemingly the general trend is moving us in the right direction towards sustainable development. You should continue to be proud of the great work that you do and let’s go for 15 more years!
Great job everybody!
Major Programmatic Updates:
As you all know, EarthCraft is a fluid, and dynamic program. The program started very organically and continues to grow in this fashion allowing us to address issues as they arise as a result of the ongoing valuable input of the ECTA’s. So, we once again need your input as we contemplate a change that we feel would improve efficiencies and be in the best interest of all parties involved with the family of EarthCraft programs.. We are proposing to save all program updates for a one time per year release basis. At the time of this release we would provide a list of all changes in a very comprehensive document that references directly all program documents impacted by these changes. . We feel that this could greatly reduce confusion over programmatic changes, and make it easier for project teams to keep track of program updates. If you don’t feel this proposal is a good idea please let us know and if possible please provide us with feedback as to why you don’t agree with this proposal. This survey will become inactive September 1st.
As mentioned in a previous newsletter, we have added fields to the multifamily inspection checklist final inspection diagnostics tab to align with the RESNET protocol for whole house infiltration testing. We will be updating these fields within the EarthCraft House Worksheet under the test sheet tab as well when the new worksheet is released later this summer. There is a document entitled Southface Residential Building Blower Door Testing Guidelines posted on the EarthCraft website (bottom of this page under “Helpful Tools”) that will help guide you through following this latest RESNET protocol for whole house infiltration testing. However Scott Lee can also provide further guidance on these procedures during your QA visit. If you don’t have a QA visit this year please feel free to contact Scott with any questions that you may have about these procedures. Adherence to this new testing protocol will be required for all projects completing diagnostic testing on or after November 1, 2014.
Sampling Submission Requirements Changed:
As mentioned in the January newsletter, we have removed the requirement to submit to EarthCraft certain documents related to sampling for these are RESNET specific requirements and should ONLY be submitted to your HERS provider. These documents include the builder sampling application and the builder quality assurance plan. Please continue to submit to EarthCraft the Trade Quality Assurance forms as previously required. We will keep the QA toolkit, which has been renamed the General Contractor EarthCraft Quality Assurance Plan Templates, on the website for your project teams use if they so choose, but none of those forms are any longer required to be submitted to EarthCraft. The builder QA plan has been added as a point option under Operations and Management of the Education and Operations section of the ECMF and ECH worksheets.
REM/Rate Report Submissions:
In the April newsletter of last year we had a section regarding the need for us to receive ENERGY STAR v 2.5 or v3 summary reports at PDW to increase our level of confidence that projects are “on the right track”. We mentioned that a screen shot was permissible due to the rating not being confirmed at PDW and thus the difficulty of getting many providers to allow print permissions. We also noted that a screenshot was permissible for a final submission as well, but we are going to “back track” on this due to a series of inaccurate ratings being submitted causing delays in the certification process. We now require that either a non-draft version of either the ENERGY STAR v2.5 or v3 Verification Summary Report be included with your final submittal. We understand there are concerns with print permissions around ENERGY STAR reports when a home is not actually achieving an ENERGY STAR certification. However your provider should not have any issue with providing print permissions for an ENERGY STAR v2.5 Verification Summary Report since it does not function to verify compliance with the active ENERGY STAR for New Homes program. Please let us know if you have questions.
RESNET CAZ exams and BPI B.A. Certification:
In light of RESNET beginning to require that all Raters complete the Combustion Safety and Work Scope for HERS Raters (better known as CAZ training) should EarthCraft continue to require that all ECTAs working on renovations to also hold BPI Building Analyst certification? What do you think? We would like your feedback on this and appreciate your opinion. There is a survey below for your input, it will become inactive September 1st.
Survey Link: http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/1741165/How-would-you-like-changes-to-the-program-to-be-documented-and-distributed
ASHRAE 62.2 REM/Rate Input Sheet:
The ASHRAE 62.2 REM/Rate Input Sheet is now posted on the EarthCraft website under the Helpful tools heading on the bottom of the program documents page of the website – (link). Please ensure that the fan wattage associated with the ventilation strategy being employed on a project is accurately represented within your HERS Rating. If it is not then your project could be in jeopardy on not meeting the required HERS index target necessary to achieve an EarthCraft certification. Please contact Scott Lee with any questions.
Trade Form updated:
The Trade Quality Assurance Form available on the website has been updated and is now in the format of a more traditional sign in sheet. As mentioned earlier in this newsletter, please continue to submit this form to EarthCraft as well as your HERS Provider.
HERS Rater Standing:
It’s time for us to ensure that you are a HERS rater in good standing. If you are a Rater under the SERH Providership we can receive confirmation of your HERS Rater status directly from them, so you do not have to worry about sending us anything. Otherwise we will need to receive from your provider by September 1st documentation that you are a HERS rater in good standing. You can find posted under the Helpful Tools on the program guidelines and worksheets page of the EarthCraft website, a template document that you can give to your provider which contains all the information necessary to complete this requirement for remaining an active ECTA. (Link). Please email confirmation of your HERS rater status to email@example.com.
EarthCraft Certified Real Estate Professionals:
Please remember to inform your clients that they have wonderful resources available to them with regards to selling their properties. Here is a link to the EarthCraft certified real Estate Professionals
Updates and Changes from Comment Submission Form
*The Comment Submission Form can be found under the Contact Us page of the EarthCraft Website*
The Adaptive Reuse Priority List has been added back to the ECMF worksheet- we apologize for it being removed. Let us know if you have questions on its use.
Worst Case Analysis Tool
We have also removed the worst case analysis tab from the Multifamily inspection checklist. Any projects registered as of August 1, 2014 and forward will not be able to utilize the worst case analysis tool to determine which units need to be modeled. This decision will not impact any current projects.
ECMF Worksheet: ES 2.12- Install rigid duct work or pull all flex ducts tight:
The allowable distance between the duct support straps has been decreased as we have noticed it being too far of a distance to provide the proper support needed to ensure better airflow. The option now available to receive credit for this measure is:
Flex duct be installed with minimum 1.5″ wide supports no more than 4′ apart with no more than 2″ sag between supports
ECMF BE 5.0 and ECH BE 5.0 & 5.1- Attic Side Radiant Barrier:
We are further expanding our definition of what needs to be covered by a radiant barrier to qualify for these points. We have modified the guidelines to include not just sloped surfaces but gable ends as well. In many situations gable ends facilitate a large quantity of heat transfer into the attic. The new language in the guidelines reads as:
“Any uninsulated attic surfaces need to have a radiant barrier installed. Ex. including sloped roof decks and gable end walls.”
ECH and ECMF Guidelines SP 2.2 – Permanent Stormwater Control:
Although the guidelines direct you to the Low Impact Design manual, we have specified the rain event that the bioswales and rain gardens are to be designed to capture. A link to the website has been updated in the guidelines:
– We are referring to the Water quality rain event as defined by the stormwater manual- GA manual and the coastal supplement, your local ordinances may be more stringent. Specifics on the actual rain event are contained within the guidelines but the design is intended to manage a small event that can happen often.
ECH and ECMF SP 3.3- Invasive Species:
We have changed the reference link that is in the guidelines to the more specific one here: http://www.gaeppc.org/list.cfm
EarthCraft will not permit the planting of any species, besides Bermuda grass, contained within category 1 or 2 of the invasive species list. Please note that Bermuda grass is included within category 2, but until further notice is permissible for planting at EarthCraft projects. Please contact us with questions or concerns.
Please continue to submit nominations for the EarthCraft awards as the nominations are open until August 8th. Please let us know if you have any eligibility questions.
- EarthCraft Builder training- August 7th
- HERS Training August 11th-16th
- EarthCraft HVAC training- October 25th
- Southface Visionary Dinner- October 1st
- CAZ Training: Southface offers three more opportunities to fulfill this RESNET requirement:
September 8-9, November 5-6 , and December 8-9.
Note: Southface’s CAZ course qualifies for 13 hours of RESNET approved CEUs.
- Southface is also offering the ENERGY STAR for Homes Version 3 Training September 4-5.
This course qualifies for 18 hours of RESNET approved CEUs.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 404-872-3549 for more details.
Sponsor Corner: Bosch
Bosch Greensource CDi Series
The Bosch Greensource Series CDi (Creative Design and Innovation) SM Model heat pump is a highly efficient geothermal heat pump for residential geothermal applications, providing up to 37.0 EER (part load) and up to 28.0 EER (full load) GWHP.
Geothermal heat pumps are designed and built in Bosch’s ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified facilities in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. They serve as a platform for renewable energy products in a residential comfort control system. Both packaged and split models are ENERGY STAR rated and are awarded ENERGY STAR 2014 Most Efficient product recognition. The new CDi Series meets ENERGY STAR Tier 3 requirements, making it eligible for up to a 30% tax credit. (See BoschGeo.com for details.)
Advantages for the installer include configurability – return air can be customized for the job, either left side, right side, or back or top of unit.
Encased in a white prepainted steel cabinet, each unit is equipped with scroll compressor technology for two capacity operation, a patent pending floating base pan, stainless steel drain pan, and an evaporator coil with tin-plated hair pins for durability and reliability. With an operating sound level as low as 52 dB, CDi Series units are whisper quiet.
The Greensource CDi Series SM Split Model geothermal heat pump system comes equipped with Bosch’s commitment to quality, including up to 33.0 EER (part load) and up to 24.0 EER (full load) GWHP. A split system allows the installer to separate the condenser section up to 75 feet away from the fan coil section to isolate sound, vibration and unwanted heat from the conditioned space. The condenser may be located indoors or outdoors. Greensource CDi Series SM Split Models use a Bosch communicating thermostat that displays alerts and controls not only air temperature but also humidity levels.
Bosch provides 10-year parts and labor limited warranty on the CDi Series SM Model.
Full details on the SM Model heat pump can be found at http://www.bosch-climate.us/products-bosch-thermotechnology/geothermal-heat-pumps/geothermal-residential-product-offering/greensource.html
SM Split System heat pump details can be found at http://www.bosch-climate.us/products-bosch-thermotechnology/geothermal-heat-pumps/geothermal-residential-product-offering/cdi-series-sm-split-model.html