What is EarthCraft?
EarthCraft is a green building certification program that offers smart building solutions and specific guidelines to maximize a building’s performance, efficiency and comfort while also reducing the building’s overall impact to your environment.
EarthCraft is designed to work with the climate conditions specific to the Southeast. Since insulation and air conditioning strategies differ from northern to southern climates, EarthCraft designs homes to effectively deal with the climate specific to each area. EarthCraft considers the whole system of the house to ensure every component works together for optimal performance, heath, sustainability and comfort.
EarthCraft buildings are constructed according to program guidelines outlined to meet specific environmental and high performance standards. The program has certified Builders and Technical Advisors who reference building materials, above-code building requirements and industry-recognized energy modeling standards outlined in all program documentation. The third-party verification ensures that every home meets desired performance standards.
The EarthCraft program is designed with 9 categories of focus to produce a healthy, efficient home. Each category produces trackable benefits for you and your family.
- Site Planning – The location of a home affects the well-being of its occupants and the environment.
- Construction Waste Management – We encourage thoughtfulness throughout the construction process so that no more than the required materials are purchased. Any debris is recycled or disposed of safely.
- Resource Efficiency – Efficient use of material means strategically planning the placement, purchase and use of new and recycled materials to reduce overbuying and limit the amount of waste.
- Moisture Management – EarthCraft requirements prevent damage from airborne water vapor and protect from ground-based water sources. These practices protect homeowners from water damage to the structure and provide comfortable humidity levels inside the home.
- High-Performance Building Envelope – A good building envelope (walls, ceiling and floors) keeps conditioned air inside and unconditioned air outside. A home with a tight envelope will need to cool or heat less air, using less energy than a home with a poorer envelope, which is more prone to air leakages.
- Indoor Air Quality – Poor indoor air quality is a major cause of respiratory problems and other negative health effects. The EarthCraft program requires materials that don’t emit harmful substances and calls for the strategic routing of ventilated air, so the home achieves high indoor air quality.
- Energy-Efficient Systems – EarthCraft considers the whole system of the house to ensure every component is using energy in the most efficient way possible. Heating and cooling equipment is properly sized, and the duct system is thoughtfully designed to allow for maximum energy savings.
- Water Efficiency – Both indoor and outdoor water use contribute to high utility costs, but EarthCraft addresses these potentially excessive costs from the start. Low-flow sinks, showerheads and toilets play an influential role in saving on water bills. Additionally, all landscaping is designed to make the most of water input.
- You! – One of the key pieces of a resource-efficient home is the resident. Simple habits, like turning off lights and using water wisely, will allow your EarthCraft house to function at peak efficiency.