The EarthCraft Celebration of Excellence took place on Friday, October 21, 2016 at the Southface Eco Office. The awards honor the builders, contractors and developers who are committed to building a more sustainable, high performance, built environment. More than 70 green building professionals attended this year’s event to celebrate the best that EarthCraft has to offer.
Abe Kruger receives the EarthCraft Design Award from Southface’s Marci Reed and Robert Reed.
The 2016 Awards were given in three overall categories: Achievement Awards, High Performance Awards, and Design Awards. I’m excited to announce that the Green on Gift house was presented with a Design Merit Award! This award would not have been possible without the tremendous support of sponsors, friends, and family who all made the renovation possible.
Now that the home is certified, it’s time to catch up on some blog writing! I frequently get asked about the appliances. After extensive research, we opted to use Bosch kitchen and laundry appliances. Bosch was a logical choice because they manufacture energy efficient and well designed equipment. The one exception is the range hood, which Bosch had on back order and we couldn’t wait, so we chose a stainless steel Whirlpool model instead. Selecting appliances involves a number of factors, including energy efficiency, aesthetics, size, warranty, and cost.
For the Green on Gift home, all appliances obviously needed to be ENERGY STAR qualified. We also had space constraints for the refrigerator, which needed to be counter-depth, and stacking laundry, which needed to fit into a specially constructed laundry closet in the bathroom. One of the overarching project goals was to balance energy efficiency and home performance with usability. For instance, we wanted to try out condensing clothes dryer technology, which is not terribly common in the United States and functions without an external vent. Conveniently, Bosch is a leader in condensing clothes dryers, and they also stepped up as a project sponsor.
An essential component of the renovation process was obtaining green building certification with third party verification. From the start, I wanted to practice what my company preaches to our clients – incorporating green into all decisions from design through construction and ultimately occupancy. We tested the ductwork and envelope multiple times to maximize building performance. Today I’m pleased to announce that the Green on Gift home was awarded EarthCraft Platinum certification with one of the highest point totals in the program’s history!
Southface, an Atlanta-based environmental nonprofit, and the Greater Atlanta Home Builders jointly developed the EarthCraft program 15 years ago. Since then, over 30,000 multifamily units and homes have been certified across the southeast. While there are numerous green building certification options available, the EarthCraft renovation program is by far the most robust and flexible option for builders; and as a former Southfacer, it felt good to support the program.