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The ABCs of EPDs

Posted by Dennis Wilson, Guest Columnist

Feb 20, 2018 1:23:21 PM

Environmental Product Declarations are helping to drive change in green construction.

In recent years, building and design professionals have witnessed a significant shift in what is considered a sustainable construction project.
The more-stringent requirements of the new U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) v4 rating system have raised the bar for project teams with sights set on LEED certification. The same has been true for building product manufacturers. Earlier versions of LEED allowed manufacturers to make sustainable product claims based on one attribute, while the product’s other attributes may not have made the grade. Under LEED v4, however, manufacturers are being asked to provide more detailed information on material content and comprehensive environmental impact before their individual products can be considered for a green product designation.

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2016 Green Home of the Year Award Winner: Simply the Right Size

Posted by Juliet Grable

Mar 15, 2017 6:00:00 AM

For this Chicago-area Passive House, energy performance, durability and health are interdependent.

When architect Tom Bassett-Dilley and Evolutionary Home Builders teamed up to replace an aging home in historic Oak Park, Ill., they wanted to pay homage to the region’s early 20th-century architecture. They also wanted to design and build a high-performance Passive House. Oak Park, a large suburb west of Chicago, includes homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and E.E. Roberts.

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Fine Footprint

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Jan 20, 2016 6:50:39 PM

Built to withstand tough New England storms, this custom home also achieves a -23 HERS Index score.

THIS TRADITIONAL LOOKING New England home was designed by homeowners Elizabeth Wegner and Carl Benker with three goals in mind: durability, energy efficiency and health. The home reflects the couple’s desire to substantially reduce their negative environmental impact on the world. It was built by Glastonbury Housesmith, which constructed the first LEED certified Gold house in Connecticut.  The house was constructed to meet the most up-to-date residential building codes (2012 IRC, 2012 IECC) rather than those which are required in the state. The most notable requirements of the new codes are a stronger structure to withstand high hurricane winds and exterior insulation outside of the wall sheathing to prevent condensation—and subsequently, mold and/or rot—within the walls. An Uponor fire sprinkler system was also integrated with the domestic cold water plumbing.

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Wide Open Island Living

Posted by Green Builder Staff

May 18, 2015 10:40:47 AM

The kitchen and bath in this LEED Platinum home in Hawaii feature water-efficient fixtures and healthy, low-maintenance finishes.

PHOTOS BY AUGIE SALBOA

THE WA'AHILA RIDGE custom Craftsman home, designed by Hawaii-based Archipelago Hawaii and built by MOKULUA HPB, marries design with building science in a truly collaborative process. Completed in 2013, it is one of the only LEED Platinum-certified homes in the state and has achieved a HERS rating of 15.

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Modern Marvel

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Jan 21, 2015 5:04:16 PM

THE OWNER OF KARUNA HOUSE wanted to build a home that could serve both as a model of green building and a case study comparing some of the world’s most demanding green building certifications. Designed by Holst Architecture and built by Hammer & Hand, it is the first building to earn Passive House, Minergie-ECO and LEED Platinum certification. Minergie is a Swiss certification with a holistic approach, including standards for non-toxic materials (similar to the Living Building Challenge Red List), protections for installer health, provisions for quiet building operation and ease of building disassembly.

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