Indoor airPLUS Program
Indoor airPLUS Partner Updates
Meet the Builder: Tom Wade, Co-Owner, Artistic Homes "Commitment and Strategy in Action"
Artistic Homes has been a frontrunner in energy efficient home building for years by incorporating the latest building science techniques. They are an industry leader in new construction focusing on energy efficiency, indoor green design and sustainable building practices.
Read the first partners featured in our Meet the Builder/Meet the Rater Series to learn from an industry expert that is committed to building 100% Indoor airPLUS homes. Learn about the challenges Artistic Homes has faced and the successes they have experienced by incorporating Indoor airPLUS. Also, learn about their decision to say "We're In" to ENERGY STAR Version 3 and why they believe this commitment will work to their advantage.
Meritage Homes is the first of the top 10 largest publicly traded homebuilders in the U.S. to partner with the Indoor airPLUS program.
"They [Meritage Homes] are demonstrating to their customers that they are committed to providing healthier homes and improved indoor air quality. I'm excited about this new partnership ... and I challenge other big builders to follow their lead." Eric Werling, EPA's former Indoor airPLUS Program National Coordinator.This past Earth Day, Meritage Homes announced their completion of Arizona's first net-zero energy home. This home is ENERGY STAR and Indoor airPLUS qualified. It is expected to also qualify for EPA's WaterSense label. What a great way to combine three EPA Programs to build a home that will help homeowners conserve water and energy all while protecting their health and the environment.
Kettler Forlines Homes builds Indoor airPLUS Qualified Community
Indoor airPLUS Partner, Kettler Forlines Homes, is building a community of 177 Indoor airPLUS qualified homes in Poolesville, MD. Tom Kettler, Vice President of Kettler Forlines Homes, first heard about Indoor airPLUS from a presentation at NAHB in 2009. Since then they have incorporated Indoor airPLUS as a standard feature in much of their new home construction. They also discovered that Indoor airPLUS is an affordable way to set their business apart. Read their press release . Check out the Brightwell Crossing community
'Net zero' house to be built in Maryland should produce as much energy as it uses
A test house about to be built on a federal research site in Gaithersburg is designed to look like a typical home in the Washington area, and its inventors are going to great lengths to calculate how well the normal-looking sci-fi house would generate and consume energy when occupied by a family of four. Groundbreaking is set for March 25, and construction is to begin in March or April, with completion expected in 15 months. Gaithersburg-based commercial builder Therrien Waddell Construction Group is the contractor, working with residential builder Bethesda Bungalows, which focuses on high-end "green" building. Read this article.
Indoor airPLUS Scores Points in Green Building Standards
Builders and homeowners have a variety of green building programs from which to choose. Green programs generally look at a range of "green" attributes, such as energy efficiency, material use, storm water management, indoor air quality, site location, indoor water use and other features. Green programs may be national, such as the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Research Center Green Certification and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Homes; regional, such as Earthcraft; or local. Every program offers a unique value to builders and homeowners, but it can be difficult to decide which program is the most appropriate for your needs.
Fortunately, when it comes to indoor air quality, the choice is clear. Builders can decide to build an Indoor airPLUS qualified home while maintaining the flexibility to meet the indoor air quality requirements of green building programs. In fact, several green building programs specifically incorporate Indoor airPLUS as an alternative pathway to achieve green certification.
"For clients seeking Green Home Certification for their homes, Indoor airPLUS allows the client those extra features of indoor air quality that they expect from the Green Home Programs anyway. And, Indoor airPLUS is a performance path for the LEED for Homes program."
Gary Fries, ASERusa
For example, in the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED for Homes program, Indoor airPLUS qualified homes automatically attain 13 points in the Indoor Environmental Quality category. In addition, Indoor airPLUS moisture control requirements can form the core of the Durability Plan that all LEED for Homes projects must create. Points also will accrue in other green attribute categories, such as Materials and Resources section.
In the NAHB's Green Building Certification program, Indoor airPLUS qualification is not an official pathway, however, EPA analysis indicates that a typical Indoor airPLUS qualified home would achieve the program's Silver level. The Indoor airPLUS team is developing resources to make it easy for builders and raters to see which Indoor airPLUS checklist items qualify for specific point categories in the NAHB program.
As green building grows, it is important to take advantage of complementary programs to achieve the best market position. Having third-party verification also ensures the credibility of the certifications.
ZETA Communities Indoor airPLUS and Net Zero Energy Townhouse
Indoor airPLUS partner, ZETA Communities, a green builder based in California, recently unveiled the first net-zero energy urban demonstration townhome. According to ZETA Communities, this townhome qualified for EPA's Indoor airPLUS label, as well as LEED Platinum, 240 GreenPoint, Energy Star, DOE's Builders Challenge, and won the Green Builder magazine's 2009 home of the year. The 1,540 square foot live/work 2-bedroom townhome has a work studio, great rooms, decks, and sustainable landscaping, as well as a one car garage. For this project, according to Shilpa Sankaran at ZETA Communities, the company "employed a number of strategies to bring indoor air quality to the highest standard possible including using mold and moisture prevention strategies, low/no VOC finishes and fresh air circulation and filtration." ZETA Communities believes that "as we do more multifamily and urban infill housing, indoor air quality has to be a number one priority to ensure healthy homes." Check out photos of the townhome here www.flickr.com/photos/39247525@N07/4277097822/ .
Indoor airPLUS Consumer Brochure Educates Homebuyers
You have likely seen the Indoor airPLUS consumer brochure (EPA 402/F-09/001) (PDF, 5 pp., 807 K, about PDF) on the resources page. Did you know that you also can order this brochure in bulk to give out to potential homebuyers of Indoor airPLUS qualified homes? This brochure is ideal for marketing Indoor airPLUS qualified homes to customers. It is a great summary of Indoor airPLUS features and benefits allowing you to start a dialogue with customers interested in healthier homes. You can use it to walk potential homebuyers through your Indoor airPLUS qualified home or to show clients what their new home could include and why these features are important. To order, visit the Indoor airPLUS resources page and scroll to the bottom of the page to find options for ordering materials.