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Sustainable Design for the 21st Century

EarthCraft Virginia Launches Third-Party Net-Zero Certification Program

Contact: Stuart Raper, Director of External Affairs
EarthCraftVirginia
804-212-1943
Stuart.raper@earthcraftvirginia.org

Program will be the First of its Kind to Offer Two-Part Certification
for Net-Zero Building Performance

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Richmond, VA – February 13, 2013 – EarthCraft Virginia is pleased to announce the launch of its Net-Zero Certification program. The program will certify any residential building that produces at least as much energy as it uses in a year, when accounted for at the site, measured annually. Now in its pilot stage, this program is the first of its kind to consist of a two-part certification: “Net-Zero Ready” once the project has successfully met the program design criteria, construction and diagnostic testing goals, and “Net-Zero Certified” once the homeowners have demonstrated that they have lived an energy neutral or positive lifestyle for one year.

Since Architecture 2030 issued The 2030 Challenge in 2006, the buildingSustainable Design 5 community has seen a significant push towards the construction of energy neutral homes. EarthCraft Virginia’s program not only fills a void for builders looking for a holistic process for site net-zero building construction but also allows consumers the ability to identify a third-party standard for this type of residence. Through the pilot program, EarthCraft Virginia hopes to demonstrate that net-zero energy homes are not only achievable but also affordable.

EarthCraft Virginia’s Net-Zero Certification program will offer unparalleledSave Energy 1 customized support to the project team during the design and construction process, focusing on the optimization of high performance buildings. The program is targeted to builders, designers and homeowners throughout the Southeast who believe in superior building and the next generation of housing. When ideally combined with the EarthCraft House program, the successful implementation of the Net-Zero Certification program will result in the highest performing green home in the country.

“The Net-Zero program allows us to research low energy design and We can do it
construction best practices, while delivering the most high performance residential buildings on the market,” said program manager, Philip Agee. “We are also excited to demonstrate the positive effects these buildings will have in regard to reducing peak load on our aging utility grid.”

EarthCraft Virginia has already seen great success with the initial “Net-Zero Ready” verification of The Delk Residence by Bain-Waring Builders, and the organization is thrilled to have four duplexes recently enroll in the pilot program, but they are seeking more participants. If you are interested, please contact the program manager, Philip Agee, atPhilip.agee@earthcraftvirginia.org. For more information, including pilot criteria, visit http://www.earthcraftvirginia.org/services/net-zero/.

About EarthCraft Virginia

EarthCraft Virginia, a 501c3 non-profit, was established in 2006 in partnership with the Home Builders Association of Virginia and Southface Energy Institute with assistance from the Virginia Community Development Corporation.  The EarthCraft House program, originally founded in 1999 by non-profit Southface and the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association, serves as a blueprint for energy and resource efficient homes built in the Southeast.  Throughout the Southeast the program has certified over 8,000 homes and over 17,000 multifamily dwelling units.  For more information on EarthCraft Virginia or the EarthCraft family of programs, please visitwww.earthcraftvirginia.org or www.earthcraft.org.

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