My EarthCraft Dream Realized

Green Building

By Tom Mills, guest contributor 

If we have met at a Southface event within the last five years, I likely mentioned my dream of an EarthCraft home. This July, the dream was finally realized in a new home constructed in downtown Lilburn, Ga. The home is on track for EarthCraft Platinum, with SK Collaborative serving as the rater.

The house might seem familiar to many in the sustainability circle: The plan is the much-loved Sugarberry Cottage, which was built by Luis Imery, no stranger to the Southface family. His knowledge of EarthCraft and attention to detail has been an essential part of the project.

The manufacturers on the project read like green building who’s-who, and products used such as Huber Zip System r-board sheathing, MTI Sure Cavity Rainscreen and Cosentino quartz countertops incorporated with recycled glass makes for a healthy, durable and sustainable home.

As per EarthCraft requirements, a well-designed envelope responds to the local climate. James Hardie fiber cement siding provides a durable air-tight exterior, and Greenview low-e dual pane windows and a 100 year old door from Lifecycle Building Center complete the building envelope. Foam South provided closed-cell foam on concrete walls, open-cell foam in rooflines and dense-packed fiberglass in 2×6 stud cavities. Combined with the Zip-R 6 board, the fiberglass netted an R-29 wall – a high insulation value wall.

In order to have healthy air quality within the home, CertainTeed’s air renewal drywall was installed, which absorbs volatile organic compounds. Four Panasonic mini-splits and an energy recovery ventilator (ERV) provide energy efficient HVAC. In EarthCraft buildings, energy efficiency goes hand in hand with water efficiency. To that end, the house in plumed to flush with rainwater, captured in a Rainwater Pillow. Water Sense toilets, sinks and fixtures are by Toto.

Production of the GreenShortz + GreenHouse video series is underway, documenting the process on YouTube. Want to see more? Visit

Tags: EarthCraft

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