It is now 2018, and with a new year comes updates to the EarthCraft House Program. It’s no secret that 2017 was a busy and developmental year for EarthCraft House. Last year, the EarthCraft team identified a need to review and update key programmatic elements that would not only simplify the certification process, but would also refocus on the core benefits of building (and living in) an EarthCraft home. With these changes, EarthCraft hopes to further impact the building industry and continue to be a regional leader in promoting sustainable construction practices and high performance homes.
The biggest change to the EarthCraft House program is the availability of the new Program worksheet. After a thorough review, the EarthCraft team simplified the document into a single-page worksheet outlining the technical requirements of achieving EarthCraft House certification. It is important to note that project teams are not required to begin using this new Program worksheet until July 1, 2018. All single-family, new construction projects that are registered on or after July 1, 2018 will certify using the new EarthCraft House v2 worksheet. The EarthCraft House v2 worksheet is currently available here for project teams to begin using.
Tiered certification is no longer available under EarthCraft House v2. Previously, projects could achieve Gold or Platinum levels of EarthCraft certification by pursuing additional technical requirements and meeting more stringent energy and water usage thresholds. Under EarthCraft House v2, all projects are measured to a baseline certification. Project teams then have the option to pursue additional certification, or “badges.” These badges further emphasize key benefits found in all EarthCraft homes: occupant comfort, occupant health, building performance, and the environment. Each badge has its own requirements that are included in the new worksheet but will only be added to an individual project if a builder chooses to pursue them. The development of these badges also gives builders and project teams the opportunity to meet their clients’ specific needs and interests related to their new home and provides a clear explanation on the measure a builder incorporates to further distinguish their EarthCraft project.
Energy models are no longer required to achieve EarthCraft certification under the new EarthCraft House v2 worksheet. The only exception to this is if a project chooses to pursue the Performance Badge, which will require a HERS score and a HERSH2O score (RESNET’s new Water Efficiency Rating System (WER)) to show compliance for energy and water efficiency. More information on WER can be found here.
By rolling out these changes to the program, EarthCraft hopes to streamline and simplify the certification process, attracting new builders and project teams across the Southeast. For questions regarding changes to the EarthCraft program, please reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.