With funding and support from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Southface staff and partners have reached a milestone in quantifying the energy and water savings of high performance certification programs across the Southeast—including EarthCraft! The EPA Implementation Grant has helped Southface quantify, track and report energy and water reductions and associated greenhouse gas and cost savings on new construction and existing residential projects participating in green and energy efficiency programs in EPA Region 4. Results will be shared with industry stakeholders, governmental agencies and the public to increase environmental awareness for pollution prevention.
The database team, residential team and commercial team at Southface worked collaboratively to develop a tool to record data about energy and water usage in single and multifamily projects seeking green building certification. We have deployed the tool to HERS raters within the Southface providership (which only tracks energy use) and the Technical Advisors (TAs) for the EarthCraft program.
The tool relies heavily on Salesforce to integrate and process the data as it comes in from TAs and HERS raters in the field. Data from each project allows Salesforce to project energy and water usage as compared to a standard construction on a total usage and percentage basis. Savings between the standard and high performance structures can be quantified in CO2 emissions and dollars saved.
So why is this important for the industry and for Southface? We can learn a lot from this level of data analysis and reporting:
- Homeowners can see how their house stacks up against a standard house
- TAs can build a portfolio of projects and have evidence of the quantifiable impact they have
- Builders receive reports explaining their projects’ impact on resource use and utility costs
This tool is a breakthrough in quickly and accurately reporting the impact of EarthCraft and other programs that help homeowners save energy, water and money.