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New OR Residential Specialty Code and How it Will Impact the Earth Advantage Home Certification Program (v2.0)

As many of you already know, the current Earth Advantage Home Certification (EAHC v1.0) points worksheet is being revised this year and will be unveiled in 2018 as v2.0 with an updated points worksheet. Timelines for the change over from EAHC v1.0 to EAHC v2.0 will be communicated to all stakeholders at the beginning of 2018.

The 2017 Oregon Residential Specialty Code update will require home builders to make many of their current Earth Advantage upgrades standard practice in 2018 just to meet the new Oregon code. For example, the new code will require R-49 flat attic insulation, 100% efficient lighting (2 fixture exemption), low flow shower heads (2.0 gpm) and low flow toilets (1.28 gpf), Solar PV and Solar EV ready electric panels (exemptions for homes with limited solar access), R-21 below grade walls (start framing w/ 2x6's vs 2x4's), .30 U value windows, an air sealing checklist and more. 

In anticipation of these changes the Earth Advantage residential team has been researching and developing a new Home Certification (EAHC) program that will stay ahead of the building code in both energy efficiency and sustainability. Changes include a new Target Energy Consumption table calibrated to keep Earth Advantage certified homes at least 15% more efficient than the Oregon energy code and a requirement for blown in wall insulation (with exemptions for advanced framing and continuous exterior insulation). Since OR code will require 1.28 gpf toilets, version 2.0 of EAHC will no longer award elective points for those toilets, as we currently do. Rather, the new EAHC program will award water conservation points for purchasing toilets that are not only low flow, at 1.1 gpf, but also meet a highly effective third party performance rating that assures the toilets completely evacuate the bowl so your customers don’t have problems with how effectively the toilets flush. This is just one example of how our revised EAHC program will continue to help you build sustainable homes that exceed your customer’s expectations of performance, reliability and peace of mind.
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