Earth Advantage New Homes
As of January 1, 2012 Earth Advantage has a new Online Points Worksheet for
Earth Advantage New Homes certifications.
Certified Performance and Resource Efficiency
The Earth Advantage® New Homes certification program is a third-party certification program for builders that helps them create energy efficient, healthy and resource-wise homes that add value for the homebuyer. The Earth Advantage New Homes standard requires projects to achieve a minimum number of points on a scoring sheet covering five categories over the course of two verification visits, including energy efficiency, healthy indoor air quality, resource efficiency, environmental responsibility and water conservation. Depending on the number of points earned, the projects may qualify for different levels of certification: Earth Advantage Silver, Gold, or Platinum.
Creating a Healthier Home
Earth Advantage certified homes offer a healthier living environment. To promote health, builders use more sustainable materials and finishes that do not off-gas harmful fumes. They ensure that air is filtered before entering the home, that all gas combustion systems are sealed, and that the home is properly ventilated to expel any remaining harmful pollutants. Earth Advantage homes also protect the home against the health risks associated with excessive moisture. Techniques as moisture barriers combined with rainscreens reduce the risk of organisms supported by moisture and rot, including molds, fungi and pests. Air sealing the house promotes health by helping to prevent airborne allergens and industrial particles from coming in. Ventilation also improves the quality of air in the home and helps reduce spot moisture problems.
Energy Efficiency Means Lower Utility Bills
Earth Advantage Certified Homes uses the Northwest ENERGY STAR® program as its energy saving path, using a variety of features and techniques to save at least 15% more energy compared to a home built to code. This means that Earth Advantage certified homes are also ENERGY STAR certified. The ENERGY STAR measures typically include effective insulation systems, high–performance windows, tight construction and sealed ducts, efficient heating and cooling equipment, and ENERGY STAR qualified lighting and appliances.
Limited Impact on Land
The Earth Advantage Certified Home reduces the negative impacts that construction can have on the land and natural systems. Care is taken to preserve natural habitat and features, vegetation and open space. Construction processes are managed to preserve soil from damage, contamination and erosion. Waste is reduced through recycling and accurate calculation of materials needs. Landscaping with native low water vegetation is encouraged.
Neighborhood build-out at Villebios, Wilsonville, OR.
Safe and Durable Materials
Earth Advantage Certified Homes use materials wisely. The builders choose materials and products for durability in order to decrease maintenance and replacement costs. They typically order local materials where available and choose products containing a high percentage of recycled content. Such materials may include roofing, decking, formaldehyde-free cabinetry, and sheetrock using recycled gypsum.
Reduced Water Consumption
Earth Advantage Certified Homes protect water quality and preserve this precious resource. Builders install low flow fixtures and toilets and may recommend tankless water heaters that save water through instant heating. They may recommend water saving irrigation systems for yards. During construction, builders take measures to prevent erosion, protect nearby bodies of water, and manage stormwater.