What is different in the new 2012 Online EA Points Worksheet?
We know that experienced Earth Advantage builders will want to know what is different between the new program and the old one. The list below calls out all new measures and those that have been significantly changed. Some significant changes have been made in these areas: indoor ventilation, house size and integrated weather barriers. As you would expect, most of the energy efficiency requirements have increased slightly.
Points have also changed. We tried to reduce the overall number of points available while maintaining the value of different measures relative to each other. This can be very difficult to do, so please point out examples where you think the value of a measure may be out of balance compared to others. The total number of points needed for the lowest level of certification is shown in the table below.
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PREREQUISITIES – These measures are required for all homes. This list highlights measures that are new or have changed significantly. Please see the 2012 Earth Advantage Points Worksheet for a complete list of prerequisites.
1.3.1 Energy Modeling
Energy efficiency is fundamental to green building. Earth Advantage requires a minimum level of energy efficiency that is 10 percent better than building code. The Energy Performance Score (EPS) score is used to calculate EPS points for all energy-related measures in this Points Worksheet. When the EPS value is reduced beyond the 10 percent minimum performance requirement, additional Earth Advantage points are granted. Once the EPS reaches the 10% improvement threshold, two Earth Advantage points are granted for every one EPS point reduction. HERS rating can be provided upon request.
1.3.2 House Size
Houses less than 2200 sq. ft. receive 1 energy point for every 50 sq. ft reduction. For example, a home that is 1800 sq. ft would receive 8 energy points, while a 1500 sq. ft. home would receive 14 energy points. These points are granted in addtion to points calculated by the Energy Performance Score (Measure 1.3.1). The reason for this two-pronged points allocation is to compensate for the disadvantage that smaller homes have in gaining points through the other method. In addition, one materials point is given for each 200 sq. ft. reduction in size below 2200 sq. ft.
3.1.1 Integrated Weather Barrier, Window & Door Flashing System: Installed Properly
A weather barrier is part of the water management system that creates the drainage plane in exterior wall assemblies. This system consists of a code-approved housewrap or building paper that is installed so that the upper sheets overlap the lower sheets and integrated flashings at building openings and penetrations. All systems must be installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Window and door openings are the most common areas of moisture problems, and proper flashing details allow for drainage. These systems typically use sill pans and flexible flashing type materials, such as Flexwrap and Moist Stop. Fully flash all window and door openings, including pan flashing at sills, side flashing that extends over pan flashing, and top flashing that extends over side flashing and integrate with the weather barrier. References: ASTM 2112 Energy and Environmental Building Association (EEBA) Builder Guides EEBA Water Management Guide, 2005 Edition
3.9.1 Window Efficiency (Suggested: U-0.30)
Install high efficiency windows with a heat loss rating no higher than U-0.30. Because windows lose heat seven times faster than a typical wall, this measure also limits window area. The ratio of window area to conditioned floor area cannot exceed .21 (or 21%).
3.3.3 Open web floor Trusses – Blown-in insulation
If open-web floor trusses are installed as part of the thermal boundary, they must be filled with blown-in insulation. Batt insulation is very difficult to install correctly. For example, floors above garages must be filled with blown-in insulation.
3.11.1 Building Air Leakage (Blower door test 4.0 ACH50 or lower)
Reduce building air leakage to no more than 4 air changes per hour (ACH) at 50 Pascals.
6.2.1 Dishwasher: ENERGY STAR specs
Dishwasher must meet current ENERGY STAR requirements at the time of the final inspection. For a list of qualifying models, visit the ENERGY STAR website (http://www.energystar.gov). Consumers who want to buy the highest efficiency units should compare the kiloWatt-hour and gallons per cycle ratings. Lower numbers are better. Higher performance ratings are reflected in the modeled energy use (EPS score).
7.4.6 No Added Urea Formaldehyde Underlayment below carpet
If underlayment is installed under carper or sheet flooring, it must be certified for no added urea-formaldehyde. If an additional layer of substrate is required under finish flooring such as sheet goods, use urea-formaldehyde free oriented strand board (OSB), plywood, or medium density fiberboard (MDF). Also, cement backer is generally used as substrate for tile and contains no formaldehyde. Exterior grade products are also acceptable due to the low emission of formaldehyde. These points are granted if underlayment is eliminated and finish flooring are placed directly on exterior-grade structural subfloor.
OPTIONAL MEASURES – These measures are new or changed.
1.3.3 Accessory Dwelling Unit (attached or detached)
Build an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) on the same lot as the primary residence. The ADU can be attached or detached. The ADU must be built to the same specifications and best practices as the primary residence.
1.3.6. Moisture Modeling: WUFI Condensation Point Analysis
WUFI is a moisture modeling computer program developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)/Fraunhofer IBP. It allows realistic calculation of the transient coupled one-dimensional heat and moisture transport in multi-layer building components exposed to natural weather. It is based on the newest findings regarding vapor diffusion and liquid transport in building materials and has been validated by detailed comparison with measurements obtained in the laboratory and on outdoor testing fields.
2.1.4 Donating Construction Materials
Left-over construction materials such as plywood, oriented strand board (OSB) or framing lumber can be donated to a legal non-profit, for example, Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Sheet goods, half sheet and larger, and framing lumber, 5 feet or longer, must be clean and free of paint, calking and concrete. Paints, stains, and sealant containers must be new and unopened.
2.1.6 Concrete clean out pit
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not allow the discharge of concrete wash water into the groundwater, storm drains, or waterways. Concrete wash water is generated by the cleaning of concrete trucks, chutes, pump trucks and equipment of the trade. Additionally, do not dispose of the left over concrete that was not used on the job on site, but rather into the wash out area. Concrete wash out areas allow for the evaporation and eventual safe removal of solid material. Washout facilities can be prefabricated containers, or they can be built on site either above grade or below grade. Facilities need to be watertight, and sized to accommodate the expected load. Size the wash out area to be large enough to handle all excess concrete, wash water, and rain to prevent overflow. To achieve a water tight site built wash out area the pit, or structure, should be lined with 10 mil plastic sheeting that has no holes, tears, or lapped edges. For larger sites wash out areas should be at least 10' x 10' and at least four feet deep. Smaller sites, those used for single family homes, can construct smaller wash out areas. For larger sites plan the location of your concrete wash out areas into your site plan and construction schedule, always keeping the distance from the concrete work to the wash out area relatively close. When cleaning out a wash out area be sure to wait until the concrete has thoroughly cured and there is no liquid in the pit from concrete wash out activities. The plastic sheeting must be discarded after cleaning the pit, as it will assuredly be ripped.
3.2.2 Slab in Unconditioned Space Insulated for Future Use
Install R-10 insulation installed under the entire concrete slab in unheated basement or garage for future use.
3.7.2 Durable Exterior Trim
Install fiber-cement trim or cedar trim on all exterior trim areas of the home. It is strongly advised that clippers or pneumatic shears are used to cut the siding during installation instead of circular saws. Fiber cement siding releases silica dust when it is sawn. Silica dust is extremely fine and can lead to respiratory problems if inhaled. If cedar trim is used it must be back primed and all end cuts primed before installation.
3.4.4 Wall cavity Insulation: minimum R-23 blown-in
Install blown-in fiberous insulation or sprayed-in-place foam (SPF). Insulation must fill the cavity and touch all six surfaces.
3.10.2 Blown-in Ceiling and Floor Insulation
Blown-in insulation is now required for walls, but can also be installed in ceilings and floors. To be eligible for points, one componenet (vaulted ceilings or floors), must use this practice. This refers to BIBS, Spider and similar proprietary insulation systems that use either fiberglass or cellulose material.
10.1.1 EA Certified Professional: SHP or STAR
The builder or superintendant for the project has graduated from the Earth Advantage Sustainable Homes Professional. A site superintendant or project manager of the project site must the designation. Larger builders should have a significant portion of their workers trained. The real estate broker has graduated from the STAR course.
10.1.8 WaterSense Certification
Complete all necessary measures to achieve the USEPA WasteSense certification. See www.epa.gov/watersense/ for more information. Points are awarded when practices are not covered by other EA measures.
10.1.9 EPS Indoor AirPlus
Incorporate the EPA's Indoor airPLUS program. See www.epa.gov/indoorairplus/. Points awarded are those not covered by other EA measures.
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