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Ultimate Guide to Earthcraft Homes

EarthCraft Certification Criteria
The detached garage on a newly renovated EarthCraft House.
Courtesy of Seville Consulting
­By creating a garage detached from the rest of the home, carbon monoxide and household chemicals are separated from the indoor air supply, making air healthier for residents.

­Certification under the EarthCraft program requires that a home meet three basic criteria:

  • Earn Energy Star Compliance -- Energy Star is a program developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that requires newly-built homes to be at least 15 percent more energy efficient than required by the 2004 International Residential Code, the current benchmark for home building. Under Energy Star guidelines, homes achieve resource efficiency by incorporating features like effective insulation, high-performance windows and efficient heating/cooling systems and appliances.
  • Pass EarthCraft Inspections -- Official inspectors from the company will visit the house twice during the construction process. Once after the house has been framed and again when it is complete. They ensure compliance with building plans and that mechanical systems are installed and operating correctly and at maximum efficiency.
  • Earn a Minimum of 120 points on the EarthCraft Homes Worksheet -- The EarthCraft homes worksheet offers point for the completion of certain activities in specific categories, including site planning, building energy-efficient systems, meeting Energy Star guidelines, waste management, air and water quality and home buyer education [Source: Complete EarthCraft House Guidelines].

The points system is very effective because it allows the EarthCraft program to work in different parts of the country where some environmental concerns may be more important to home buyers than others. It also allows the home to adapt to any local building codes while still achieving certification. To see the complete worksheet, visit EarthCraft's website.

On the next page, we'll explore the EarthCraft home certification process.