Finishing the LEED Gold Certified 208 Regiment Green Home
With the ‘bones’ of the LEED certified construction in place we are ready to finish up the house.
During this process we are building similar to traditional construction. We install sheerock. One difference in this process is that we apply a gasket to the top of the sheetrock that is directly below attic area. This technique helps prevent unconditioned air from the attic from slipping in-between the gaps where the sheetrock hits the top plate. We also seal off all HVAC ductwork and vents. This technique we use that is often overlooked in traditional construction but essential for a health indoor air quality. It keeps dust and dirt from entering these vents that will eventually blow conditioned air throughout the house.
Read more about the finishing touches we put on the 208 Regiment green home…
S.E.M. tests 208 Regiment
With the house completed, Southern Energy management comes by to test the house and verify some more of the Green building features necessary for the LEED program.
They check our drought tolerant landscaping that also acts as erosion control in some areas. They also verify that 208 Regiment is not contributing any water runoff from our house into the city storm water system. All water from the roof and driveway is actually captured and piped to a dry basin in the rear of the home where it will percolate through the soil.
See how Southern Energy Managment tests our efficient home…
From our press release:
Durham’s First LEED Certified House Receives Gold Rating
Durham, NC – When Triangle based NC Green Build set out to build Durham’s first LEED Certified, energy efficient house they were striving to make it competitively priced with other more standard-built, new construction homes in the area. In order to keep costs down their original target was to just achieve the program’s ‘Certified’ level. The LEED program offers 4 certification levels: Certified, Sliver, Gold, and Platinum. “We were trying to meet the most beneficial requirements of the program but still produce an affordable house. That is why we originally targeted the lowest certification level the program offers,” said Steve Frasher, one of the company’s co-founders. “But as we got going we realized that we could achieve additional requirements of the program with relatively little increase in cost, and by the time we were done adding other important additional Green features we realized we had achieved the Gold level.”
More: Gold Rating given to the Triangle’s first LEED Certified house on the market…
All framing members are sealed with caulk (white) to ensure an air tight house.
With all rough-ins completed we are ready for a framing inspection from our third party LEED provider. The inspector from Southern Energy Management (our LEED Provider) will verify all aspects of the rough ins and framing to ensure we are following the proper measures to obtain the points needed for our U.S. Green Building Council LEED Certification. We also note certain ‘tricky’ areas for the insulation and consult on the best way to handle those areas to ensure the proper installation of insulation.
Prior to insulation the house is extensively air sealed. This consists of foam and caulk being applied to every penetration that has been made in the building envelope to ensure air tightness. We also caulk every bottom plate, top plate, and all vertical studs in the exterior walls. Additionally, all multiple stud columns are caulked together and all headers, windows, and doors are foamed for air tightness. Lastly, we install a foam gasket to the top plates of any wall that will have an unconditioned attic area above it. This gasket will help keep unconditioned air from making its way down behind the drywall into the house once the drywall is applied. All of these measures are additional steps, which are rarely used, but will help provide a well insulated and efficient home.
Read More About How NC Green Build’s Insulation Techniques Pay Off in Energy Savings…
All hot water lines are insulated for efficiency.
With the framing completed, our Green building partners start to rough-in the plumbing, mechanical, and electric.
Because of our design and installation specifications the plumbing in our LEED houses offer some great energy saving features. First, the house will have a very efficient, tankless water heater. This type of system only heats water as it is demanded. This is different from the traditional water heaters that are constantly trying to maintain hot water in their tank so it can be distributed when called for by the homeowner. Secondly, all the plumbing fixtures in the house are designed to be located a certain distance from the main hot water trunk. Finally, all the hot water lines are insulated. These last two features keep the water in the lines warm longer and keeps it from having to travel far from the water heater to reach the fixtures. The homeowner will waste less water and energy because they won’t have to run their hot water line a long time before the hot water reaches the actual fixture. These features are important because as much as one-third of a home’s total energy bill is spent on water heating. Also, approximately 10% to 15% of energy use in hot water systems in wasted in distribution loss. The closer, insulated lines and efficient equipment help minimize this.
Continue Reading About the Green Construction Methods During the Rough-In Process…
Floor trusses are manufactured off site.
With the LEED house at 208 Regiment we decided to use several design and construction techniques for the framing of the house that are not only environmentally conscious but are more energy efficient. Deciding early that these framing aspects would be present allowed us to specifically design and engineer the house to allow for them from the very beginning.
The first framing decision we made was to utilize trusses and I joists for the floor joists and roof. We also had all of the interior and exterior walls stick built and pre-framed off site. The pre-framed walls and trusses where then shipped in and assembled on site. The benefit of this process is that all the wood is cut and assembled at an offsite facility.
See All of the Green Steps We’re Taking in Framing 208 Regiment…
Silt fence holding back any sediment or dirt to keep it on our lot.
After approval from Durham Planning and Inspections Departments we broke ground on our LEED Certified house.
Prior to any work being done we assessed the site for erosion control measures. Any time you have construction you are going to disrupt and expose the ground. The issue with this is that if that dirt is not contained during rain it will wash sediment, pollutants, and debris into rivers, regional lakes, and damage the city storm water system. We wrapped the entire perimeter of our lot with silt fencing. We also covered the sewer outlet in the street with silt fencing and a silt pipe to keep dirt and soil out. Along with this, we determined that we would regularly patrol the street near our site and sweep and shovel any debris that makes its way into the street (often from tires on delivery trucks, workers, etc.)
Read More About Building the Foundation and Framing…
Many people recognize the term LEED when it comes to Green Building. But what does it really mean?
LEED stands for ‘Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design’
LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources.
Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED provides homeowners and builders a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations, and maintenance solutions.
Learn More About LEED Certification…
Duncan and I have decided on the LEED program as our Green Building certification process. We have reviewed all of the requirements needed and incorporated those into a house design we developed with the help of Woodard-Sease Engineering in Cary, NC. Our plan maximizes living space and bedrooms, while still offering a modern open floor plan. Mechanical rooms and water fixtures are located to optimize efficiency, and the overall framing design will increase the effective value of the insulation in the walls by as much as 30%.
Read More About the 208 Regiment LEED Home’s Setup…
NC Green Build
I would like to tell everyone a little about our company, NC Green Build, and what we are doing with the US Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED for Homes certification in the Raleigh-Durham, NC area.
I guess the best place to start is at the start!
Read About Our Beginning…