Well, here we go again, same ole’… Yes folks, one more class & another set of initials – this time though it is required for a new Energy Efficiency program being launched for customers of Huntsville Electric this coming July. Assuming everything works out, expect an article or two later this month or early in July on it. Many thanks also to the Huntsville Madison County HBA for offering & hosting this class – it truly is no wonder why this area of the state leads the way in “green.”
In order to become a CGP, one must attend a two day class covering the ICC 700-2008 (National Green Building Standard) and the NAHB’s scoring tool. One must also attend (or have already attended) the Business Management course which I am taking tomorrow. Both of these classes are being taught by John Allen of Southern Construction & Design Inc. Quite honestly, while he is a great guy & instructor the class was boring as all get out as one could almost label it as an introduction to Green & the NAHB’s Scoring system.
Like many other programs they do have some good points and a few where one just has to shake their head at. I did like there 5 D’s for moisture management; Deflect, Drain, Dry, Durability, and Do-ability. One major theme they like stressing is “Practicality” (i.e. is it doable?). Sure we can require one to just get FSC certified wood, but is that practical for the builder, supplier, manufacturers, etc… One other area they like to use a catch phrase is with matters of Indoor Air Quality; where they have the 4 “ate’s” Eliminate, Separate, Ventilate, and Filtrate.
As I mentioned earlier, this was almost an introduction course to what “green” is, they were a little weak in building science (38 pages) whereas site & lot development was almost double that amount (68 pages total). I have to disagree with them on their 3 legged stool of Energy Efficiency being brought about by Conservation, Alternative Energy, & Efficient Consumption. (HTRC Article: Energy Efficiency vs. Conservation – what is the real issue?)
Unlike some other programs, they are pretty smart about specifically not mentioning “you will see XY or Z results” as they realize a lot of things an owner does, and how they maintain the property will affect the results. With that said, as this program was pretty well written so that with only a few minor changes any builder could hit a bronze level rating (if they weren’t already) they leave allot on the table for real improvements and better results. Please don’t get me wrong, when you start going up the levels you are making some great strides – the issue resides with the lower tiers & do you really want to call that green. Of course that gets back to one of my earliest articles – Well that depends on what you consider green is…
The Scoring Tool:
I really do applaud the NAHB for not only publishing the scoring tool online, but making it free for anyone to use (yes even home-owners can register & use it.) Registration took me just a few minutes & I was online using it just a minute later. Not only was the registration process easy, each line item also includes a description of exactly what they mean by it. One quick item to remember is the program is based off the ICC 700-2008 book, so all references to the IRC & IECC are referencing the 2006 versions of those codes.
There were two figures that stood out for me during the class; over 80% of all the homes built in the US are built by members of the NAHB, and the second one was that over a Billion Board feet of usable lumber is simply dumped in the landfill each year. I guess I can’t forget the lunches – they provide a menu of choices from Steak Out Charbroiled & these are delivered nice & hot around noon time. No matter if you go with just a salad, a sandwich, or the meal, you can’t go wrong, it’s all good eats. (As an FYI for Southface, no worries, you still hold the top spot for the food – HTRC article: Training Revisted – The battle to be the best)
Wow, did they have someone from RESNET write that mess – fortunately it is not only open book but you – nope can’t say that… Let’s just say no one failed, but it was an ugly 25 questions. As an FYI to the test writers; a blower Door does not have air gauges on both the inside & outside of the structure, we take measurements though from both areas.