A local certification program in Chattanooga which sets guidelines for green building architecture is said to reduce energy consumption of infrastructures by 40%.
The green building guidelines, called Better Built and developed by Green Spaces for 18 months at a cost of $200,000, will work just like the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED). The only difference is that it is strictly for Chattanooga homeowners only, which will come with a manual and a plaque.
The primary goal of Better Built is to enable local homeowners to manage the standard by themselves.
Similarly, the Collier Construction, another designation for sustainable designs developed by Lipscomb University Institute for Sustainable Practice, has been promoting sustainable building practices in Chattanooga.
The designation is a general contractor in Chattanooga that provides architectural services from additions and renovations to custom residential and commercial construction.
On the other hand, development of Better Built has drawn up the collaboration of several other entities including Chattanooga officials, green building practitioners, environmentalists and the Lyndhurst Foundation.
According to Richard Beeland, spokesman for Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield, Green Spaces’s certification program is a local-level continuation of its advocacy in building green infrastructures to achieve LEED rating.
The local certification program requires tight sealing for houses to prevent air from leaking, either through the attic or through the heating and air conditioning system.
The designation will be awarded to houses that meet these standards while comparing houses using that information.
Jeff Cannon, co-director of Green Spaces, noted that homes were built with “loose tolerance” some ten years ago since heating during that time came from fireplaces or coal stoves that generated uncontainable materials.
At present, the electricity-powered region has only few homeowners that rely on fireplaces or coal for heating, with the majority having shifted to the modern system, thus the tight requirements of containing the air inside the house.
However, there are other requirements on top of the standard on sealing.
According to Cannon, both the contractors and homeowners need to attend training courses before they could use the designation. The training courses would also teach homeowners how to efficiently run their houses.
Cannon expects that the local designation “will be mandated nationally down the road where you won’t be able to sell a home without providing a buyer this information.”