By Molly Cox
The Residential Green Building Committee met on November 14th, 2016. We heard from our own Rick Ames from Next Phase Studios, on the plethora of certification types he has encountered with his projects (See attached presentation). This includes the Living Building Challenge, LEED, Net Zero Energy, Energy STAR, Passive House, and Enterprise Green Community Certification.
Rick went into depth on some of the projects he has worked on which include deep energy retrofits and changes such as the addition of solar thermal, solar PV, reassessing boiler situations, insulating the outside of building, natural ventilation, and more. Rick showed us some examples of past projects including a grocery store, hospital, college campus, and homes. One EnergySTAR rated home included a “Healthy House,” as it created a healthier living environment for a homeowner with respiratory troubles.
Rick explained his interest in the Living Building Challenge certification in particular, as it shows “buildings can be regenerative.” This certification is based on multiple performance categories that sets a high bar for environmentally sustainable buildings. It requires urban agriculture, and includes attributes such as an efficient gray water system, compost toilet, and more. It also involves equity measures such as social justice and educational requirements, along with beauty conditions.
Some of the lingering questions included how do we continue to raise the bar within the commercial and residential building space? What are some action items we can take to promote taking these next steps?
We then continued to discuss some committee business, and the exciting events we have coming up!
We have a building tour on December 1st, 2016 at the Distillery in South Boston, which has Passive House certification (register HERE). And come join us for our next Committee meeting on December 12th!