ICC 700 National Green Building Standard (NGBS)
National Green Building Certification is based on the ICC 700-2008 National Green Building Standard™. The goal of NGBS is to establish a much needed and nationally recognizable standard definition of green building. NGBS is the only residential green building rating system to undergo the full consensus process and receive approval from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The Standard defines green building for single and multifamily homes, residential remodeling and site development projects while still allowing for the flexibility required for regionally appropriate best green practices. The Standard includes five categories incorporated into the everyday process of home building: energy efficiency, water and resource conservation, sustainable or recycled products, and indoor air quality. NGBS certified projects have the opportunity to achieve one of four green certification levels for homes available in the Standard; Bronze, Silver, Gold and Emerald.
U.S. Green Building Council | LEED for Homes
Two Trails ability to streamline a new construction project’s certification process will reduce soft cost project certification fees. We provide guidance for LEED for Homes certifications as it is a sightly different process than other LEED tracks. Two Trails can facilitate all other LEED for Homes services such as HERS testing and verification, energy modeling, and LEED Green Rater Services. We want your project to succeed and achieve the highest possible rating, with the lowest amount of cost to your project. We only do what makes sense for the project and the projects budget. We have the experience and the know how to take your project from design phase to completion all while handling the LEED administration along the way.
The HERS Index is a scoring system established by RESNET (Residential Energy Services Network). A HERS Index of 100 is given to a home with specifications that match that of a HERS reference home that is based on the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code. The lower the home’s HERS Index, the more energy efficient it is compared to the HERS reference home. Each 1-point reduction in the HERS Index corresponds to a 1% reduction in the energy consumption and a 1% improvement in the energy efficiency of the home. Thus, a home with a HERS Index of 70 is 30% more energy efficient than the HERS reference home. A HERS Index of 0 would represent a home where renewable power generation is being utilized (such as solar energy) at a level where the energy generation matches the energy consumption of the home based on the HERS Index. These homes have implemented energy efficient features as well as renewable energy generation.
The Energy Rating Guide
The Building Energy Rating Guide is the official document generated as a result of the HERS energy rating. It contains a building rating scale illustrating the energy use of the rated home in comparison to the HERS reference home. It serves as an energy “yardstick”, much like the MPG rating does for an automobile. It allows one to compare the energy efficiencies of one home to another. The Building Energy Rating Guide also includes a bar chart, giving a numerical breakdown of the basic sources of energy costs for the rated home. It also shows the HERS Index and the star level of the home (5 Star+ being the highest level). If the rated home qualifies for an energy efficient mortgage (EEM), that is also illustrated on the Building Energy Rating Guide.
The Building Energy Rating Guide can be a very valuable document to the home owner if the HERS Index is low. It can be used to market and distinguish the home’s added energy efficiency features at the time of sale. Higher energy efficiency leads to lower ownership costs. This is turn makes the home more affordable to own.
ENERGY STAR® qualified homes meet strict energy guidelines established by the Environmental Protections Agency and are at least 15% more energy-efficient than homes built to the 2004 International Residential Code (IRC). They also are preferred by many homebuyers because they save money on utilities, are more comfortable and help protect the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Two Trails is a nationally certified Home Energy Rating company that provides ENERGY STAR® certification for new homes, a HERS Provider, and a LEED for Homes Provider. ENERGY STAR homes provide greater comfort, lower utility bills, protect the environment and are independently verified by a third party to ensure compliance with the government-backed program requirements.
The Florida Water Star program is a voluntary certification program for new residential and commercial construction and existing home renovation. The program encourages water efficiency in appliances, plumbing fixtures, irrigation systems and landscapes, as well as water quality benefits from best management practices in landscapes. Based on estimates, an average Florida Water Star homeowner can save up to 20 percent of water use annually. The program outlines standards for a broad range of homes — from a condominium with no yard to an older home on a half-acre lot with an aging irrigation system. Commercial properties save even more, thereby lowering operating costs by reducing water and energy bills.
EPA created Indoor airPLUS certification to help builders meet the growing consumer preference for homes with improved indoor air quality. EPA developed additional construction specifications to help improve indoor air quality in new homes.
Construction specifications include the careful selection of and installation of moisture control systems; heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems; combustion-venting systems; radon resistant construction; and low-emitting building materials. Ask about the Indoor airPLUS qualification for your next new home.
An energy audit, also known as an energy assessment or survey, is exactly what you need when looking for ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home. A certified HERS Home Energy Auditor will use specialized equipment such as blower doors and infrared cameras to measure air leaks and reveal hard-to-detect areas of air infiltration and missing insulation.
Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC)
The Florida Green Building Coalition is a nonprofit Florida corporation dedicated to improving the built environment. The certification is designed to lead and promote sustainability with environmental, economic, and social benefits through regional education programs. FGBC was conceived and founded in the belief that green building programs will be most successful if there are clear and meaningful principles on which "green" qualification and marketing are based. FGBC is unique in a way that the certification takes into consideration the unique climate that Florida has compared to rest of the nation.