Thursday, April 22, 2010

Energy Star Qualified Building - New EPA Guidelines

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced new, more rigorous guidelines for new homes that earn the Energy Star label. Compared to the current Energy Star guidelines, the new requirements will make qualified new homes at least 20 percent more efficient than homes built to the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). These guidelines will go into effect in January 2011, although some builders may choose to adopt the new requirements earlier.

Key elements of the new guidelines for Energy Star qualified homes include:
  • A Complete Thermal Enclosure System: Comprehensive air sealing, properly insulated assemblies and high-performance windows enhance comfort, improve durability and reduce utility bills.
  • Quality Installed Complete Heating and Cooling Systems: High-efficiency heating and cooling systems engineered to deliver more comfort, moisture control and quiet operation, and equipped with fresh-air ventilation to improve air quality.
  • A Complete Water Management System: Because Energy Star homes offer a tightly-sealed and insulated building envelope, a comprehensive package of flashing, moisture barriers, and heavy-duty membrane details is critical to help keep water from roofs, walls, and foundations for improved durability and indoor air quality.
  • Efficient Lighting and Appliances: Look for Energy Star qualified lighting, appliances and fans helping to further reduce monthly utility bills and provide high-quality performance.
  • Third-Party Verification: Energy Star qualified homes require verification by independent Home Energy Raters who conduct a comprehensive series of detailed inspections and use specialized diagnostic equipment to test system performance.

Caltha LLP provides expert consulting services to public and private sector clients nationwide to address Environmental Review and Environmental Impact Assessment.

Caltha Environmental Review Website

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