The other day, one of our favorite equestrians "Doc" stopped in to the Office to talk about "Energy"
....Energy Star Rated buildings , that is. She wanted to explore how that might work for her horse barn construction project. "Let me get you some coffee while I bound up the stairs to the "Plaid Room" to gather some info on that, " I said, fearing that this might take a little while.
Like most real estate offices, we have a library. Ours, the "Plaid Room" (so named for the Tartan design that decorates the walls) is the well-stuffed repository where a wealth of information, the result of our research over the years, is filed --at random intervals.
Since we specialize in sustainable design in land and healthy living spaces, you can imagine we've collected a huge stack of leading edge information. And, the Plaid Room is not always neat. In fact, I can't ever remember it being neat. "That's OK," I tell the crew. We love the idea of stewardship and so we are great collectors of pertinent information.
We have file cabinets full of items. We have stacks of brochures ready to file. We have piles of odds ‘n ends. In whatever form you find them, they await the eager 1031 Exchange property investor, the studious client interested in LEED certified building, the devoted horse lover, like Doc who has purchased land and set a good-piece aside in a land trust, and now is ready to build...starting with the stables.
But back to Doc, who by now was probably on a second cup of organic, shade-grown coffee and conversation with some illustrious member of our Team. In record time, I've managed to unearth, from a stack of papers carefully planted beneath the potted Peace Lily, some potentially pertinent paperwork, although I am not sure how applicable it will be to horse barns.
" I'm going to drop a note to my Colleagues Tricia Jumonville and Janie Coffey who may know more about how this would work for stables, and email you," I tell Doc as I hand over the following trendy news.
Energy Star Checklist (<- In-depth at this link. Short list, below)
- All Energy Star-qualified homes will be at least 15 percent more efficient than the State energy code.
- Each home will be required to have a thermal bypassinspection to make sure the home is properly air-sealed and insulated
- All insulation must be installed according to manufacturers' recommendations
- A protocol for downgrading the R-value (resistance to heat flow, which describes the capacity of insulation materials) of the insulation depending on the quality of the installation is now in place.Jeff G just wrote this post on R-Value.
- There are minimums for duct and envelope leakage, a big source of inefficiency.
- All cooling equipment is sized according to the Air Conditioning Contractors of Americas' Manual J.
- A copy of the cooling-load calculation must be submitted for each home.
- Now, only systems above a 13 SEER will receive points.
- The HERS index (Dena just wrote about that!) reflects energy usage instead of efficiency. So a score of 0 reflects a "zero energy home", and a score of 100 is a home built to the 2006 International Energy Code. An Energy Star home will fall in a similar scoring range, about 85 approximately 15 points and 15 percent above code.
- The EPA is developing an indoor-air quality package and offers an advanced lighting package for additional certification.
- All certified homes must comply with the new guidelines unless they were enrolled in a utility or state based efficiency program by Dec. 31, 2005.
You know, Doc did not look one bit
befuddled with all the SEER and HERS
and thermal bypass inspections
Maybe you can tell
by the photo (to your right)
that she's the kind of person
who is careful about details.
She's aware that this all adds up to
- low utility bills in horse facilities ...
Do you suppose she'll choose an energy audit
for horse and home?
- Resources: Plaid Room (I'm smiling)
Plaid graphic courtesy of Wikipedia.
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