First remodeled home certified to national green building standard

WASHINGTON, May 21 -- A recently completed remodeling project in Munster, Ind., is the first home remodel to earn certification under the National Green Building Standard, the National Association of Home Builders announced last week.

The 1,100-square-foot ranch home built in 1974 was renovated by Lyng Builders, a Franklin, Ill., custom home building and remodeling company, after floodwaters filled the basement as well as two feet of the first floor.

Working within a tight budget to repair substantial structural damage, Lyng Builders also persuaded the home owner to make improvements that can help save on utility bills by decreasing energy and water consumption and to obtain national green certification through the NAHB Research Center, which trains and accredits third-party inspectors.

For projects to be certified, remodelers must address a range of factors, including energy, resource and water efficiency and indoor environmental quality in the newly renovated home.

"With 111 million existing homes, remodeling these energy and water guzzlers must be a top priority to achieve a more efficient housing stock," said NAHB Chairman Joe Robson, a builder and developer in Tulsa, Okla. "NAHB leads the housing industry by helping professionals take advantage of the first and only national standard to certify green remodeled homes."

Lyng Builders upgraded the heating and cooling system, installed a high-efficiency water heater, selected Energy Star-rated appliances, added wall and pipe insulation and thoroughly sealed the home against air and energy leaks to produce an estimated 49 percent decrease in energy consumption from the pre-remodeled home.

To reduce water waste, the company replaced the faucets and toilets with low-flow fixtures that should help the homeowners use about 20 percent less water.

The home was also equipped with a programmable thermostat, a power-vented attic fan, and a programmed exhaust mechanism for efficient conditioning and ventilation.

Already, more than 1,500 new homes, renovation projects and subdivisions are in the scoring process for the standard at A href=http:// www.nahbgreen.org>NAHBGreen.org, the online home of the NAHB National Green Building Program.

Approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in January, the ICC-700-2008 National Green Building Standard sets benchmarks and a verification protocol for single-family homes, apartments and condominiums, remodeling, lot and site development and all kinds of residential construction.

Homeowner Steve Holcomb praised Lyng Builders for its work. "Lyng went out of his way to make sure everything was just right. My house is working more efficiently," he said. Holcomb can also take advantage of additional savings with the federal energy-efficiency tax credit for products used in the renovation.

"The certification of this remodeled home in Indiana demonstrates NAHB's leadership on green remodeling and the benefits home owners can enjoy with a more efficient home," said Robson.

"I congratulate Mr. Lyng, the SouthWest Suburban Home Builders Association in Illinois, the verifying firm of Energy Diagnostics and the homeowners for leading the way," he said.

Learn more about green remodeling from NAHB Remodelers.

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