RainShine is being constructed under the LEED for Homes Program Pilot Rating System. LEED for Homes is an initiative designed to actively promote the transformation of the mainstream home building industry towards more sustainable practices. LEED for Homes is targeting the top 25% of new homes with best practice environmental features and is a collaborative initiative that actively works with all sectors of the home building industry. This home’s performance in regard to sustainable practices will be measured in eight different resource categories:
1. Innovation and Design Process
2. Location and Linkages
3. Sustainable Sites
4. Water Efficiency
5. Improved Energy and Atmosphere
6. Use of environmentally preferable Materials and Resources
7. Indoor Environmental Quality
8. Public Awareness and Education.
The LEED for Homes rating system works by awarding credits for different aspects of environmental design in each of the above categories. The level of performance achieved in the above categories is separated into four performance tiers. LEED for Homes will rate this home at one of the following levels: Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum. Levels are awarded according to how many points the home achieves in the Rating System. The goal of the RainShine house is to achieve the Platinum level. We anticipate that this house will consume less than 50% of the energy that would be consumed by a similar home built to the standards of the International Energy Conservation Code.
This residence employs many passive and associated active techniques designed to reduce consumption of energy. Additionally, the house employs an extensive list of environmentally preferable materials from salvaged, locally sourced, to recycled to those with low or no volatile organic compounds, each representing lower energy investments, lower contribution to off-gassing and environmental pollution, reduced energy investments in shipping, enhanced durability, etc. Furthermore, specific construction techniques and programs have been implemented to reduce on-site wastes, increase recycled construction waste and minimize the use of materials through efficient framing systems.