Guidelines for Gut-Rehab Projects
Because more expensive construction work is being done with gut-rehab, there are greater opportunities for incorporating green building considerations. The first consideration in a gut-rehab project should be energy efficiency. Once stripped down to studs and floorboards, incorporating energy saving features can be easily achieved and it does not have to add a lot to the costs. Achieving the desired energy efficiency for these projects can be accomplished by building to Energy Star specifications. As part of the OCC Green Building Program the Energy Star label is the basic requirement for gut-rehab projects.
To earn the Energy Star label, a home must be tested and shown that it meets guidelines for energy efficiency set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. These homes include energy-saving features that typically make them 20–30 percent more efficient than standard homes. This certification is appropriate for low-income housing projects and represents the starting point for affordable housing projects. Information about the Energy Star qualified construction can be found on their web site.
Features of Energy Star Qualified Homes
ENERGY STAR qualified homes include a variety of proven energy-efficient features that contribute to improved home quality, comfort, and lower energy use.
These features include:
Effective Insulation: Properly installed and inspected insulation in floors, walls, and attics ensures even temperatures throughout the house, reduced energy use, and increased comfort.
High-Performance Windows: Energy-efficient windows employ advanced technologies, such as protective coatings and improved frames, to help keep heat in during winter and out during summer.
Tight Construction and Ducts: Sealing holes and cracks in the home's "envelope" and in heating and cooling duct systems helps reduce drafts, moisture, dust, pollen, and noise.
Efficient Heating and Cooling Equipment: New HVAC equipment are on the market that use less energy to operate, can be quieter, and improve the overall comfort of the home.
Efficient Products: Energy Star products (such as lighting fixtures, compact fluorescent bulbs, ventilation fans, and appliances, such as refrigerators, dishwashers, and washing machines) help to achieve the Energy Star label for homes.
Third-Party Verification: Independent Home Energy Raters help identify the most appropriate energy-saving features and conduct onsite testing and inspections to verify the installed energy efficiency measures.
Revised August 29, 2012