01/25/17 - Platinum is the highest level attainable on the LEED scale (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). Of course, Randy will strive for nothing less. The eight areas for which we need to document our efforts are:
1. Innovation & Design Process – When we started, we set goals for the project; we made sure we oriented the house to maximize solar efficiency; and we are actually going above and beyond the LEED requirements by striving for Living Building Challenge certification.
2. Location & Linkages - We returned a former parking lot back into a contributing member of an urban residential neighborhood; the location already had curbs, gutters, and sidewalks. We can walk to numerous destinations including work, the grocery store, and the park.
3. Sustainable Site –We don’t have any landscaping in place but we have no plans for a lawn and are planning on only native/adapted species of floral or edible plants in our yard with drip irrigation.
4. Water Efficiency – All of our water is rainwater and we recycle and reuse all of our graywater. For example, the composting toilets only use one pint per flush.
5. Energy & Atmosphere – The walls, roof, and under the slab all have extremely high levels of insulation; all windows and doors are either triple or quadruple paned; there is no combustion of any kind generated by our house; all power is generated by either solar panels or the wind turbine.
6. Materials & Resources – All wood is either FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified wood or reclaimed; all products were sourced as close to the job site as possible (remember, we live in Montana); and we had no construction waste dumpster on site because nearly all construction waste was diverted from the landfill.
7. Indoor Environmental Quality – Every room has natural light and ventilation; all products were vetted so as not to emit any harmful chemicals; thermal comfort might be a stretch depending upon if you ask me or Randy as to what constitutes comfort but he promised we could talk about it.
8. Awareness & Education - Being totally self-sustaining inside the city limits with DC lighting, composting toilets, and no heat source has certainly piqued a lot of interest. In fact, complete strangers from out of state have knocked on our door, apologized for bothering us, but just had to know, “How did you get permission to do this in the city limits???” In addition, we are hosting some tours AND I am writing this blog!
We need 88 points (for the size of our house) to qualify for LEED for Homes certification at the Platinum level. We are anticipating receiving at least 91 points and are confident that we can reach that goal. We are not quite ready to submit for review but we are getting close. Oooo… the suspense!