Remodeler Gary Nash took a green building class right around the time that he was getting ready to build his own home. The owner of Nash Construction asked the instructor, David Johnston, to come to Marshall, Va., to train Nash’s architect, project manager, salespeople, and field personnel. All of them completed Johnston’s course and passed the test to earn the Green Advantage certification.
Nash implemented what he learned from the class in the design of his new home. “My house became our personal training ground,” says Nash, who chose to pursue the EarthCraft House certification for his home.
One of the program’s requirements is to boost community awareness of green building, so Nash hosted several open houses during the construction phase to educate the public about the green products and practices used in the home.
During one of the open houses, Nash met architect Marcie Meditch of Murphey Meditch Architects. She wanted to design and build a net zero energy house — a house that, on an annual average basis, produces as much energy as it consumes. She asked Nash Construction to be part of the team and decided to pursue LEED for Homes platinum certification.
“There are a lot of things put into the design because of my own practical experiences in my house,” Nash says. Both this home and Nash’s own house have no toxins in the paints, adhesives, or subflooring. The team chose geothermal HVAC, as Nash had also done for his home. “The houses are so tight that you have to put in carbon monoxide detectors,” Nash says. “You have to pump air in from the outside. We use an air exchanger and filter air through a HEPA filter.” Nash says that the tours allow visitors to see how a green house can benefit them. “You have better indoor air quality with a healthier family and lower utility bills. That has quantitative value,” he points out.
Just as with EarthCraft House, LEED certification requires community outreach, so the team hosted several open houses before the new owner moved in. The house earned the targeted platinum level in LEED for Homes.
Nash Construction has worked on four green houses, each of which has either EarthCraft or LEED certification. “We bring consulting and hands-on experience — not just technical methods and materials,” Nash says.
—Nina Patel, senior editor, REMODELING.