First Certified 'Green' Homes in County
The first two certified "green" houses in Moore County that were designed by the Pinehurst architectural firm of Stagaard & Chao Architects have received bronze recognition from the North Carolina HealthyBuilt Homes Program.
The home of George and Laura Christophersen at Fairwoods on 7 received its bronze certificate in March of this year, earning the honor of being the first home in Moore County to be certified, a news release said. Built by the High Point construction company of B.E. Vaughan & Son, the 4,300-square-foot residence met all nine program prerequisites and earned a total of more than 150 points in eight categories, all verified through third party tests and inspections.
The second home, recently completed by the Pinehurst construction company of Bowness Custom Homes for homeowners Richard Pabst and Pamela Bradley at the Country Club of North Carolina, also received a bronze certification as well.
"Pam and I have never lived in such a quiet, efficient and comfortable home," Richard Pabst said.
Alex Bowness, owner of Bowness Custom Homes, said, "As a team, we're very proud of the home, and it is great to have independent third parties attest that what we did met the rigorous standards of the program."
Alan Stagaard and Tessie Chao are certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards and are members of the American Institute of Architects. They currently hold licenses to practice architecture in North and South Carolina, Georgia, New Jersey and Texas.
They specialize in residential and light commercial building design, including business, resort and recreational, churches and medical clinics. The firm has completed more than 400 projects since the office opened in 1992. While most have been new work, many of their projects have involved additions, alterations, restorations, and adaptive re-use.
"When we began working with our clients for these two homes," Stagaard said, "the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Homes (LEED-H) program did not exist. The NC HealthyBuilt Homes program (NCHBH) had been on our radar for a while so, when we began discussing green certification for our clients' new homes, it seemed to us to be the natural choice."
The NCHBH program is aimed at builder participation and encourages partnering between the homeowner, design professional and builder, Staggard and Chao said in a news release. It is similar to LEED-H except that it is a regional program and may be a little more "user friendly" for builders, they said.
"Incorporating sustainable principles, materials and strategies into the design of our buildings has been a serious goal of our firm for many years," Chao said. "We are encouraged to see that some local builders and designers are beginning to promote green building practices and green certification programs. If nothing else, a certification which proves a home or building was constructed to a certain standard of sustainability will add to its value a few years from now when building green will be, almost certainly, a requirement."
Stagaard added, "Good sustainable construction begins with good design. If the advantages of good design are not thought through and incorporated into the project at the very beginning, before construction starts, they can never be recouped later in the building process. Proper care of the site, building orientation and siting do not happen by accident.
"Sun control, passive design strategies and effective window placement are not easily changed or mitigated after a building is framed and closed in. The science of high-performance building design providing energy efficiency, durability, and high quality indoor environments should be a fundamental focus for any designer or builder. We are quite certain that in a few years the building codes will make some level of sustainable construction mandatory."
The International Code Council (ICC) recently announced that it has partnered with the American Institute of Architects and ASTM International to co-author the "International Green Construction Code." It is expected to be published and ready for adoption by 1012. This building code is being written for new and existing commercial construction, but a new residential green code will not be far behind, according to Staggard and Chao. The ICC publishes the International Building Code, which is the model code for North Carolina.
"Buildings consume 40 percent of the energy used in the United States and produce almost 40 percent of the CO2 emissions," Chao said. "If we, as a nation, intend to achieve carbon neutrality by the year 2030, we better get going."
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