Hampton Roads' first LEED certified home.

A Green Future for Norfolk: Making Green Homes Affordable

In 2009, Green Build It was asked to construct a home on a previously developed infill lot. The prior residence was destroyed by fire and subsequently razed. With a modest construction budget (only $125K in construction costs), the team set an ambitious goal of building the first LEED certified residence in Hampton Roads. The project was an opportunity to demonstrate that affordability and sustainability can work hand in hand.

From the beginning, improved energy efficiency and sustainability were top priorities. A durable and energy saving building envelope was specified to increase energy efficiency. Spray foam and cellulose insulation were used throughout along with low-e argon windows, passive solar strategies, and high efficiency HVAC.  Attics and crawl spaces were insulated, insuring that all ductwork was located inside the home’s conditioned space. The team constructed the home with concern for all resources, not just energy. A combination of advanced framing methods, pre-cut framing packages, and a diligent recycling program reduced construction waste and also contributed to the home’s affordability. With low-flow fixtures and dual flush toilets inside along with drought resistant native landscaping outside, water demand is expected to be as much as one-third less than a typical Norfolk home. Programs were put in place to educate the homeowners in the proper operation and maintenance of their LEED-certified house, helping to ensure that their home will continue to operate as efficiently as designed for years to come.

1434 Lead St has the distinction of being the first LEED certified home in Hampton Roads, achieving LEED Gold. The home also earned a “5 Stars Plus” ENERGY STAR rating by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As a result of integrated design and construction, the home scored a HERS Index of 69 – meaning the home is 31% more energy efficient than similar “code built” homes today. With growing public support and awareness for green building, and the demand for affordable housing, more are sure to follow.