Friday, June 5, 2009

LEED Certified Home

My senior studio project for school was a 3400 sq. foot residential home in which I chose the outer building shell and then designed everything on the inside from doing the space planning for all the walls/rooms/areas in the house including window placement and door locations to the furniture, fabrics, flooring, plumbing fixtures, appliances, paint colors,accessories and lighting plan. The only requirements that we had was that it must be at least 3,000 sq. ft. and have three bathrooms and two levels. It was a huge project that we spent the entire semester working independently on. I decided that I wanted my house to be LEED Certified at the silver level so I chose fabrics with recycled or eco-friendly content, renewable bamboo flooring, FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified woods, zero-voc paints, energy efficient appliances and used space-planning techniques such as placing windows on the south side of the home to take advantage of the sunlight to save on heating costs, using a tankless water heater, and using SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels) to construct the home instead of typical framing to save up to 60% on energy bills. It was a really fun project to work on and I learned a lot about LEED and sustainability and the eco-friendly materials that are available now.

I had originally planned to study for the LEED exam this summer since I would still sort of be in "school mode" but once I graduated I realized that a month to study for the exam just was not enough time. A lot of people spend at least six months studying and since I am someone that needs to feel prepared before I do anything, I decided to put it off until I could study more. The only disadvantage to that is that they are changing the LEED exam this June and it requires taking two exams now and I've heard that it is more difficult. eek! I guess I'll just have to get studying!

Sorry the pictures aren't the best!

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