LEED Certification Highlights from the Bonita Avenue Construction
The LEED certification process at 4045 Bonita Avenue is making major headway—and we’re eager to share the details. We have several new updates to report that will provide a glimpse into what will make this Oxford Home so eco-friendly and sustainable.
Here’s the current state of our green building:
Completed the design charrette
A design charrette is a meeting of the minds that brings together all aspects of the building project. The collaboration is meant to engage the design and construction team early in the design process to discuss green strategies and technologies.
For LEED purposes, the design charrette helps the project earn one credit in the innovation and design process category. We’re required to put in eight hours of collaboration in order to qualify for the certification.
For 4045 Bonita, we’ve just completed our design charrette, which involved the owner, architect, site superintendent, LEED for Homes Provider, HERS Rater, Green Rater, and the project’s LEED for Homes AP. The team developed a preliminary rating that identifies targeted green building credits and the performance tier for the project. As of right now, we’re striving to achieve LEED Silver for Bonita.
Lowering the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) score
A HERs index rating is a measure of the home’s efficiency—and, like golf, the lower the score, the better. A high HERs score indicates that the building is not optimized in terms of energy efficiency. The national average for most homes across the U.S. is a HERS of 100.
Since the original design is sustainable and eco-friendly, a preliminary HERs was developed for Bonita based on architectural and mechanical plan specifications. The building uses steel and glass as the main component of construction—no cement or cement blocks. This brilliant design is thanks to the teamwork of our team, Brillhart Architecture, and the trades, and because of this design, the home scored a HERs of 70, making our preliminary plans 30% better than the national average.
During the design charrette the project team discussed strategies that included enhancing efficiencies in windows, lighting, and envelope insulation values to reduce the HERs score further.
Received site-specific awards
This project has already received a few LEED points for site-specific credits. Before we even started on construction, Bonita received points for:
- Building orientation for solar design. Bonita is oriented to take advantage of south-facing roof areas for future solar installation and south-facing windows that will be shaded in the summer (thereby reducing the amount of air conditioning needed).
- Infill development and previously developed land. The home is located in an existing and well-established community that’s bordered by homes on all sides. Since this home is being built on previously developed land, it won’t contribute to urban sprawl, doesn’t put a new drain on natural resources, and uses existing utility connections.
- Extensive community resources and transit and access to open space. Also due to the home’s location in a well-established neighborhood, the project has achieved points for being located within a quarter mile of at least seven basic community resources such as shopping centers, places of worship, and public transit. The home is also within half mile of public access to open park space. This aspect of the home’s location enhances community walkability (lessening the need for vehicle use), which contributes to greenhouse gas reductions and health benefits.
In addition to our overall progress—and as part of founding sponsorship—participating ARC+ students have been working on-site throughout the project.
So, what’s next for Bonita? We’ll have more of this story as it continues to develop. Follow us here for our updated LEED certification progress and to discover all the amazing features this sustainable home will have to offer.