Leed Certification
Sustainable Sites

Delachaise Street Home

Client:

David Hayward

Location:

New Orleans, LA

LEED Consultant:

Chip Henderson

Architect:

Green Rater:


Project Goal:

According to builder/developer David Hayward, "energy efficiency makes a better house. Most builders do not consider the long term consiquences of their decisions. "Why not spend a few extra dollars to provide long term performance and help ensure a home's value?" The construction industry is oriented toward habit and doing what’s been done in the past, in general, but Neighborhood Homes wants to be on the cutting edge with the best building practices. In general, I believe sustainability needs to be championed. Some things just gotta change – we have an unsustainable impact on the environment, which is why I compost, recycle, & drive a hybrid car. New Orleans is behind the rest of the country in construction in general and especially with energy efficiency, which is frustrating because the potential gains from efficiency are higher here. In this intemperate climate, small gains can go a long way. Not just for my own satisfaction, but for a more saleable product. Greater government regulation is needed because people don’t make good cost-benefit decisions.

Solution:

Biggest Lesson Learned: The HVAC company I used was Energy Star accredited, but it was like pulling teeth, and they’re still putting in a larger system; they still wanted to round up the tonnage. On all the houses I’ve done, I’ve used a full ton smaller than the rule of thumb, and it’s fine. It’s frustrating to have to have this argument.

Another Lesson Learned: We tried putting ductwork in the attic, like a “doghouse” covered with foamboard and lots of insulation, between trusses. But it’s better to have higher ceilings and put the ductwork in conditioned space with dropped soffits; they can be strategically placed and also look good, such as to help separate areas of open floor plan.

In general, I’ve been relatively surprised at how little LEED’s requirements were from what we were doing already. For example, it was good to confirm that efficient framing is OK by engineering standards. We simply made incremental changes in every aspect of construction, not just one big change. We achieved high performance without solar. I’d rather build smarter than more…

Most people who buy my work want low maintenance – new or all redone – or, the traditional New Orleans look with modern conveniences, in a desirable neighborhood.

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