'LEED'ing The Way

  Energy efficient homes built on Leona Avenue.

Energy efficient homes built on Leona Avenue.

Homeport Designs Environmentally Friendly Homes In Milo-Grogan

From kitchen appliances to shower heads to basement insulation, Homeport has committed to taking the “LEED” in protecting the environment -- and controlling utility bills of individuals renting from it.

Homeport in August completed the last of 33 single-family homes built in the Milo-Grogan community of Columbus.

But it was in 2016, long before land was cleared for revitalization of the once vibrant working-class neighborhood, that Homeport committed to Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) standards, with a goal of Silver Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

“Prior to construction, Homeport met with architects, engineers, our general contractor and a ‘green’ consultant to design the best environmentally friendly home,” said Homeport Project Manager Justin Metzler.

“It boiled down to creating a home better for residents' health and cost-efficient in terms of heating, air conditioning and water use,” Metzler added.

  Energy efficient water tank in front of mineral fiber blanket insulation in the basement of East Starr Avenue home.

Energy efficient water tank in front of mineral fiber blanket insulation in the basement of East Starr Avenue home.

Following LEED design criteria, Homeport:

-- Used Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood to promote the responsible management of the world’s forests.

--  Followed Construction Waste Management practices to reduce impact on local landfills.

-- Made use of environmentally preferable products to utilize recycled content.

-- Utilized products with low emissions to limit damage to the ozone.

--  Relied on products extracted, harvested, and manufactured within 500 miles of the site.

--  Used native plant species to minimize excessive water use.

--  Installed high efficiency plumbing fixtures and appliances.

-- Designed and installed efficient heating/cooling systems to minimize energy use.

--  Used higher quality filters with a minimum MERV 8 rating to further improve indoor air quality.

  Energy Star rated refrigerator and stove/oven in new Milo-Grogan home.

Energy Star rated refrigerator and stove/oven in new Milo-Grogan home.

Generally, LEED homes can:

·       Reduce energy use by 30 to 60 percent, saving families thousands of dollars over seven or eight years.

·       Be efficiently heated and cooled resulting in less heating and cooling loss/gains.

·       Add value to the future homeowner.

·       Reduce exposure to dangerous airborne toxins and pollutants.

“Before families move into the home, LEED standards require thorough on-site inspections with detailed documentation to ensure the health and safety of the residents,” Homeport’s Metzler said.

The Milo-Grogan homes were financed through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program that requires the home to remain affordable for 30 years. The home can be purchased after the 15th year.

In submitting its LIHTC application to the Ohio Housing Finance Authority, Homeport committed to meeting higher energy efficient design standards.

After the OHFA application approval, Homeport hired Sol Design+ Consulting of Cincinnati to assist in a “green” strategy for the project.