Residential Research Quarterly: December 2017 | U.S. Green Building Council
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Check out USGBC's fourth-quarter roundup of the top research on residential green building.

USGBC’s fourth quarterly roundup of the top research and news on residential green building offers a look at the annual Qualified Allocation Plan report by Global Green, proposed changes to the Energy Star program, a potential LEED addition to Iowa City’s tax increment financing policy, a study on the green building activity of homebuilders, a look at state trends for LEED residential construction and a pilot study on the sustainability of urban density.

Global Green Grades States for Green Building Practices in Low Income Housing; 29% of US States Scored an A | Global Green USA

For the second year in a row, Ohio received a perfect score as part of the annual QAP Analysis Report, which grades each state’s 2017 Qualified Allocation Plan. This year, U.S. territories were included in the report, which grades states on smart growth, energy efficiency, resource conservation and health protection. As a whole, the report shows a larger trend towards more sustainable approaches to low-income housing.

Congressional Committee Discusses Bill to Transform Energy Star | USGBC

The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy held a hearing in November to discuss draft legislation that would make major changes to the Energy Star program. USGBC has already commented on the draft, including opposing certain elements, such as the proposal to move Energy Star responsibilities from the EPA to the DOE. Energy Star is among the most widely recognized symbol for energy efficiency in the U.S., and certified homes allow homeowners to save on their energy bills.

Iowa City Seeks Public Input as it Begins Discussion of Revised TIF Policies | Iowa City Press Citizen

The city is updating its tax increment financing (TIF) policies to require new construction projects in the city-university area seeking TIF funding to obtain LEED Silver certification. TIF policies provide financial assistance for projects within a designated urban renewal area and TIF district. In October, the Iowa City Council’s Economic Development Committee voted in favor of recommending this update—among others including affordable housing and historic preservation—to the full council.

Green Multifamily and Single Family Homes 2017 | Dodge Data and Analytics

Dodge Data and Analytics and the National Association of Home Builders partnered to conduct their annual survey on the green building activity of home builders, including the related costs and benefits, specific green practices and renewable energy and net zero homes. The 2017 report found that green homes continue to gain market share, as at least one-third of single-family and multifamily builders surveyed said that a majority of their homes are green.

Washington, D.C. Is Nation’s Capital of LEED-certified Construction | Abodo

Apartment rental website Abodo reported on the national and state trends for LEED residential construction. The report found that Washington, D.C., led the nation in both residential and commercial construction, though it was the metro areas of Chicago and Boston that had the largest average size residential LEED projects. Abodo also found that more suburban areas are not left behind, as communities like Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts, and Taos, New Mexico, have relatively high residential LEED projects per capita.

High Density Not Always More Sustainable | Builder Online

A pilot study conducted by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat finds that density does not necessarily bring more green benefits to a residential project. This research report focuses on the lifestyles of residents in urban and suburban neighborhoods in the Chicago area, and reveals that more progress is needed to make downtown living a truly sustainable in terms of energy consumption.

If you have suggestions for studies or news items we could share, please contact Alysson Blackwelder.

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