The homes are green even if paperwork isn't

New materials raise efficiency; foregoing cost of certification

NORTH BAY -- Homebuilding in the North Bay has slowed to a trickle in the past few years, but a number of the custom homes are being built greener than even the newly increased state green-building standards.

Yet the impact of the economy is being reflected somewhat in whether owners of such home projects put out the additional cost of having them third-party certified under a green-building rating system.

[caption id="attachment_23766" align="alignright" width="324" caption="Leff Construction is building a structurally insulated panel home in Cazadero that won’t be LEED for Homes-certified. "][/caption]

In the western Sonoma County community of Cazadero, Leff Construction of Sebastopol is almost done with the exterior of a nearly 4,000-square-foot home, the builder’s first project with structurally insulated panels, or SIPs, according to President David Leff. Sebastopol architect Marilyn Standley recommended the home be built with SIPs, initial LEED certification-related energy modeling by AIM Associates of Petaluma.

“It was designed for LEED for Homes Gold or Platinum, and it will be built to meet standards for those specifications,” Mr. Leff said. “But the client decided they were not interested in spending the extra money for documentation and certification.”

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