Green Building and Construction

RCHA and its partners have incorporated Green Building principles into its construction practices for many years. We provide quality construction that reduces environmental impacts and increases energy efficiency.


  • Lower operating costs
  • Increased comfort
  • Improved environmental quality
  • Enhanced durability and less maintenance

Components of Green Building

Lot Design, Preparation and Development

  • Conserve natural resources
  • Minimize slope disturbance
  • Align roads with natural topography
  • Minimize soil disturbance and erosion
  • Stockpile and cover good soil for later use
  • Proper management of storm water
  • Incorporate pre-existing natural vegetation into the landscape whenever possible
  • Utilize permeable materials for parking areas, walkways and driveways

Resource Efficiency

  • Use efficient floor plan designs
  • Use detailed framing plans and detailed material takeoffs. Provide on-site cut lists for framing and sheathing material
  • Use pre-manufactured roof framing package
  • Provide a covered entry at exterior doors to prevent water intrusion and subsequent rotting of joists, sills and finishes
  • Use recommended-sized roof overhangs for the climate
  • Install gutter and downspout system to divert water 5’ away from foundation
  • Divert surface water from all sides of building
  • Employ flashing around all windows and doors
  • Use scrap building materials wherever possible
  • Use recycled-content building materials
  • Use materials manufactured from renewable resources
  • Use locally available, indigenous materials

Energy Efficiency

  • Heating system designed and duct system installed in conditioned space using ANSI/ACCA Manual D
  • Heating system sized appropriately, according to ANSI/ACCA Manual J edition
  • Third party plan review
  • Airtight building envelope
  • 2x6” exterior walls
  • Continuous thermal barrier/exterior insulation (Tyvek)
  • Spray applied cellulose insulation
  • Caulk bottom plate of exterior walls
  • Energy Star Windows appropriate for local climate
  • Windows flange sealed to sheeting
  • Sheeting and dry wall form air barriers
  • Caulk/foam all electrical, plumbing, heating penetrations between floors and to exterior
  • All duct work sealed with mastic
  • Stack Framing
  • 2 ft. on-center wall studs and roof
  • Install whole house tank-less water heater
  • Install Energy Star-labeled appliances

Indoor Environmental Quality

  • Install space heating equipment and water heating equipment in isolated mechanical room or closet with an outdoor source of combustion and ventilation air
  • Install direct-vent, sealed combustion gas fireplace or no fireplace installed
  • Install carpet, carpet pad and floor covering adhesives that hold “Green Label” from Carpet and Rug Institute’s indoor air quality testing program
  • Use low or no VOC indoor paint
  • Use low VOC sealants
  • Vent kitchen range exhaust to the outside

Homeowner Education/Operation and Maintenance

  • Distribution of handout/flyer stressing importance of maintenance of energy efficient features
  • Operation  and maintenance instruction for equipment and appliances
  • Explanation of the benefits of using compact fluorescent light bulbs in high usage areas
  • A list of habits/actions to optimize water and energy use
  • User-friendly maintenance checklist
  • A list of local service providers


  • Identify goals as a team
  • Provide training to team members on green development practices that will be used onsite
  • Create a checklist to be filled out onsite that contains only those targeted green development practices that will be implemented in each project

Site Selection

  • Avoid environmentally sensitive areas
  • Choose an infill site whenever possible
For more information regarding energy-efficient green construction practices: