Side Note: House Tour – University of Texas at Arlington

In an earlier post I mentioned that we were going to have a tour by a group of students from the University of Texas School of Architecture.  This morning UTA Assistant Professor and Green Building Maven, Jane Ahrens, brought by 40 students who are attending her Architecture and the Environment class (the timing was pretty good – we had just finished putting up drywall yesterday and were preparing to start the tape/bedding process today).  There were good questions and many enthusiastic students.  The first photo is the intro to the house out front.  The second is a Q&A session that was had at the end of the tour in the upstairs living area. 

As you’ll recall, this tour helps us with our point in the Awareness & Education LEED category (AE1.3a).  We hope to have another one of her classes back when the house is completed in a couple months.

Awareness & Education (LEED AE Category)

The final category of the LEED for Homes program is the Awareness & Education category.  This section is fairly short and straightforward.  Some of the sections assume that the home is being built by a Builder to be sold, not by a homeowner to be lived in. 

The first section deals with educating the homeowner.  Our Builder is required to provide us with the LEED documentation and checklists as well as all of the operating manuals for the appliances, HVAC, etc that are installed in the home.  In our case, I’ve been the one driving the green aspects of the house, so I might be putting together my own education packet!

We also get a one-hour walk through of the house including how to operate all of the equipment.  We’re opting out of requiring our Builder to provide “enchanced training”….we don’t think they would be willing to create a CD for our one house.  I can see it being a standard perk for a bulk builder, but not for our boutique builder.

We will be getting our one point for Public Awareness.  We’ve overdone this point, and we might apply for extra credit for our Education efforts:

  • This website and blog, updated typically at least weekly.
  • We’re hoping to get a tour arranged through our Green Consultant attended by our local chapter of the USGBC.
  • We’ve presented our Green House to the staff the Dallas Chapter of the Texas Campaign for the Environment.
  • We expect to have a tour of 40 students on 12/6 from the University of Texas at Arlington School of Architecture.
  • We have a (really good-looking) LEED for Homes sign in front of the house (shown in the picture above).
  • We’ve generated mentions on a few blogs, such as Dallas Dirt and About Green Living.
  • And we’re hoping for inclusion in the 2009 Dallas AIA Home Tour.

Awareness & Education expected points:  1 out of a possible 3.