Programs + Standards

Published on February 26th, 2008 | by Kristin Dispenza


What Does it Mean to Build Green?

Wood Frame ConstructionIn an MSNBC article last year, it was projected that by 2010 half of all new homes will be built green, since homebuilders see a big benefit to their business from going green. In a nationwide survey conducted in 2007 by Professional Builder Magazine, builders reported that they believed energy efficiency to be somewhat or extremely important to 97 percent of homebuyers; these builders also believed that indoor air quality, sustainability, and resource conservation were important considerations for more than half of their customers.

With sustainability issues coming to the forefront in the housing market, it’s not surprising that builders and developers are scrambling to implement some radical changes in their methodology. By what means does this occur? Often builders find it easiest to enlist the help of a third party resource. Third party organizations can introduce builders to a more complete array of information than they might be able to discover on their own, and can help a builder identify his or her own best course of action.

In the northwest, one acclaimed non-profit organization that has been providing such a service is Earth Advantage, Inc. Evolving from a utility-based conservationist group, Earth Advantage has become one of the region’s dominant sustainable building resources. Earth Advantage works with many other organizations to bring together the various green building strategies that have proliferated in recent years. They provide a variety of services, including consulting, training, and performance testing.

Earth Advantage can certify homes under its own name, using a list of criteria detailed on its website which results in a home that is 15% more energy efficient than a house built using standard construction methods. Earth Advantage is also qualified to certify a home under ENERGY STAR® Homes, and they serve as a LEED for Homes Program Provider.

In offering builders options, and helping them chart a course for producing eco-friendly products, Earth Advantage has helped residential green building gain a foothold in the northwest. Since its inception, the organization has certified 10,000 homes.

Image credit: stock.xchng

Regional Briefly

The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA) November 10, 2004 | Compiled from staff and wire reports FAULTY CIRCUIT BOARD TAKES OUT CITY PHONES Coeur d’Alene A faulty and obsolete circuit board took down the city’s telephones Monday afternoon, sparking a coast-to-coast search for replacement parts.

Callers who try to call city departments using the 769 prefix are greeted by a busy signal.

Police said people with police or fire emergencies should still call 911.

To reach city departments aside from police, people are asked to call (208) 755-9722, where switchboard operators will attempt to forward messages to the desired department. here coeur d alene resort

People placing regular business calls to police should use 664- 1515 or 704-4358, Sgt. Christie Wood, information officer for the police, said.

Wood said city maintenance workers may have located compatible circuitry from a company in California. Other reports later Tuesday said the parts were found in Denver. The computer-driven telephone system used by the city went out of production in 1996, Wood said. If parts are located Tuesday, the phones could be back in service today, she said.

DRIVER HIT WHILE MAKING U-TURN ON HIGHWAY Blanchard, Idaho A woman who missed her road and tried to make a U-turn on state Highway 41 was injured Monday night when her car was struck by a vehicle traveling behind her, the Idaho State Police reported.

Karen R. Vassallo, 43, Blanchard, was headed north on Highway 41 just north of Blanchard at 7:37 p.m. Monday, ISP said, when she apparently missed a road where she had intended to turn. Vassallo began a U-turn in a 1998 Pontiac Grand Am and was struck broadside by another northbound car that was behind her.

ISP identified the driver of the second car as 23-year-old Krista B. Conley of Newport, Wash. Conley was not injured and no citations have been issued pending the outcome of ISP’s investigation.

Vassallo was taken to Newport Community Hospital where she remained Tuesday in fair condition, hospital staffers said.

RECORD TURNOUT BY KOOTENAI COUNTY VOTERS Coeur d’Alene It’s official: Kootenai County had the largest voter turnout ever.

Election officials presented the Kootenai County Commission Tuesday with the official vote tally.

On Election Day, 86.6 percent of the county’s 61,145 registered voters cast ballots. Of those ballots, 8,326 were absentee ballots. That means the county’s two counting machines tallied 55,704 ballots.

County Elections Supervisor Deedie Beard also told the commission that 8,326 people registered to vote on Election Day.

“Those machines hummed right along,” Beard said. “We didn’t have to tweak them or do a thing.” County Clerk Dan English said the election office got very few complaints despite the large turnout that kept poll workers busy all day.

Commission Chairman Dick Panabaker thanked the election workers.

“I know it was a lot of work but it went well,” he said.

The high voter turnout is attributed to the presidential election that brought massive numbers of people to the polls nationwide.

RESORT PROMISES SPECIAL HOLIDAY SHOW Coeur d’Alene The Coeur d’Alene Resort promises that its annual Holiday Light Show will be extra-special with more lights, surprise fireworks and a Victorian village.

“This year’s light show will be bigger and more colorful than ever,” said Jerry Jaeger, president and co-owner of Hagadone Hospitality.

Chairman Duane Hagadone asked for extra-special fireworks, so the resort manager and event director are putting together some surprises, Jaeger said.

The show begins Nov. 26, the day after Thanksgiving, with a downtown parade and lighting ceremony on the front lawn of The Coeur d’Alene Resort. After the countdown, the sky will erupt with fireworks that fire more than one thousand bursts per minute from the four barges in front of the resort.

More than a million lights will sparkle across Lake Coeur d’Alene in festive holiday displays through Jan. 3, along with cruise boat rides, downtown festivities, holiday dining and a community Festival of Trees. Children can visit Santa at his North Pole workshop after a Fantasy Cruise to the North Pole across the lake. see here coeur d alene resort

The new Victorian Village is expected to be a main attraction. This new light feature, complete with stained glass windows, is 30 feet tall and 125 feet long and has more than 5,000 lights. The tableaux includes a running, babbling creek, an animated water wheel and two chimneys with animated smoke.

A highlight of the show is the nightly cruises to Santa’s workshop, where St. Nick himself greets visitors before illuminating the 200,000 lights that create his waterfront workshop. Cruises depart each evening from The Coeur d’Alene Resort’s “Fun Fleet” on climate-controlled boats.

For more information, call (800) 688-5253 or go to

NIC STUDENT PAPER WINS NATIONAL AWARD North Idaho College’s student newspaper has won another national award.

The Sentinel won third place for Best of Show among two-year college newspapers Sunday at the National College Media Convention in Nashville.

More than 100 community colleges were represented at the four- day convention. Eight North Idaho College students attended, along with adviser Nils Rosdahl.

Southwestern College of Chula Vista, Calif., took top honor among two-year schools, followed by second-place winner Contra Costa College of California.

PATTY DUKE LEAVES HOSPITAL AFTER BYPASS Coeur d’Alene Oscar-winning actress Patty Duke Pearce was released from Kootenai Medical Center on Tuesday after undergoing single bypass surgery.

Hospital spokeswoman Lisa Johnson said Pearce, 57, was released from the North Idaho Heart Center six days after the Nov. 3 surgery.

Pearce has lived in the Coeur d’Alene area since the early 1990s with her husband, Mike Pearce.

She is chairwoman of the Festival of Trees, an annual benefit for the heart center Nov. 26-29.

Compiled from staff and wire reports

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