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The ‘Design Checklist’ will not be mandated. It is merely an education piece on appropriate construction methods for our future.

Previously, the checklist has been a voluntary point based system that provided a small discount on building fees. I think this system works well. It also seems that most other communities are utilizing their programs as a type of local ‘certification’. This ‘certification’ has proven to create enhanced real estate value.

The question becomes…. What is the next level of housing? The Baca has been, and continues to be, a leader in Natural and off-grid building. It’s now time to establish the ‘Next Level’ of lifestyle attached to housing. Consider what will be important to us with regard to housing 50-75 years from now.

The checklist is meant to be a basic point system. You get points for each of the criteria you meet. Accumulated points equate to a ‘benefit’. Either financial or recognition based. Such as a local ‘certification’.


The longest axis of the house is oriented to face within 25 degrees of solar South
Windows facing within 25 degrees of South are are at least 20% of the floor area of the rooms they are part of
The sunlight through the South facing windows is unobstructed for at least 6 hours during the day of the winter solstice
Windows to all other directions total less than 10% of their combined wall area
Thermopane windows used throughout project
Low E windows used throughout project
No metal framed windows used, including basement
Provision is made to insulate at least 50% of the glass at night
South-facing windows are shaded either by overhangs, wall thickness, or other shading devices for high summer sun angle
An attached greenhouse is utilized as part of the solar design strategy
Active solar heating system is designed to provide at least 50% of space heating
Sufficient thermal mass is incorporated into the design to the heat over-night
Adequate ventilation is provided to prevent over-heating
South roof area is designed for future solar collector use (within 20 degrees of South)
Earth berm covering at least 20% of exterior wall area
Earth sheltered or green roof design that provide at least 50% of the roof area covered with at least 6" of soil
Any project that requires no fill to be brought to the site for preparation of the building pad
project uses Tyco wrap, or similar exterior air infiltration barrier on the envelope
All appliances installed are rated as Energy Star appliances
CFL bulbs installed for at least 50% of the lighting
Use of non-electric heating system
Use of radiant floor heating system
90% or higher energy efficiency furnace with sealed combustion air
Central location of mechanical systems
sealed ductwork
All hot water pipes are insulated
Water heater within 20' pipe feet of dishwasher and clothes washer
Use of renewable electric energy (solar panels, wind generator, etc.)
Installation of solar water heating system
rough-in for solar water heating system
any residential building designed at less than 1000sqft
Any residential building designed at less than 1500sqft
Any project that is composed of domes for at least 50% of the space
Use of at least $1000 worth of recycled materials, based on cost of the same materials purchased new
Recycled and/or recovered -content wall board used
Adequate trash and recycled materials bays are provided in house design
Minimum of 50% of wood used is certified as sustainably harvested
Engineered lumber products used for window and door headers
Decking or landscaping materials with at least 50% recycled content
Use of non-industrial, natural, fairly local materials for at least of the building envelope (adobe, cordwood, strawbale)
Use of natural insulation for at least 50% of total envelope
Permeable materials comprise at least 50% of areas for all walkways and driveways
Minimum 30yr roofing material used, including concrete, slate, metal or clay
Any foundation designed for 50% or more savings of concrete over conventional continuous perimeter foundation
insulated foundation with ICF or other insulation system
Use of round (un-milled) wood, either structurally or decoratively
Use of SIP's (structural insulated panels) for at least 30% of the envelope
Some form of cool pantry that is designed according to the guidelines listed above
Radon gas mitigation employed
Exterior of house is composed of fire-safe materials (metal, stucco or tile roof)
Fire shutters or drapes are installed on all vulnerable windows
fire mitigation according to guidelines presented in Design Guidelines is employed around the entire house
The house is marked with house numbers that are clearly visible from the road

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