Novus International Inc., St. Charles, Mo., announced last week that the renovated 1920s-era caretaker's house at its Green Acres Research Farm near Montgomery City has received the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design For Homes Platinum certification from the U. S. Green Building Council.
The house is part of a 12-acre farm that Novus purchased in 2009 for research and to showcase agricultural "best practices" in animal nutrition and production.
"There are not many farmhouses that have achieved LEED Platinum, but this is no ordinary farm," said Tom Hampton, manager, Product Research at Novus and Manager of Novus's Green Acres Farm. "Green Acres Farm is a living laboratory for developing and demonstrating sustainable practices in the animal nutrition industry. Having a LEED Platinum-certified house at the farm underscores our mission of making a clear difference in sustainably meeting the growing global need for nutrition and health."
The LEED for Homes designation is the newest of the USGBC's certifications. LEED for Homes is a national, voluntary certification system, developed by national experts and experienced builders that promotes the design and construction of high-performance green homes and encourages the adoption of sustainable practices by the homebuilding industry.
Like the other LEED ratings programs, the homes designation uses a point system based on factors such as the home's relationship to its community, sustainable site practices, water efficiencies, energy efficiencies, material resource use and reduction of waste, improved indoor environmental quality, education and awareness in operations and maintenance, and innovative and unique features.
"As is the case with most 90-year-old homes, this house was not an energy-efficient structure," Hampton said. "We embarked on a major renovation of the house as part of numerous other sustainability improvements we have made at the farm."
The project involved a gut renovation of the entire house, and included the reuse of most salvaged materials. The project also used locally-sourced materials, materials with a high-recycled content and materials with low VOCs.
Long-range plans call for the home and portions of the farm to be served with an on-site solar energy system featuring a 168-solar-panel array that will generate more than 54,400 kilowatt hours of energy. Other renewable energy-related plans being considered include the establishment of an on-site wind farm.