The City of Indianapolis' Department of Metropolitan Development has developed the HOME Green Building Guidelines as a resource for developers, home builders and homeowners. The focus of the program is on three main areas of green building: energy efficiency, indoor air quality and homeowner education. The guidelines are being developed in a phased approach and are compatible with LEED for Homes, EPA Energy Star and the National Association of Home Builders National Green Buildings Guidelines.
The approach of the guidelines is to use prescriptive measures rather than performance measures; meaning, the guidelines are resources for state strategies and objectives, rather than mandate performance criteria. The approach is encouraged in order to eliminate energy audit testing costs, while still delivering the desired outcomes of energy efficiency. The guidelines are written with a focus on new construction but may be applicable to renovations or rehab project.
The format of the guidelines is developed in a tiered approach. The standard practice, which is conventional home building practices, is the baseline for comparing the objectives and outcomes of the green guidelines. Tier I improvements, for instance, are strategies that range from $3,500 to $4,500 in increased incremental cost; tier II improvements range from $4,500 to $6,000 in incremental cost. Renovation/retrofit projects are often more expensive options when making improvements.
The Green Initiative Pilot program was developed in 2007 to evaluate and further refine the Green Guidelines. Local Community Development Corporations were eager to participate in the Green Initiative program and two projects were selected in 2007, two more in 2008 and as many as 11 were completed in 2009.