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NAPPANEE, Ind., April 7, 2009 For 35 years, NTA Inc. has provided design review and inspection services to help RV and park model manufacturers comply with national building and safety codes.
Now, the Nappanee-based consulting engineering firm has taken its design expertise a step further by developing national green building standards for recreational vehicles and park models.
NTA is a product certification agency accredited by the International Accreditation Service (IAS), a subsidiary of the International Code Council (ICC).
We are committed to helping manufacturers reduce negative impacts on the environment through all phases of construction, said Andy Crisp, NTAs director of energy services, adding that Cavco Industries has become the first company in the nation to achieve NTAs green certification for park models produced at its manufacturing plant in Phoenix, Ariz.
Unlike most trailer products, which have to be hooked up to electrical utilities, Cavcos solar-powered park models have enough panels to generate their own power. The units come equipped with energy-efficient light bulbs and kitchen appliances, including tankless water heaters, as well as maintenance free batteries that are designed to store enough power to last for two days. Gasoline-powered generators are also provided as an emergency backup system.
Crisp said NTA developed its green standards based on its own experience with green building practices, many of which have been influenced by the US Green Building Council, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board.
These agencies have already established green building standards, but they only apply to commercial and residential buildings, Crisp said, adding, There are no recognized green building codes for recreational vehicles or park models. So thats the void we are trying to fill with our new green standard.
Crisp said NTAs green standards have been developed in accordance with ISO Guide 65. He added that the standards that NTA has developed are very strict, and apply not only to RV and park model products, but to the manufacturing processes and work environments of the companies that produce these products.
We look at VOCs in their materials. We look at their manufacturing environment and their level of recycling. We even look at carpooling policies and whether they provide a smoke-free environment, Crisp said.
Cavco, for its part, scored high marks for its use of recycled materials in construction as well as the high-energy standards of its park models. Cavco is a very clean and efficient manufacturer, Crisp said. They recycle all of their materials. They even use a lot of pre-cut wood to avoid scrap.
Gage said Cavco was first introduced to the concept of building green by one of its customers, El Capitan Resort near Santa Barbara, Calif. I remember first meeting with them and thinking, These guys are crazy, Gage recalled. They mentioned wanting materials like tankless water heaters, SIPS roofs and walls and recycled barn wood flooring. These building materials seemed so far out of the box for manufacturing park models and cabins. However, we now recognize the need and the reasoning behind building green.
Cavco anticipates demand for green park models - Roaming Times