Q: What Green Building Programs do you recommend?
A: We like all of them. Let’s discuss a few.
Many commercial buildings are now being built to the “LEEDS” Green Building Standards. “LEEDS” is a Federally endorsed Green Building Program. It emphasizes green building products, energy efficiency and sustainability. “LEEDS” does have a program for residential homes. We don’t see much traction in the residential market mainly because of the cost. Third party verification is required.
“Energy Star” built homes is endorsed by our local utility provider (Clark PUD) and is a federal program. You might recognize the “Energy Star” logo on many consumer goods like appliances and televisions. It is the most recognizable energy saving logo in our industry. The program has recently been revamped and is much easier for builders to comply. The goal is to rate homes based on performance. They are targeting the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) as the metric to determine a home’s performance. HERS is similar to MPG to rate a car’s performance. The lower the HERS score the more efficient the home. Third party certification is required.
“Earth Advantage” is a regional green building program based in Portland, Oregon. Its criteria is similar to both “LEEDS” and Energy STAR but slightly tweaked for our local market. “Earth Advantage” also provides commissioning of homes. They provide third party certification for theirs and other green building programs.
“NAHB Green Building Program” is endorsed by Clark County. This program was created by the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB). The goal is to get builders nationwide to get on a green building program. The criteria is good but it does not require third party certification.
Our suggestion is to make sure that you use a program that has third party certification.
I will discuss different types of Green Building programs.
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