When building a green and healthy home, there are several certification programs worth considering. Certification boosts resale value by providing third-party verification of the home's efficiency and performance. This benefit comes at a cost, however, in the form of certification fees and the time and money required to deliver all of the appropriate paperwork. Regardless of whether you actually certify your home, using these programs' criteria for guidance will help you create a higher efficiency, eco- and occupant-friendly home.
THE CONCORD GREEN HOME has just received Energy Star certification for meeting strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the EPA.
While THE CONCORD GREEN HOME closely adhered to these guidelines, and, for example, would have easily achieved at least a Silver Level certification from the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program, we opted instead to spend the $10,000 or so required for that official stamp of approval on adding more green features to the house.
We did pursue the Energy Star certification, because it more than paid for itself in the form of federal tax rebates.
Most well-known green certification programs:
U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program.
National Association of Home Builders Green Certification
U.S. Department of Energy's Builders Challenge
I am pleased to see growing interest in certification programs specifically aimed at the health of the home's occupants, an area only partially addressed by the green building certifications. They have excellent criteria which provides additional guidance to homeowners and builders aiming to build better. A few sources worth checking out:
Environmental Protection Agency's Indoor Air Plus
"The Healthy Home Standard" from the Institute for Bau-Biologie and Ecology
Green Guard Building Construction
This is from a relatively unknown source, but the recommendations are excellent:
Non-Toxic Home Certification