November 26, 2009

LEED, Energy Star and other Green certifications

THE CONCORD GREEN HOME has just received Energy Star certification for meeting strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the EPA.

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.

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.

Technician administering blower door test at THE CONCORD GREEN HOME.

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

Energy Star

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

1 comment:

  1. I would like to add that these are great program and I found that the LEED program did not cost as much as expected in other people’s time. The reputation for mountains of paperwork has been streamlined over the past year. It cost $3,000 for the provider and about $2,000 in other people’s time. We also found that Energy Star more than pays for itself. ES was included for free (part of LEED-H cert) from the provider and will return almost $10,000 in rebates not including town of Concord appliance rebates.

    Thank you for creating public awareness of these programs.


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