Certification Provides Visible Value

By Chloe Chapman

According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) survey of over 3,000 home buyers, the majority of buyers prefer to go green when provided the option. Energy efficiency is at the top of the list, as homeowners understand it can help lower utility bills. However, there are other home features, like comfort, healthy indoor air quality and water conservation, that can also improve the quality of life of occupants, especially as we are spending more time than ever before in our homes. 

These quality of life improvements (reduced utility costs, seasonal and daily comfort and healthy indoor air) can be difficult to identify in a walkthrough as a prospective homebuyer of an existing home, and even more so, of a brand new home not yet built. Third party verified green home certifications, such as GreenPoint Rated, are now available to help remove the guesswork for prospective homebuyers, clearly outlining a home’s green features and performance.  They also help remove trial and error for builders by providing an accessible framework to guide builders through a whole-house systems approach to optimize comfort, limit energy and water waste, and select responsibly-sourced, durable and healthy materials. 

GreenPoint Rated is a California-grown and community-based program that rates homes that perform above standard practices. There are different GreenPoint Rated frameworks available for new construction and existing homes, single-family and multi-family. GreenPoint Rated is administered and managed by Build It Green, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting healthy, energy- and resource-efficient building and is delivered by third-party GreenPoint Raters—experienced, trained green building consultants who guide the build team with best practices using a GreenPoint Rated checklist. 

The GreenPoint Rated New Home system is most effective when integrated from the very beginning of the design process. A GreenPoint Rater will work with the design and construction team to identify sustainable and best management practices from measures pursued from conception through construction. Projects are evaluated and points are earned across five simple categories: energy efficiency, indoor air quality, water conservation, resource conservation such as recycled construction waste and responsibly sourced materials and community benefits such as universal design components and walkability to neighborhood services.  

“Earning a GreenPoint Rated label for your home is certified proof of your green home, and assurance that your home is truly healthier and more energy efficient.”

Earning a GreenPoint Rated label for your home is certified proof of your green home, and assurance that your home is truly healthier and more energy efficient. Studies also show that if you are selling a home, you can get up to 2.19% more on the sales price with a green label and the home will usually sell faster. On top of that, green buildings are less expensive to operate, require less maintenance and are more resilient to extreme weather patterns. 

If you are interested in learning more about GreenPoint Rated, you can go here: https://builditgreen.org/greenpoint-rated

You can find a GreenPoint Rater in our Certified Professional Directory here: https://builditgreen.org/directories/certified-professionals-directory

Or if you’re just curious to learn more about the system, the GreenPoint Checklist is available for download here: https://builditgreen.org/greenpoint-rated/documents-checklists. The checklists can be used by builders to help incorporate scientifically-proven best practices into the design and build process, however, hiring a GreenPoint Rater is encouraged to verify each item is completed  correctly for optimal results. 

About Build It Green:

Build It Green, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Oakland, CA, has been a building culture catalyzer for more than 15 years. BIG built its reputation on bringing residential green building practices into the mainstream with credible, accessible resources and innovations including the GreenPoint Rated home certification program. Today, Build It Green is working with diverse coalitions to envision new approaches to home and neighborhood building that foster health in the broadest sense — as an interconnected web of personal, community, and bioregional well-being.

Chloe Chapman is a Program Manager of Build It Green and can be reached at cchapman@builditgreen.org.