Many people ask what certifications does a building actually need to be called a certified green building. The first thing to do when considering green construction is to consider the purpose of the project. A green building could be replacing an old structure with a new one or remodeling the old structure while still following all local and federal codes. The goal for green projects is to reduce the negative effects on our environment while improving the quality of life for everyone involved. There are many Green Building Certifications and Standards in place today and there are many more being developed every year.
Green construction can include such things as: building green homes, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) buildings, or just simply remodeling or updating an existing structure. The building itself is not required to be certified, but if it is then the Owner and Manager will be evaluated to determine what additional criteria must be met. This evaluation is often done by a third party agency.
There are a number of steps that must be taken to receive certification. First, the certificate must be applied for and received from either a Green Building Institute or National Green Building Council. Both organizations offer different certifications, but the GBI is non-profit and the NGB offers a fee. Once the application has been submitted and accepted, the next step is to take a comprehensive exam to receive the certification. This exam is nationally recognized and the GBI and NGB both have state-mandated requirements for holding the certification.
The next step after receiving certification is to go to a building inspector and have them inspect the building to ensure it meets the necessary standards. If it does then the certificate is issued and the building is then considered certified. Green construction does not only apply to the building itself, but also to all materials as well as the service provided to the public. When an individual receives the certification, they can sell any surplus material back to the government and earn tax credits. This allows them to build new homes in the county without having to pay out money to local governments and utilities.
By law, a building has to be certified by either the GBI or NGB. They will each offer a different seal of approval and this can be found on the building’s documents. Each state has different laws that dictate what the proper seal of approval should be.
How can a home be classified as energy efficient? It is recommended that any home that meets the federal Energy Star label be given a certification by either the GBI or NGB. These organizations work in close association with the U.S. Department of Energy. The materials used to create the home must be approved for the construction of the home and pass the highest standards of construction. All building materials as well as the services used to create the home are evaluated during the life cycle of the building and are certified if they pass the highest standards.
How do you know if your building is certified? Green builders will have a seal of approval from either the GBI or the NGB. What certifications does a building have to be called a certified green building? When a home is certified by either the GBI or the NGB, it can take five years for the home to be completed and be deemed as an energy efficient home. It is also required that your home has at least twenty percent of its total square footage devoted to green design.
Energy Star ratings provide building owners with an accurate assessment of the energy efficiency of the building. These ratings are determined by using set criteria and measurements of energy usage. A home that has the set standards of a good building is considered an energy efficient building and will have a higher score on the star rating system.