What Type of Certification is Available for Building or Retrofitting a Green Home?

LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification is a program offered by the United States Green Building Council that sets criteria for all aspects of designing and constructing a home that contribute to its sustainability. The Green Globes certification program is provided by the Green Building Initiative. LEED certification is only given to newly built buildings, but there is a LEED certification program for interior modernization and recommendations for LEED housing certification can be implemented in existing buildings for greater savings and environmental benefits. Green building certifications are an excellent way to demonstrate your company's commitment to sustainability to potential tenants and investors. The program provides access to grants, technical assistance, and researchers, and actively involves policy makers in the development of affordable green housing.

The certification, awarded by the International Institute for Well Construction, focuses on the overall impact of buildings on people's health and well-being. LEED certifiers who evaluate housing will award points on the scorecard based on the specific certification path selected, and some items are worth more than others based on the overall impact of that qualification element. PHIUS also has a database of passive housing professionals to help people who want to build or modernize a passive home. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes buildings and products that are energy efficient. According to the GreenGuard Environmental Institute, which manages the program, it usually takes five to six months to complete.

It is managed by the Building Research Establishment (BRE), a research organization based in the United Kingdom. Green building includes commercial and residential buildings, but the green residential market refers to living spaces and not to commercial office buildings or institutional, educational, industrial and other buildings. They are not a permanent guarantee that a building was or will be optimally designed, constructed, or managed. GreenStar differs from some of these programs because, to reach each of its four levels, instead of pursuing points, builders must address explicit subsets of green practices, which are critical to creating a better building. If a green building or its features do not have a measurable economic return and the goal is simply sustainability, following the guidelines of a green building program outside the certification process continues to have the environmental and efficiency impacts of a certified building. To receive WELL Building certification, the building must have the approval of third parties and submit prior documentation.

Energy Star certified buildings are often eligible for incentives such as tax credits and reduced energy costs. The specific criteria and requirements for green building certification may vary by program. Many green homes have improved indoor air quality, as adequate ventilation is important for health and is even more essential when it comes to reinforcing the boundaries of a home to achieve greater energy efficiency.