How Do You Know That A Home Is Truly Green?
Green Home Certifications
Having some green features in a home does not make the home itself green. In fact, the word green has become so over used that the Durham Chapel Hill Home Builders Association has renamed its Green Building Council the High Performance Building Council.
There are four different programs that builders can choose from to get different levels of green certification. These programs are:
- The National Green Building Standard (NGBS)
- Leadership in Energy and Efficient Design (LEED)
- Energy Star
Each of these programs has different requirements and features. What is similar across these programs is the requirement for third party verification to become certified.
The National Green Building Standard is the only green rating system for homes and apartments developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). To achieve this certification, third party verifiers ensure that the following six components are in place at every site and for each home.
- Site design, lot preparation and development
- Resource efficiency
- Energy efficiency
- Water efficiency
- Indoor air quality
- Operation, maintenance & home owner education
The NGBS certification can be achieved at the Bronze, Silver, Gold and Emerald levels
LEED is an internationally recognized certification program that requires third party verification for buildings or neighborhoods. While LEED can be applied to homes, it is more often applied to commercial buildings. LEED has three certification levels: Silver, Gold and Platinum.
Energy Star is a series of checklists and inspections, testing and verifications developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Homes with the energy star label deliver better quality, comfort and durability compared to a typical, code-built, home.
ecoSelect is a national program whereby the standards can be measured to show improved energy efficiency. The ecoSelect program provides a basis for reducing a home’s energy use while incorporating indoor air quality and water efficiency requirements.
The HERS Index (Home Energy Rating System) is the Nationally recognized system for showing a home’s energy performance. The third-party certification programs listed above look beyond energy efficiency while the HERS Index is solely focused on being able to compare the energy efficiency of one home to another. The rating system is based on a rigorous inspection and testing by a certified home energy rater. Having a HERS Score for a green home does help you to put its energy efficiency in context.
The lower the HERS Score the better. A code-built home should have a HERS Score of 100 based on today’s building code. An existing house could have a HERS score at 130 or higher. This means that an existing home is 30% less energy efficient than a new home.
A home with a HERS Index Score of 70 means that the home is 30% more energy efficient than a new home built to today’s code.
If your home has energy efficient features, having the proper documentation is critical when you go to sell your green home. Having proper documentation helps support the appropriate valuation for the upgraded features.
Pearl Certified Homes sell for 5% more.
Does your home have any of these features?
- High efficiency heating and cooling
- Energy Star appliances
- Added insulation
- New windows
- LED lighting
- Smart thermostats
- Solar panels
Pearl certifies the efficiency and performance rating of these green features.
We are Pearl Certified. We have specialized training in energy efficiency, home automation and solar energy.
Through Real Estate Experts, you can save 25% on a Pearl Certification and you will not have to pay for the certification until your home closes.