U.S. homebuilders of all sizes, from all areas of the country, report growing buyer interest in energy-efficient houses. Yet they also find that many homebuyers want help in making informed decisions. How can homebuyers tell exceptional energy performers from average energy performers or code homes? How do they figure out just what that difference will mean in the energy bills?
Spearheaded by the U.S. Department of Energy(DOE), the Builders Challenge is a voluntary effort to provide compelling answers. Through the Builders Challenge, participating homebuilders will have an easy way to differentiate their best energy-performing homes from other products in the marketplace, and to make the benefits clear to buyers. www.eere.energy.gov/buildings/challenge
BUILDING PERFORMANCE INSTITUTE, INC. (BPI)
BPI is a recognized global leader, supporting the development of a highly professional building performance industry through individual and organizational credentialing and a rigorous quality assurance program. BPI offers the following – Certification of individuals in evaluation, mechanical, envelope and multi-family designations.
BPI in cooperation with the building performance industry stakeholders, are able to establish a professional performance bar at an appropriate level that ensures the consistent delivery of exceptional building performance service to those entrusting the BPI brand. http://www.bpi.org/
ENERGY STAR is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency helping businesses and individuals protect the environment through superior energy efficiency. It identifies new homes, buildings and more than 40 types of products that are energy efficient and offer the features, quality and performance today’s consumers expect. Products earning the ENERGY STAR label include appliances, lighting, vent fans, home office equipment, consumer electronics, and heating and cooling equipment. www.energystar.gov
Green Homes Plus
The Green Homes Plus program was created to assist residential builders and developers in their efforts to construct more sustainable developments and to improve the general construction, the environment, increase energy efficiency and consumer comfort. www.greenplus.us
LEED For Homes
LEED for Homes is a rating system that promotes the design and construction of high-performance green homes. Green homes use less energy, water and natural resources, create less waste, and are more durable and comfortable for occupants. www.usgbc.org
National Green Standard Program
Building green means incorporating environmental considerations and resource efficiency into every step of the home building and land development process to minimize environmental impact. That means that during the design, construction, and operation of a home, the home’s overall impact on the environment is taken into account.
Most builders are using green building practices in their homes as part of their current standard practices. To move to the next step of sustainable building, the builder should consider a whole-house systems approach. The home is composed of several independent components which, when planned and fully considered, can work together to increase performance and efficiency. For example, making a home’s building envelope tighter through air sealing and quality building techniques can affect the way the builder designs the home’s ventilation system. It is through such a forward-thinking process that builders can gain cost efficiencies. www.nahbgreen.org