Steps to Your Dream Home - 05 Green Planning and Certification -

posted Jan 10, 2015, 9:33 AM by Keith Groninger   [ updated Jan 10, 2015, 9:35 AM ]

There's no doubt that green construction is on the minds of today's homebuyers. Green homes conserve energy, water and resources, while increasing comfort, health and sustainability. Green Certification and other programs like Energy Star and EPA Indoor AirPLUS, establish performance standards and create lasting value.

The challenge of implementing and documenting the requirements for green certification is a daunting task many builders and home owners have avoided. Additionally, the risk of overlooking the installation or verification of some of the features can lead to expensive changes or a loss of crucial green points. 
Performance Standards

In the near future it's likely that homes built without a performance rating from a recognized provider may be considered obsolete. Most homebuyers already demand a level of performance and quality that exceeds the building code or typical "industry" 
 - Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is a nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.  For homebuilders, LEED is a tool to measure the quality and sustainability of its homes against the marketplace.  For homebuyers, LEED is a Scorecard—like a nutrition label—that gives a clear, concise picture of all the ways a green home performs at a higher level.  There's Green... and then there's LEED.
 - National Green Building Standard and NAHBGreen.orgare designed to help buyers get the full benefit of a greener home. In 2007 the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the International Code Council (ICC)partnered to establish a much-needed and nationally-recognizable standard definition of green building. NGBS projects are designed and built to the ICC 700 National Green Building Standard and certified by the NAHB Research Center.
 - The Florida Green Building Coalition establishecriteria by which a Florida home can be designated green.  Many homeowners desire that their home be earth friendly, affordable to operate, and healthy to live in. FGBC's Green Home Standard is a tool that will guide s the process of selecting green features that are cost effective, benefit the environment, and compliment your lifestyle. The standard is achievable and recognized as a statewide industry standard.

Each of the green certifying programs uses similar checklists for tracking the green components of the home and calculating the overall performance rating. In general "Green" can be categorized into:
  • Property Characteristics; 
  • Site Development; 
  • Water Conservation; 
  • Energy Efficiency; 
  • Smart Resources; 
  • Durable Construction; 
  • Indoor Health; 
  • Waste Management; 
  • Environmental Awareness; and 
  • Operations & Maintenance.
Depending on the suitability to the project, we can help you decide which standard would be appropriate.

+ Additional Rating Standards
Energy Star
 - Not sure if you're ready to go "green"? Investigate going "blue" with Energy Star. To earn the Energy Star, a home must meet strict guidelines for energy efficiency set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. These homes are at least 15% more energy efficient than homes built to the 2004 International Residential Code (IRC), and include additional energy-saving features that typically make them 20–30% more efficient than standard homes.
EPA Indoor airPLUS
 - Indoor airPLUS was created to meet the growing consumer preference for homes with improved indoor air quality. EPA developed additional construction specifications to help improve indoor air quality in new homes. Requirements include the careful selection and installation of moisture control systems; heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems; combustion-venting systems; radon resistant construction; and low-emitting building materials.
Florida Water Star
 - Florida Water Star is a water conservation certification program with standards and guidelines for water efficiency that include appliances, plumbing fixtures, irrigation systems and landscapes. Water Star can be effectively integrated into projects and enhance the effectiveness of other green certification programs because it is more detailed and relevant to Florida’s unique conditions.
Florida-Friendly Landscaping
 - Florida-Friendly Landscaping means using low-maintenance plants and environmentally sustainable practices. Learn how to create a beautiful landscape that could save you time, energy and money while protecting our future. Find out more about the program at and FDEP.