We are working with Builders who are embracing ENERGY STAR and would like to exceed it.  In SW Washington we have about 40% of the new homes ES certified.  Several builders want to stand out from the crowd.  We offer a HERS rating combined with our Energy Guide which seems to help.  However, several builders also want to make a jump to more "green homes".  The NGBS program seems to be administration heavy and most builders have decided it is too much paperwork, doesn't offer much creativity and flexibility, & the learning curve too expensive.  We have noticed some simpler programs but they seem to be faux green homes.  We'd like to offer a builder friendly green option that will help the builders sell more homes and also offer the green benefits to the home buyers without pricing the houses out of the market.  Do we need to invent our own "green program" or is there an existing program that meets these needs?

Tags: Energy, Green, NGBS, Star, best, building, practices

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Some of what you want may be here (passive house, US).  There's a conference in D.C. at the end of this month.

I worked on the development of the NJ Climate Choice Home,slated to be a pilot of EPA's climate choice home (which was shelved and will be re-born soon under the name "Concept Home"). Not quite Passive House, but getting there.

Dallas adopted a green building program that states, "New construction will also have to be certifiable by USGBC LEED™, Green Built Texas™, or an equivalent green building standard." Equivalent standards have to be submitted for approval.


All good choices below and add a few more- there is Earth Craft, MN Green Star, etc... I would personally look into all of them (particularry Passive Haus) & see if one fits your area or maybe see about adopting parts from each of them. You may also look at UECC 2012 & possibly the new IGBC / Green Building Code (2012?)

Add EPA Indoor Air Plus.   You have a choice for one of 2 checklists on moisture with ES 3.0.  Offer both.  What products do you builders by that are local?  Pick a % and demo it.  Green because you don't truck it in from 2000 miles away.


Try an advanced framing approach.  Or take the 2012 code and see what you can do to get ahead of the game.


Not actual Green Bldg Certified Programs, more along with rolling your own.

All good comments... the 2012  & IGBC codes would be worth advancing on.  Liked John Nicholas comment of rolling your own... Not certifiable but certainly marketable and that is where it counts!

There's Minergie, if you feel like learning German or French and doing penance for the suffering inflicted on your European brethren who are having to decode and implement LEED abroad. ;)

Minergie is a great standard though. And rumor has it they're looking to help American projects so as to get a foothold here.


Tangentially related, and what I hoped this thread was going to be about when I saw the title - - This past weekend at Home Depot I noticed CEE tiers listed on appliance informational display cards. Totally awesome.

(though not useful for whole-home Energy Star, of course)

There's also GreenPoint Rated in California:


Folks at Build It Green are more than happy to talk with folks in other states who might want to adopt a version of the program.


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