Green Homes – The Value of a 3rd Party Certification(s)

Green Homes – The Value of a 3rd Party Certification(s)If you are in the green home marketing business, you will want to make sure the construction methods being utilized meet the highest green standards. There are many green builder certification programs currently in most American states. Adhering to these programs will ensure that high performance homes are being built and sold by your company. There is a growing demand for energy efficient homes, and environmentally friendly homes. Our future lies within the expert application of these responsible ideas. Both parties benefit as the waste reduction practices used in building result in less cost to the builder. The buyer reaps the benefits of acquiring a green home loan.

Built Green, Energy Star, NAHB, Building America, and LEED for Homes certifications are an easy way to make sure that your homes will be marketed and sold to environmentally conscious buyers. These buyers are looking for energy efficient homes. In the unstable economy and because of ever-increasing energy costs, buyers are demanding high performance homes. If they know a home is green certified, it provides the buyer will a little extra assurance particularly if they have a 3rd party verification. Buyers know these homes will give them long-lasting comfort, durability, and savings. Their living environment is healthier because of the clean methods and non-toxic materials used to build the home.

In a recent survey, home buyers were asked to rate certain features that are important to them when buying a home. Highest in importance was a manageable ventilation system for cleaner air, followed by home construction use of renewable or recycled materials. Third was water conserving features, then using materials and finishes with little or no volatile-organic-compounds (VOCs). Fifth was overall energy efficiency of the home, and lastly, a certified green built home. So, just how does the certification process work?

Typically the green certification programs have minimum requirements that will need to be verified that these standards have been achieved. An important distinction is who has certified the checklist? Was it self-certified or was it done by an independent 3rd party verifier. All the programs are different in scope but have many of the same characteristics focusing on site development, resource energy and water efficiency, indoor air quality, and homeowner education. With the exception of Energy-Star, perhaps the best know, focuses mainly on energy efficiency. After all the documentation has been verified the home can be sold as a high performance, energy efficient, green-labeled home. This is certainly a marketing tool home developers and builders need to utilize to attract green consumers, and for their product differentiation.

Adrian Willanger is LEED accredited by the United States Green Building Council, has an MBA in Sustainability, and is a certified: EcoBroker, Built Green Agent, S.T.A.R Earth Advantage Broker, and holds a Managing Broker real estate license in Washington. He is the founder of Eco-Redux and consults with companies on sustainability and marketing strategies.

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