As we continue our series about certified green homes, I wanted to invite you to the Active House Open House Friday March 8 and Saturday March 9. For those of you in the St. Louis area, please come by and see this green certified home. It is the first home in the U.S. built to Active House specifications and it carries multiple other certifications – National Green Building Certification, Building America Builder’s Challenge, Energy Star, and EPA IndoorAir Plus . Project partners will be available to talk about their role in the home.
Continuing in the Green Home Certification Process
In the spirit of simplicity, we will continue to explore the certification process for the two nationally recognized green home certification programs in the U.S. – the National Green Building Certification Program from Home Innovations NGBS (formerly known as NAHB Research Center) and USGBC’s LEED for Homes Program.
A key differentiator of a certified green home is that it is independently verified to meet the requirements of a green home program. While many homes may have some of the elements of a green home, only a small percentage have gone through the process to be certified as a green home. This process validates the value and benefits of a green home. ]To find additional information about green home certification programs, look under the Get Green Certified section of your HomeNav dashboard.
Green Home Certification Process – starting the verification process
While the process of building (or renovating) a certified green home begins right from the start, the verifications and inspections are how the value and benefits of a green home are proved. Once the certification program is chosen, the green team solidified and project goals established, the project will be registered with the certifying organization – Home Innovation Research Labs for the National Green Building Certification Program and Green Building Certification Institute for LEED for Homes. This registration ensures the project is “in the system” and is set up to meet the criteria of the selected program.
The next step is a first or rough inspection before drywall is installed. This inspection is conducted to “see behind the walls” and verify that the building envelope components (framing, sealing, insulation, windows, doors, roof, etc.) are all installed properly and according to plan. This step is crucial as it is “the proof in the pudding” that the plans were actually executed.
During the course of the verification and certification process, supporting documentation is required to validate the claimed benefits and characteristics of the many building materials, systems, appliances, fixtures and finishes used in the building of the home. It is imperative that all of this documentation be well-organized and easily accessible for the verifier as well as the build team. Much of this information will also roll over into the “homeowners’ manual” in support of the education, operation and maintenance of the home. There are many different ways – manual and digital – to store, organize and access this information. HomeNav offers this solution, as well as a “one-stop shop” for all of the information about the home – both from the build process and throughout the life of the home.
Please join us next week for the conclusion of the green home certification process. I welcome your comments about your experiences with green certified homes. Have a great day and hope to see you at the Open House.