Q&A - On getting your home certified

There are many angles to building an eco-friendly home. Some people are like me and incorporate environmentally friendly features into the home through advanced construction techniques and by using certain recycled building materials. Other folks might decide to make their focus on a different area altogether, like growing their own food and recycling the waste.

As far as my project goes, I have tried to cover as many areas under the “eco-friendly umbrella” that I can. I’m installing tankless toilets to promote water conservation. I’m putting a solar water heater into my system to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels to heat our water. I’m using a tight building envelope using recycled commercial grade materials to reduce our energy bills and consumption.

As the project continues, I’ve found myself looking at the various types of certification systems that are available to a builder like me. Certification systems provide owners and occupants with guidelines for the design and construction of eco-friendly buildings and a method for evaluating overall performance. If my wife and I ever decide to sell our home, having a certification will almost certainly increase its resell value and give the buyer an idea of what they’re getting for their money.

One common type of certification is LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It was developed through the US Green Building Council to certify new and existing homes and is widely used.

Another type of certification is ENERGY STAR, which typically means that a home is 15% more efficient than a typical home built to state codes.

Many cities and states across the country have their own certification programs. What certifications do you think I should go for for this project in particular? Join the conversation and let us know!

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