Chattanooga Green Home Program Builds Up

In early May of this year, the city of Chattanooga, Tennessee, implemented a building certification program that promotes environmentally responsible and energy-efficient homes in the area. The program, called Better Built, was created by a diverse group of realtors, architects, and environmental advocates, and is designed to lower living costs for occupants while appreciating in value over time.

Nearly four months later, it’s said to be a success. Home developers are seem to be gathering in support of Better Built, and some have promised that all of the houses they build and plan will be in compliance with the program.

Image via Better Built Chattanooga

The program, which was created by members of the American Institute of Architects Committee on the Environment, Home Builders Association of Southern Tennessee, green|spaces and the Chattanooga Association of Realtors, looks to focus upon a number of green areas in the building process. These include energy efficiency, quality site planning, water efficiency and good indoor environmental quality.

To date, it looks as if only nine homes have been put through the program. The organization notes though that “Better Built’s mission is to provide a strategy for truly efficient housing,” said Brandi Hill, Better Built Program Director, in a statement. “These contractors are meeting this challenge head on and are leading the way for sustainability in Chattanooga.”

Laura Caseley is a graduate of SUNY New Paltz and a resident of New York State’s Hudson Valley. She writes for several publications and when she’s not writing, she can usually be found painting in her makeshift studio or enjoying the scenery of her hometown.


  • Reply August 30, 2011


    The Better Built program sounds like an interesting initiative in Chattanooga to help support and create better and more efficient homes. It however seems to focus on new construction – thereby building a “green” housing starts number. Chattanooga should consider expanding the program to evaluate current building stock as well and highlight those buildings/homes that fit within their criteria.

  • Reply September 8, 2011

    Heather Curless

    I wonder why the Better Built organizers chose to create their own parameters when both the USGBC and HBA have green building certification programs that cover the same topics?u00a0 In Cincinnati, new home builders are encouraged to build green by being given a property tax abatement for LEED certified homes.u00a0 This not only encourages green building techniques but also creates an incentive for people to move back or to stay in the City, thus helping to sustain the local economy.

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