Green Home Rating System Gains In Popularity

Energy Star, LEED, Earth Advantage, Net Zero Energy–with more and more reports revealing increased consumer preference for green homes, it’s no surprise there are a plethora of certification programs out there. The state of California has its own such program in Build It Green’s GreenPoint Rated system, which recently announced a milestone: 10,000 homes certified.

The GreenPoint system takes into account a home’s energy efficiency, water conservation, indoor air quality, resource conservation, and livability. This last item focuses on how the home intersects with the surrounding community, including its distance from basic services (retail stores, restaurants, parks, and schools) as well as quality-of-life infrastructure like  proximity to walkways, bike paths, and recreational areas; neighborhood density; pedestrian and bike access, and access to public transportation.

Wright Residence, GreenPoint Rated

image via GreenPoint Rated

Touted as a “report card for green homes,” the GreenPoint Rated system was designed to help homeowners and builders ensure that their home or development is built or remodeled to meet high environmental standards. This turned out to be a selling point for Ian Macleod, owner of a GreenPoint Rated home in Albany, California that won the American Institute of Architects, San Francisco Chapter, Energy + Sustainability Citation Award in May 2010. “As an architect and Certified Green Building Professional myself, I knew the GreenPoint Rated label represented the high environmental standards I wanted for my family’s home,” he said, in a statement.

According to Build It Green, these 10,000 GreenPoint Rated homes are saving Californians over 112 million gallons of water — enough to fill Crystal Springs Reservoir five times over — helping them to avoid nearly 9,000 tons of greenhouse gases, the equivalent of taking over 1,500 cars off the road for a year.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.