Information for Homeowners & Buyers

The Advantages of a Built Green Home

Built Green is an environmental building program proven to provide you with a healthier, more efficient house. Built Green homes are attractive, comfortable, durable, environmentally friendly – and they can cost you less to own and operate.

A Built Green home can be:

1) Less expensive to operate. Energy- and water-efficient features mean you can save money each month on operating costs.

2) Healthier and more comfortable. Less toxic materials, well-designed ventilation, and efficient heating and cooling with a tightly sealed, well-insulated building envelope can mean you will breathe fresher air and have fewer drafts.

3) More durable and lower maintenance. Careful selection of a building’s materials, its design, and its placement on its site can mean fewer replacement costs and effort.

4) A smart investment. Real estate data is showing that certified homes sell faster and for more money than comparable homes, and they hold their value longer.

 

How to Get a Built Green Home

Programs grant Built Green certification to a building project when it meets specific green building criteria. Although programs vary from county to county, projects can typically receive one to five stars, depending on the number of points they achieve on a program checklist. Each local program has its own Built Green Checklist, designed to reflect local conditions and priorities. The local homebuilder associations listed on the left offer Built Green programs to serve their geographic areas. For more information on your area, visit the Overview of Programs page or click on your county in the map on the home page.

To build or remodel your home Built Green:

1) Find your local Built Green program by clicking on the map on the home page. If there's no program in your county, check with your local homebuilders association to see if one is being developed. Neighboring programs are also often willing to certify projects in counties that don't have their own program.

2) Find a Built Green builder, remodeler or architect. Your local Built Green program can provide you with a list of participating firms. If you're considering a professional who's not a member, ask him or her to join. Only members of Built Green can submit projects for certification.

3) Develop your project checklist. Your builder and architect will work with you to draft a Built Green checklist for your project, which will tell you how many points you can achieve based on the choices you make about your home. Some certification levels require that you hire a third-party verifier, a green building expert certified by your local Built Green program to independently verify that the program's requirements have been met. The verifier can answer questions about how to qualify for points and how to reach different star levels.

4) Check out financial incentives. Choices you make to achieve Built Green certification may also qualify you for financial incentives, such as product rebates, cash incentives, or federal tax credits. In addition to Built Green, many homeowners also choose to certify their homes as Northwest ENERGY STAR Homes, which may offer additional incentives as well as free technical assistance.

5) Complete the project. As work on your project progresses, your contractor will use the draft checklist as a reference. When the project is completed, the checklist will be finalized and submitted to your local Built Green program, along with payment of the certification fee and a signed ethics statement from your contractor. If you've used a third-party verifier, that person will perform any needed inspection or testing, gather supporting documentation, and submit the project to the Built Green program.

6) Receive your certificate. After your local program processes the information on your project, you'll receive an official certificate that becomes part of your home's record. Congratulations!

To buy a Built Green home:

1) Check the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. In many parts of the state, your real estate agent can search for Built Green certified homes on the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, as well as for homes that have been third-party verified.

2) Ask your local Built Green program. Your local program may be able to direct you to available homes by participating builders or to Built Green certified communities.

 

Entire communities, such as Issaquah Highlands, can be BUILT GREEN -- from the land to the houses.

Entire communities, such as Issaquah Highlands, can be BUILT GREEN -- from the land to the houses.

Greenleaf Construction incorporated a salvaged, vintage balustrade in this BUILT GREEN home.

Greenleaf Construction incorporated a salvaged, vintage balustrade in this BUILT GREEN home.

A remodeled kitchen by Sunshine Construction incorporates energy-saving appliances.

A remodeled kitchen by Sunshine Construction incorporates energy-saving appliances.

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