If you’re like me, you’re always looking for the best deal for your money – whether at the grocery store, the mall or an elegant restaurant. Why settle for anything less than what you pay for, right?
So, if you had the choice of building a home or a building a certified green home that’s energy efficient and saves you a ton of money in the long haul, which would you choose?
Certification adds credibility to any green building project, according to the Pittsburgh-based Green Building Alliance. Certified homes ensure every part of the home conforms to strict energy management guidelines. There are several options out there, but here are three of the most popular choices among builders.
You’ve no doubt heard of or seen the name ENERGY STAR, which began in 1995 and focused on things like windows, air sealing, heating and cooling. Today, according to energystar.gov, ENERGY STAR certified homes include energy efficient walls and windows, air ducts, equipment for heating and cooling the house and energy efficient lighting and appliances.
Established in 1998, LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) for Building Design and Construction (LEED BD+C) is the most widely used green building rating system in the world, and provides a framework for creating healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green buildings.
The original ISO 50001 energy management standard was released by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 2011. The second edition was released this past August. The main objective of this international standard is also to “improve energy-related performance and energy efficiency continuously and to identify energy reduction opportunities,” according to ISO.org.
Green Homes Australia (GHA), for example, is the only builder in Australia to have received ISO certification for design and construction of energy efficient homes. “We’re especially proud of this accreditation, because it means we can promise you a degree of quality and service simply not offered by other builders,” they say.
The goal of these three certifications – and others – are to reduce energy use which lowers energy costs for the homeowner and reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which trap heat and make the planet warmer. A temperature rise of 2.5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit over the next century is predicted.
“In a nutshell,” writes greenhomesaustralia.com, “this accreditation means you know what you’re getting – nothing but the best.”