A certified edge: Reaping the benefits of a Green Built N.C. home

A certified edge: Reaping the benefits of a Green Built N.C. home

By Maggie Leslie on 03/13/2013

The WNC Green Building Council is now administering the Green Built North Carolina certification program for residential construction, which replaces the N.C. HealthyBuilt Homes certification program statewide as the N.C. Solar Center discontinues its administration of the building program.

From 2006-12, the WNCGBC oversaw the certification of 85 percent of the N.C. HealthyBuilt Homes in the state (more than 600 homes in Western North Carolina). As a result of that success, the WNC Green Building Council will continue certifying homes with the same basic checklist and program format with improvements, but under a new certification name — “Green Built North Carolina.” The certification program will ensure that North Carolina continues to be a leader in green residential building.

“We are pleased that the WNCGBC has taken this big step to administer a fantastic housing program that provides value to home builders and buyers. Homes last for decades, and building them right reaps benefits not only for the first owner, but for the second, third, fourth and beyond,” said Ward Lenz, director of the N.C. Energy Office. “It is far more difficult and expensive to try to make existing homes more efficient, so we celebrate the WNCGBC efforts to help builders achieve these high standards at the time of construction.”

WNCGBC is thrilled about the opportunity to grow and improve the program. Green Built N.C. will become more streamlined — with faster certification, better responsiveness and improved marketing. Certified homes have benefits for builders, homeowners and the environment. Research shows that Green Built N.C.-certified homes sell faster, hold their value longer, save energy, lower utility bills and protect the environment. Certified homes are more comfortable, healthy and affordable.

The program offers a certificate for homes that meet green-building guidelines inspected by a third party; it also provides technical and marketing assistance, design reviews, workshops and field-consulting services to enable builders to increase their green-building expertise and boost company profitability. Multiple levels of certification are available (Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum), ensuring that the program is available to all budgets and experience levels. For custom homes, the checklist and energy-efficiency computer-modeling guide offers a process for homeowners to get involved and make more educated decisions about the payback of various features, as well as make choices based on their values and what attributes are important to them.

The Green Built N.C. program checklist will include a few improvements over HealthyBuilt, making an easy transition for participants. Instead of having to be ENERGY STAR certified, the new program will recognize homes that meet the N.C. High Efficiency Residential Option code or are a minimum of 15 percent more energy efficient than code.

All homes that were N.C. HealthyBuilt Homes certified will automatically be Green Built N.C. certified. This will help with continuity, as homebuyers looking for sustainability search for Green Built homes on the Multiple Listing Service.

In today’s market, homebuyers can’t afford to settle for anything less than a Green Built home. Contact the WNCGBC to get started today.

Maggie Leslie is the program director at the WNC Green Building Council. She can be reached at 254-1995 and maggie@wncgbc.org.