Certifying your green building materials, residence, or commercial building is easier than ever. There are numerous certification agencies for green building materials which can be found by reviewing the Links page on this website. Once you have selected the appropriate certified green building materials for your project, there are also a variety of certification agencies that can assess the entire residence or commercial property.
Look for Forest Stewardship Certified (FSC) lumber, which has been grown in a well-managed forest and has an individual barcode for each piece of lumber. You can track where the tree was grown, how the lumber was processed, and where it was transported from. FSC lumber guarantees there is no forest clear cutting, maintenance of natural habitat for wildlife, and no chemicals used in the processing.
Residential and commercial buildings can both be green certified. The U.S. Green Building Council has different matrices to evaluate the green systems of your home or commercial building. LEED also certifies commercial buildings and have their own systems of evaluation, which include both new buildings and “tenant improvement” buildings. They can certify both the developer of the building as well as the tenant who renovates and customizes the property.
The National Association of Remodelers and the National Associate of Homebuilders each have a certification, which are typically energy and efficiency-driven. Alameda County in California started a green certification for residential homes which is similar to the LEED certification. Called ACMA, it has a unique, well-rounded certification matrix which evaluates the green systems of your residence, including energy sources, water conservation, non-toxic materials, landscaping, and site drainage, among others.
All of the certification entities, whether for building materials, contractors, residences, or commercial properties, can be found on the Links page of this website. Keep in mind that certification matrices can vary by region and state. There is a growing movement to standardize the certification process, thereby making green certification easier and more regulated.
This article was written 11/11/2008