1. What Is Built Green?
Built Green® is an environmentally-friendly, non-profit, residential and commercial building program of the Central Washington Home Builders Association partnering with Built Green Washington to set standards of excellence that can make a significant impact on housing, health, and the environment and are readily "do-able" today.
Built Green is designed to help homebuyers find quality, affordable homes that offer opportunities to protect the health of their families. Built Green homes are designed to provide homeowners with comfortable, durable, environmentally-friendly homes that are cost-effective to own and operate. These resource-efficient homes are crafted to exceed building codes and provide homeowners with years of healthy, quality living while protecting our families.
The program provides consumers with easy-to-understand rating systems, which quantify environmentally-friendly building practices for remodeling and new home construction.
Built Green is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to promoting green building and education programs.
The Built Green program has been designed for builders and developers by builders and developers.
2. How Does Built Green Work?
Building projects are qualified using a Built Green® checklist organized into six categories of environmentally-friendly action items. Builders use the checklists prior to construction to determine which features to include in the home and to track progress. The program is voluntary but requires a third-party verification element: builders or developers must follow a specific set of criteria to attain status as a Built Green home. When construction is complete, the verifier submits a signed copy of the checklist to the Central Washington Built Green Association (CWBGA), certifying that the home meets the checklist requirements for the desired star level. CWBGA awards the appropriate Certificate of Merit indicating that the home has received a 3, 4 or 5 Star Level.
3. What are the Built Green Checklist?
BUILT GREEN TEAM
One of the earliest challenges for a builder in developing a green lot is assembling an effective team to help the builder implement best green practices throughout the process. Examples of possible team members include staff, site superintendents, utilities, excavators, landscape architects, wildlife biologists, ecologists, and arborists.
SITE & WATER
Resource-efficient site design and development practices help reduce the environmental impacts and improve the energy performance of new housing. Site design principles such as saving trees, constructing onsite storm water retention/filtration features, creating mechanisms for conserving indoor and outdoor water, along with orienting houses to maximize passive solar heating and cooling are basic processes used in the construction of Built Green® Homes.
This includes everything from thoughtful window selection, building envelope air sealing, duct sealing, geothermal ground source heating, radiant floor heating, Energy Star appliances and light fixtures, and higher insulation values. These efforts combined create a truly high-performance, energy efficient home that is less expensive to operate and more comfortable to live in than a conventional home.
HEALTH & INDOOR AIR QUALITY
This includes the use of environmentally-friendly building materials, paints, caulking, sealants, and insulation. Additionally, interior surfaces that are easy to clean and maintain and state-of-the-art indoor air filtration work together to create a healthier indoor-air environment.
Successful Built Green Homes start with the consideration of the environment at the design phase—the time at which material selection occurs. Creating resource-efficient designs and using resource-efficient materials can maximize function while optimizing the use of natural resources.
Materials efficiency is also about reducing job-site waste with the goal of minimizing landfill waste. Recycling facilities and markets for recyclable materials mean construction waste can be reduced by at least two-thirds. This can also mean potential cost savings for builders. Recycled products reduce the use of new materials while waste-minimizing practices can contribute to the overall efficiency of the project.
Finally, encouraging builders to use locally-manufactured products also reduces the energy used to get them to the job site.
OPERATION, MAINTENANCE & HOMEOWNER EDUCATION
Improper or inadequate maintenance can defeat the designer's and/or builder’s best efforts to create a resource-efficient home. For example, homeowners often fail to change air filters regularly or forget to use bath and kitchen exhaust fans. Many homeowners are unaware of how common substances like pesticides, fertilizers, and common cleaning agents impact indoor air quality. A homeowners manual that teaches proper operation and maintenance, suggests alternatives to toxic substances, and points out water-saving practices helps ensure that the green home so carefully built will continue to be environmentally-responsible.
4. I've Never Heard of Built Green? Are They Associated With Anyone?
Born from the Central Washington Home Builder’s Association, Built Green is associated with Built Green Washington.
5. Where Can I Find a Builder?
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6. How Can I Learn More About Built Green?