What does it take for a building contractor to become green building-certified? The quick answer: time, dedication, and a commitment to the future of the planet and those who inhabit it. Sounds easy, right? Well, no. Not quite.
To become green-building certified, a person or business would need to choose one or more specific certifications. There are several in the U.S. alone, and even more at the global level. Each has s somewhat different emphasis.
Let’s find out about the benefits of having these certifications. How do they promote green buildings and the energy-efficient construction practices that create them?
What Is a Green Building Certification?
Green building certification systems derive from sets of rating systems and tools.
They are used to assess the performance of a building or construction project. And they are based on its sustainability and environmental stewardship.
The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification is the best-known and well-established green building certification.
Other prominent green building certifications include:
- Energy Star certification
- BREEAM sustainability certification
- Green Globes certification
- WELL Building Standard
- GreenGuard certification
Several other systems, both national and international, certify green construction projects and buildings.
Benefits of Using Contractors With Green Building Certification
Commercial and educational buildings have set the pace for green construction projects. But domestic living spaces aren’t far behind.
Green homes and multi-unit residential buildings are changing how people work and live. But, without contractors and their green building certifications, the process would be much slower.
Forward-thinking green construction companies are making a difference, and here are some of the reasons why.
1. Non-Toxic Building Materials
As green buildings become more common, contractors are investing in non-toxic building materials. These range from traditional materials, like wood, to the very unexpected rammed earth.
Today, rammed earth buildings use rebar or bamboo, and mechanical tampers diminish the labor needed to make sturdy walls.
2. Tax Benefits
Several tax incentives and benefits are available for green building owners. These are especially common with energy-efficient construction projects. Green building-certified contractors can help you identify them.
3. Energy Savings
Tax incentives make green energy more affordable to install. The installations it supports save residential and commercial consumers even more in the years to come.
Blue Raven Solar is one company playing a role in helping new solar energy consumers identify the resources they need to make this happen.
A reduced carbon footprint is a distinct benefit of energy-efficient buildings. It can lead to even greater savings.
4. Health Benefits for Occupants
There are several physical and mental health benefits for those fortunate enough to work in green buildings.
And research has shown that doing this can lead to fewer sick days, at least 30% less absenteeism, and higher productivity on the whole.
What a boon to employee recruitment and retention! Not to mention building owners’ ability to secure new leases for commercial and residential space. Plus, there is little question that green homes have higher resale value than others.
5. Smart Technology-Equipped Buildings
Smart technology can provide green buildings with utmost convenience and comfort while strengthening security and promoting energy efficiency.
Choosing a contractor that implements green construction practices can also help make buildings more sustainable, compliant, and technology-equipped. For instance, a green contractor can suggest installing a universal bathroom kit for a barrier-free washroom in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and existing building codes.
In addition, a green contractor can recommend advanced home security and energy-saving features to property owners. A good example is the installation of solar shingle roofing, which is installed like regular roofs. This kind of roofing system generates renewable energy and offers long-term savings.
What’s more, green building contractors can refer electrical contractors to install smart electric meters and wireless electrical systems for energy efficiency. They can even recommend green HVAC and plumbing contractors to develop green HVAC and plumbing systems.
How To Choose A Green Contractor
Building contractors can always claim that they deploy green practices. So, it’s crucial to check the credentials first before entering any building construction or renovation contract. Ask for the specific certifications the green building contractor has and verify this information with the governing or certifying body. Choose one with years of experience and a wide array of green services.
The “Green” in Green Building
Work with contractors who have earned one or more green building certifications. Doing so can lead to some amazing green construction projects. They often can save you money — in the short term, long term, or both.
Are you interested in green building tips and recommendations? Find more articles like this one on our website.