What Do Building Certification Programs Do?
Building certification programs like our CHiP Home Program exist to promote sustainable practices and changes to our built environment that bring our buildings into and/or closer into balance with the limits of our natural resources and planet’s ecosystems. In general, certification programs do this through:
- Education for consumers and builders about green design and building practices.
- Structured checklists and scoring systems identifying required green building features and techniques, conveying the relative value of various optional approaches available, and ranking the accomplishments achieved by a given project.
- Third party verification of the details of construction. This function (dependent on the level of inspection and verification detail involved) provides assurance that claims that a home or building is green are reliable. Verification of such claims is provided by trained and accredited persons knowledgeable about green labeling criteria, who have no significant economic interest in the sale of a labeled structure, and who have a significant interest in ensuring the veracity of the green label to be awarded.
- Green labeling/certification used for marketing or demonstration purposes and for verification of a structure’s increased market and societal value.
- Marketing of their green label, certification, or brand to build awareness, brand value, and promote (within the building market/industry) transformation to sustainable building practice as standard practice
Why Should I Certify My Home?
The answer to this question varies from person to person.
Most people, whether they are building professionals or owners involved in the construction of a new home, use certification programs for help in the design process to ensure that they are considering and incorporating all the design and building principles appropriate to their home.
Some, whether occupants or building professionals, are clearly looking for scientific testing and an independent, third-party verification that their home is achieving green standards.
Some seek certification as they believe it will be of value economically through reduced operations and maintenance costs and/or because a healthier indoor environment should translate to better health.
Many feel that incorporating high-performance building practices are important to the health of our planet and to future generations.
Certification program providers all seek to promulgate standards they believe will ensure achievement of at least a minimum acceptable level of movement toward sustainable building practice and hopefully much more. They also seek to ensure that this minimum level is high enough to be meaningful and avoid criticism as “Greenwashing,” the unscrupulous use of the term “green” for marketing purposes.
Some Building Certification Programs of Note
A few different organizations certify homes in our area. Each of these different certifying programs has established ways to build and verify high-performance, or green buildings.
While each program approaches the process of building and certifying a little differently, they all subscribe to the tenants of building science and are working toward more sustainable buildings and communities for the common good.
Green Home Certification Programs: (Program Name/Managed By)
Certified High Performance (CHiP) Home Program / High Performance Building Council of the BIA of Central SC
LEED for Homes (LEED-H) / U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
NAHB Green / National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Research Center
– Follow the links to learn more about each program
Ready to get started? Here’s how..
Find an existing CHiP Home – Contact these builders or check out our CHiP Homes Map
Build Your Own CHiP Home – From production to fully-custom, these builders can help. (Or any builder can use this program on your request.) Here’s how the CHiP Home Program works from start to finish.
If you have any other questions, contact us at (803) 256-6238 or via e-mail.