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GreenPoint Rated is a whole-house, performance-based home certification that is limited to California. Launched by Build It Green in 2006, the certification is the result of collaboration between developers, contractors, architects, energy auditors, government officials, and utility representatives. The GreenPoint Rated label covers single family homes, multifamily homes, and commercial spaces.
Build It Green has a small office staff and stresses the importance of working with a cohesive, unified certification team. Further, Build It Green has educated the National Association of Realtors - California Chapter about the GreenPoint Rated System. The manager of the GreenPoint Rated program, suggested that their relationship with the National Association of Realtors would be helpful in marketing the project to agents in San Diego County.
Similar to Green Globes, four different levels of certification are available based on the number of points earned:
- Certified: 50 to 79 points
- Silver: 80 to 109 points
- Gold: 110 to 139 points
- Platinum: 140 points or more
Unlike Green Globes, though, GreenPoint Rated establishes minimum point requirements for each category, which are as follows:
- Community (2)
- Energy (25)
- IAQ (6)
- Resource Conservation (6)
- Water Conservation (6)
- Additional Points (5)
From the numbers above, one can see that energy is by far the most important measure in the GreenPoint Rated certification matrix. Beyond scoring points for energy-related measures, the project must also achieve an energy performance baseline of at least 15 percent above the 2013 California Energy Code (compare with ENERGY STAR, which uses the 2008 Code). Finally, at least 50% of construction waste must be diverted from landfill.
As with most certifications, a GreenPoint Rated rater must be used for all verification work. There are seven GreenPoint Raters for new homes in San Diego County, including.
Step 1: The building team hires a GreenPoint Rater.
Step 2: The rater reviews the GreenPoint Rated checklist and helps create a list of design features and construction practices.
Step 3: The rater submits an application consisting of project planning scoresheet to Build It Green. The rater then assists throughout the design process to ensure measures are incorporated into the plans and specifications. Application review usually takes about 1 to 2 weeks.
Step 4: The rater coordinates with the building team to provide third-party documentation and site verification. All CALGreen and GreenPoint Rated measures must be verified by the rater.
Step 5: The rater compiles documentation, calculates scores, and, when the project is completed, he/she submits all necessary documentation to Build It Green for certification review.
Step 6: Build It Green mails the GreenPoint Rated certificate within 2 to 4 weeks.
- Registration Fee : $550
- Certification Fee: $400
- Rater Fee: $2,000 to 4,000
- Estimated Team Increase: Moderate
- Certified Single Family Homes in San Diego County: 7
- Certified Multifamily Projects in San Diego County: 10
- Certified Buildings in California (new and remodeled): 31,000
Build It Green is a respectable, comprehensive label offered at a decent price. It includes many of the same practices and concepts required by LEED, but offers a faster, less complex process. The certification requires several forms of proof, including construction drawings and spec sheets, but does not rise to the level of documentation mandated by LEED or the Living Building Challenge. Further, the time estimate of 2 to 4 weeks to certify a project once an application has been submitted is manageable and would not impose undue delay on the project.
Overall, Build It Green has a credible market share in California. The Bay Area is Build It Green’s strongest market while San Diego is still emerging. Within the Green Building Industry, GreenPoint Rated is perceived as a legitimate, comprehensive label although not the most progressive or stringent. In terms of brand equity, the GreenPoint Rated certification will a quality project but probably not set it apart as a leading sustainability project based on certification alone.