Green construction is a growing segment of our industry and provides myriad benefits to both the contractor and building owner. There are two main types of certifications that can be obtained to designate a building as environmentally friendly:
- Energy Star Certification
- Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification
In the first article of this two-part series, our Nashville contractor attorneys will discuss how the two certifications benefit the contractor. In Part 2, we will cover how the two differ and interact.
Energy Star Certification
Energy Star was established in 1992 as the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency.
Products can earn the Energy Star by meeting specifications outlined by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Products’ performance and energy consumption must undergo testing to earn this certification.
Contractors can benefit from Energy Star certification in a variety of ways, including:
- Decreasing construction costs: Building an Energy Star certified home or commercial property can minimize lumber costs and enable savings through right-sized HVAC units.
- Reducing expensive callbacks: According to Energy Star builders, Energy Star homes produce less comfort-related complaints than non-certified homes.
- Standardizing building practices: Using the program requirements supplied by Energy Star can make it easier to standardize subcontractor specs. This is good for both bidding and work performance reasons.
- Obtaining valuable support: If you’d like, the EPA will provide you with best practices. These are industry vetted by builders across the country and tailored to your specific climate.
- Selling more homes: When you partner with Energy Star, you gain access to a variety of complimentary Energy Star sales and marketing resources. You can also use free collateral and sales training resources to help brand yourself as an Energy Star builder and stand out from your competition.
LEED Certification was established in 1994 by the U.S. Green Building Council, a non-profit agency, to serve as a real estate certification process. To be awarded a LEED certification, a building must satisfy a variety of environmentally friendly requirements.
Though LEED certification may come at a price, it also comes with a variety of benefits.
Some of these benefits include:
- Tax credits or rebates for building a green home
- Promotional value
- Increased desirability and property values
- A higher appreciation rate than non-LEED certified properties
- Lower energy costs
- The potential for lower insurance premiums. (Note: not all insurance companies offer the lower premiums, but many do.)
Research has shown that potential clients seek lasting value over initial inexpensiveness, so the variety of long-term benefits that come with LEED certification will prove enticing.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.