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Certification Programs

 What is it?   A certification program is a resource that helps you learn about green building, select the green features your project will incorporate, and monitor construction to ensure it complies with your choices. A certification program can also provide proof of your building’s “green” status. Even if you are not currently planning to build, a certification program's web site is a great way to educate yourself about green building.

 Why do it?   Green buildings are in demand and represent a growing share of new construction. Certification programs provide the following benefits:

  • Free, detailed information on green building
  • Helpful online tools
  • Free checklists or guidelines that make it easy to select the green features your project will incorporate and monitor construction
  • An optional, widely recognized certification that adds to your building’s value
  • Referrals to builders and contractors who build green

 What programs are available?   In our area, there are three widely recognized certification programs, each offering its own resources, tools, and rating or certification system:

  • LEED®/LEED for Homes
  • BuiltGreen™
  • ENERGY STAR®/Northwest ENERGY STAR Homes

Read the program descriptions below to find the ones that apply to your project, then use the links to visit the program web sites. Each of these sites offers a wealth of information that will help you to learn about green building. And to view projects that have been certified under these programs, see Case Studies.

After you visit the green building certification programs, continue on to
 Step 3   Schedule a Free Green Building Consultation for Your Project.


LEED®external link icon (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council and provides a nationally accepted third-party certification based on rating systems for: 
  • New construction and major renovations of commercial buildings
  • Existing buildings: operations and maintenance
  • Commercial interiors
  • Schools, Retail, and Healthcare
  • Homes (LEED for Homesexternal link icon)
  • Neighborhood development 
LEED logo
Built Green™external link icon is sponsored by the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties and is part of a national network of regional BuiltGreen programs. It provides a voluntary four-star rating system for:

  • New homes
  • Remodels of existing homes
  • Multifamily homes (apartments or condominiums)
  • Residential communities or developments
BuiltGreen logo

ENERGY STAR®external link icon is sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. It provides energy efficiency certification and tools for: 

ENERGY STAR logo (horizontal)

'LEED' and related logo is a trademark owned by the U.S. Green Building Council and is used by permission.