When I was a home builder, I worked hard to establish my company’s reputation for innovative design and high-quality construction largely based on the energy performance and comfort of our homes. Our energy “story” really helped us stand out in a competitive market.
But that was before the mass greening of our industry, so it was easier to differentiate ourselves as green builders then than it is now. It also was early in the emergence of any real level of performance standards or widespread field-testing to substantiate any claims of performance. And certainly this pre-dated performance testing as part of green building certification programs that allow builders to market their homes to green buyers.
Programs and testing requirements have changed the game significantly. For one thing, there are minimum performance standards set for energy efficiency, water conservation, and materials selection that must be met in order to achieve certifications at various program levels. And then there are those programs that also require field-based testing to substantiate performance claims.
These days everyone is making claims about their homes, so it’s getting harder to stand out from the crowd. Participating in a certification program adds validity to your claim, which helps. But even that is more and more common. Participating in a program that requires field-based testing, or setting that standard for yourself, can set you apart a little more.
Take our online survey and let us know whether you are participating in national, regional, or local green building programs, and what level of testing you perform on your projects to ensure a known standard of performance. Your participation will help us understand the challenges that face your company in this market. Thanks.