BREEAM International New Construction 2016 2.0

Created in 1990 by BRE (the Building Research Establishment), BREEAM was the first green building certification program and today is recognized as the world’s leading sustainability assessment method with over 2.2 million assets registered in 87 countries and over 572,000 certifications issued. BREEAM offers programs for New Construction, In-Use (existing buildings) and Refurbishment & Fit-Out phases of the building lifecycle.

BREEAM International New Construction is a performance-based assessment method and certification program with the aim of mitigating the life cycle impacts of new buildings on the environment in a robust and cost-effective manner. This is achieved through integration and use of the program by clients and their project teams at key stages in the design and construction process to measure, evaluate and reflect the performance of their new building against best practice. This performance is quantified by a number of individual measures and associated criteria stretching across a range of environmental issues which is ultimately expressed as a single certified BREEAM rating.

Certification is conducted by an independent third party, licensed BREEAM Assessor and requires on-site verification, offering a global recognition and assurance of achievement. The certification is quality assured by the BRE Global.

More information about BREEAM for US projects can be found at, including access to the full details of our program assessment criteria and evidence requirements at no charge.

Southface EarthCraft Multifamily v2

The EarthCraft green building certification program was developed by Southface Institute and the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association in 1999.

EarthCraft certification helps ensure that buildings and communities in the region meet strict criteria for saving energy and water, ensuring high indoor air quality, and protecting our land and natural resources. To achieve an EarthCraft certification, a building is required to undergo independent third-party verification by a qualified EarthCraft Technical Advisor, who confirms the building meets all program requirements.

The EarthCraft Multifamily Program is for developer certification of new construction, gut-rehabilitation, adaptive reuse, and renovation of low, mid and high-rise multifamily projects. The program is designed to accommodate both “affordable” and “market rate” project types.

The program is point based and includes three tiers of certification: CERTIFIED, GOLD, and PLATINUM. ENERGY STAR certification (New Homes or Multifamily High Rise) is required at the GOLD and PLATINUM levels depending on the building type. Appropriate ventilation based on ASHRAE guidelines is a requirement of the program implemented at either the unit or building level. Outside of these areas, the program is very flexible and can be customized by individual developers to suit their individual projects within the scoring system.

Certified projects are more energy efficient and less costly to operate. There is less communication of air between units allowing for the isolation of odors and sounds between units, and EarthCraft Multifamily projects are more durable. These projects have a smaller environmental footprint both during construction process and operation/occupancy.

ENERGY STAR Multifamily New Construction v1.1

To earn the ENERGY STAR, a home or apartment must meet strict program requirements for energy efficiency developed by ENERGY STAR’s Residential New Construction program. These program requirements are based on extensive interaction with the nation’s home-building industry, including builders, developers, verification professionals, and building scientists.

ENERGY STAR certified homes and apartments are at least 10% more efficient than homes built to code and achieve a 20% improvement on average. Homes and apartments achieve this level of performance through a complete package of building science measures.

To ensure that a home or apartment meets ENERGY STAR program requirements, third−party verification is required. The verifier works closely with the builder or developer throughout the construction process to help determine the needed energy−saving equipment and construction techniques and conduct required on−site diagnostic testing and inspections to document that the home or apartment is eligible to earn the ENERGY STAR label.

Since the inception of the ENERGY STAR Certified Homes program in 1995, the program’s requirements have continued to evolve in response to increased rigor in mandated code requirements and more efficient standard builder practices to ensure that homes that earn the label continue to represent a meaningful improvement over non-labeled homes.

Enterprise Green Communities 2020

The 2020 Enterprise Green Communities Criteria was developed to translate the collective expertise of leading housing and green building practitioners into a clear, cost-effective framework for all affordable housing development types. EGC Certification is available for any housing project in the United States that includes affordable dwelling units.

Two levels of certification are available, Enterprise Green Communities Certification and Enterprise Green Communities Certification Plus. Our new “Plus” level of certification recognizes significant achievement for projects that meet all certification requirements and have invested in deep levels of energy efficiency, a critical strategy in our changing climate.

All projects must achieve compliance with the mandatory Criteria measures applicable to their construction type. New Construction projects earning at least 40 optional points, and Substantial and Moderate Rehab projects achieving at least 35 optional points, will be recognized with Enterprise Green Communities Certification.

Certification involves a two-step online submission and review process: Prebuild and Postbuild. Project teams submit their Prebuild application near the end of the design phase, prior to the start of construction. Project teams submit their Postbuild application shortly after the project has received its Certificate of Occupancy. Upon submission of each application, Enterprise Green Communities conducts a thorough review of the materials and provides feedback to the project team as necessary, clearly indicating whether the application was approved or needs further work. For projects that receive Prebuild as well as Postbuild approval, Enterprise Green Communities certifies that the Criteria were met in full and recognizes the project team for their accomplishment.

Fitwel Multifamily Residential v2.1

Fitwel is the world’s leading certification system committed to building health for all®. Generated by expert analysis of 5,600+ academic research studies, Fitwel, operated by the Center for Active Design, is implementing a vision for a healthier future where all buildings and communities are enhanced to strengthen health and well-being. Fitwel was originally created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention and U.S. General Services Administration. The CDC remains the research and evaluation partner for Fitwel.

Fitwel’s Building and Site Scorecards offer evidence-based, targeted, and incremental interventions that can foster healthier environments, regardless of property size, location, or construction year. All strategies are voluntary, with no cost-prohibitive prerequisites, allowing for extensive applicability across diverse portfolios. At the company scale, Fitwel’s new Viral Response module provides annual, third-party certification of policies and practices to mitigate the spread of contagious diseases within buildings. Certification processes are managed via the Fitwel Portal, an interactive, user-friendly digital interface that provides fast access to key information on building and site-scale performance and health impacts.

Fitwel strategies are those with the strongest evidence base and highest demonstrated impact across seven Health Impact Categories. Strategies with stronger, multi-faceted impacts receive a higher point allocation. The point value assigned to each strategy is determined by a scientific advisory group of leading public health researchers assembled by the CDC, who continue to weigh in on strategies and point allocation as the Fitwel standard, and the research behind it, continues to evolve.

Green Globes Multifamily for New Construction v1.0

Green Globes offers a different approach: one that provides in-depth support for improvements ideally suited to each, individual project. Building owners and facility managers know their buildings and operations better than anyone else. GBI respects and leverages that knowledge with personalized assistance to produce best practices in sustainable design, construction, and operations. Incorporating third-party Assessors – available throughout the certification process – we forge a partnership that empowers experienced project teams to excel and reduces the learning curve for those new to green building. Green Globes certification helps to reduce operating costs, meet government regulations, attract and retain employees/tenants, and increase your property’s marketability.

Green Globes Multifamily for New Construction (Green Globes Multifamily NC) provide a certification option to meet the needs of owners and project teams with multifamily projects pursuing financial incentive. Green Globes Multifamily NC is flexible and collaborative and ensures improved indoor air quality performance and energy or water consumption savings with minimum requirements for operations and tenant best practices. Green Globes Multifamily for NC includes multiple pathways to success, a question set that prompts users to think critically about their project with criteria covering all aspects new construction including Resilience and Health & Wellness, two third-party Assessor reviews (Design Review and Onsite Assessment), and GBI customer service and technical support providing step-by-step guidance. For an additional fee, project teams have the option to expedite their Green Globes Multifamily NC assessment to receive their final report and certification within 30-45 days.

Indoor airPLUS Rev4

The Indoor airPLUS Program improves the quality of air in homes by requiring construction practices and product specifications that minimize exposure to airborne pollutants and contaminants.

These specifications were developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to recognize new homes equipped with a comprehensive set of indoor air quality (IAQ) features. The Indoor airPLUS Program fully integrates ENERGY STAR Certified Home requirements as a prerequisite. In addition, both the ENERGY STAR Certified Home label and the Indoor airPLUS label are prerequisites for the Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready Home Program and the PHIUS+ certification by Passive House Institute US, both of which are additional certification options in building high performance, sustainable homes.

For a home to earn the Indoor airPLUS label, it must also earn the ENERGY STAR Certified Homes label. Requirements for both programs can be verified and homes can be reported simultaneously.

LEED v4 BD+C: New Construction
LEED for HOMES v4 Homes and Multifamily Lowrise
LEED for HOMES v4 Multifamily Midrise
LEED v4.1 Residential BD+C Multifamily Homes

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Available for virtually all building types, LEED provides a framework for healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green buildings. LEED is designed to address environmental challenges while responding to the needs of a competitive market.

In the Building Design + Construction (BD+C) rating system, the major prerequisites and credits are categorized as Location and Transportation (LT), Sustainable Sites (SS), Water Efficiency (WE),Energy and Atmosphere (EA), Materials and Resources (MR), and Indoor Environmental Quality (EQ).

The goals also drive the weighting of points toward certification. Each credit in the rating system is allocated points based on the relative importance of its contribution to the goals. The result is a weighted average: credits that most directly address the most important goals are given the greatest weight. Project teams that meet the prerequisites and earn enough credits to achieve certification have demonstrated performance that spans the goals in an integrated way. Certification is awarded at four levels (Certified, Silver, Gold, Platinum) to incentivize higher achievement and, in turn, faster progress toward the goals.

Living Building Challenge 4.0 Living Certification
Living Building Challenge 4.0 Materials & Health + Happiness Petals Certification
Living Building Challenge 4.0 Energy Petal Certification
Living Building Challenge 4.0 Core Green Building Certification
Living Building Challenge 4.0 Zero Carbon or Zero Energy Certification

The Living Building Challenge (LBC) consists of seven performance categories, or “Petals” and each Petal is subdivided into Imperatives, for a total of twenty Imperatives.

For new construction:

– Living Certification requires attainment of all twenty Imperatives.

– Core Green Building Certification requires attainment of a subset of ten Imperatives designated as Core Imperatives

– Petal Certification requires the achievement of, at a minimum, all Core Imperatives plus all Imperatives in either the Water, Energy, or Materials Petal.

– Zero Carbon and Zero Energy certifications are not structured around Imperatives, but rather demonstration of energy efficiency combined with renewable energy offsets.

National Green Building Standard 2015 New Construction
National Green Building Standard 2020 New Construction Multifamily

The National Green Building Standard TM (NGBS) is the preeminent residential green building rating system. It sets green baselines for all new residential construction, development, and remodeling projects. ANSI-approved and consensus-based, the NGBS provides a menu of green building practices for builders, remodelers, and developers to plan their green projects. These building practices, when employed in construction and development, improve the living environment for residents and reduce the project’s environmental impacts.

The NGBS offers four levels of green certification for single- and multifamily homes: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Emerald; and four levels for land developments: One- through Four-Stars. To be certified, a project must implement a minimum number of practices in each of six green building categories. To attain higher certification levels, the project has to employ a greater number of green practices in every category, resulting in progressively increased benefits to the residents and reduced environmental impacts.

PHIUS PHIUS+ 2018 Passive Building Standard

PHIUS+ is a “high-performance building standard” – it challenges the building industry to construct buildings that can maintain a comfortable indoor environment with very low operating energy. Since the operating energy of a building over its lifetime far exceeds the embodied energy to construct the building, the PHIUS+ standard just focuses on reducing operating energy and does not specifically address the environmental impacts of the building materials and construction process.

It remains a “performance-based” energy standard that includes prescriptive quality assurance requirements adopted from U.S. government programs – Energy Star, Zero Energy Ready Home, and EPA Indoor airPLUS.

Passive building comprises a set of design principles used to attain a quantifiable and rigorous level of energy efficiency within a specific quantifiable comfort level. “”Optimize your gains and losses”” based on climate summarizes the approach. To that end, a passive building is designed and built in accordance with these five building-science principles:

  • Employs continuous insulation throughout its entire envelope without any thermal bridging.
  • The building envelope is extremely airtight, preventing infiltration of outside air and loss of conditioned air.
  • Employs high-performance windows (double or triple-paned windows depending on climate and building type) and doors – solar gain is managed to exploit the sun’s energy for heating purposes in the heating season and to minimize overheating during the cooling season.
  • Uses some form of balanced heat- and moisture-recovery ventilation.
  • Uses a minimal space conditioning system.

Passive building principles can be applied to all building typologies – from single-family homes to multifamily apartment buildings, offices, and skyscrapers.

WELL Building Standard Certification v2

WELL is already a global tool being utilized in more than 50 countries. In order to make WELL v2 a better fit for people and spaces around the world, we approached the goal of globalization through a strategy of localization; taking into consideration regional health concerns, cultural norms and market realities.

What makes all of this possible is that WELL v2 is dynamic. We built a system that can continuously learn, evolve and improve. Moving away from a fixed scorecard gives you the opportunity to focus on the outcomes that matter most for your project and your community, and it gives us the opportunity to regularly introduce new pathways and parts to make WELL a better and better fit for all buildings everywhere.

There are ten concepts in WELL v2: Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Movement, Thermal Comfort, Sound, Materials, Mind and Community. Each concept is comprised of features with distinct health intents. Features are either preconditions or optimizations. Preconditions define the fundamental components of a WELL space and serve as th foundation of a healthy building. WELL v2 offers a universal set of preconditions for all projects. All preconditions are mandatory for certification. All parts in preconditions are mandatory.

Projects pursuing WELL Certification can earn points based on performance outcomes for various policy, design and operational strategies and can achieve one of four certification levels: Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum.

WELL is a performance-based system. Every WELL project is verified through on-site testing of building performance. This practice is fundamental to high-performing buildings and helps project teams better understand the relationship between the physical environment and human health.

Zero Energy Ready Home Rev6

The DOE Zero Energy Ready Home is a compelling way to recognize builders for their leadership in increasing energy efficiency, improving indoor air quality, and making homes zero energy ready.

The program builds upon the comprehensive building science requirements of ENERGY STAR® for Homes Version 3, along with proven Building America innovations and best practices. Other special attribute programs are incorporated to help builders reach unparalleled levels of performance with homes designed to last hundreds of years.

DOE Zero Energy Ready Homes are verified by a qualified third-party and are at least 40%-50% more energy efficient than a typical new home. This generally corresponds to a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index Score in the low- to mid-50s, depending on the size of the home and region in which it is built.