October 27, 2016

GreenPoint Rated 7.0 Pushes the Edge of Green Home Design

GreenPoint Rated Version 7.0 was released today, setting a new standard in California for green and healthy homes. The updated version of California’s most trusted green home certification system awards points for newly built homes that incorporate the leading green building practices and save energy, water, and greenhouse gas emissions far beyond homes constructed to the minimum building code standards.


A Key to California’s Climate and Energy Goals

“For California to meet its long-term climate and energy goals, we need a higher standard like GreenPoint Rated to advance the residential market,” says Karin Burns, Executive Director of Build It Green, the nonprofit organization that administers the GreenPoint Rated program. “GreenPoint Rated Version 7.0 breaks new ground, with innovative new pathways to build next-generation homes, including zero net energy (ZNE) and low-carbon, all-electric homes.”


The Enduring Value of Green Certification

GreenPoint Rated is an independent seal of approval that reassures homeowners that a home is healthier, more comfortable, durable, and resource-efficient. Studies show that certifications like GreenPoint Rated can increase home value by up to 9%. In California, GreenPoint Rated has certified 43,000 homes—more than any other comprehensive green home certification system. "GreenPoint Rated Version 7.0 works for builders, developers and local governments, because it's a credible standard that is also flexible enough to help them meet their goals," adds Burns.


Taking Effect in January 2017

GreenPoint Rated Version 7.0 will take effect on January 1, 2017, in tandem with the State of California’s 2016 California Codes and Regulations and Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Title 24, Part 6). Version 7.0 was developed by Build It Green technical staff, with extensive input from stakeholders—subject matter experts, builders, contractors, raters, local government staff, etc.—beginning in 2015 with two public comment periods in 2016.


Pushing the Edge: ZNE & Low-Carbon Homes

“GreenPoint Rated Version 7.0 brings online several groundbreaking updates to address ZNE and low-carbon homes,” says Amy Dryden, Senior Technical Manager at BIG. “We've defined new pathways for how to build next-generation ZNE homes and multifamily buildings, including low-carbon, all-electric homes that avoid fossil fuels.”

These updates are complemented by Build It Green’s Climate Calculator that is integral to GreenPoint Rated, adds Dryden, which quantifies estimated greenhouse gas reductions from a GreenPoint Rated home’s green building features, including energy, water, materials, and even air-conditioning refrigerants.


What Else Changed in Version 7.0?

GreenPoint Rated 7.0 clarifies existing code, incorporates upcoming code changes, and anticipates future code. CALGreen residential and non-residential mandatory measures are still prerequisites for GreenPoint Rated. The CALGreen checklists have been updated to reflect the 2016 California Green Building Code. Additional updates include:

  • Deleting measures that have become code-required
  • Addressing CALGreen mandatory measures
  • Improving and clarifying definitions of current measures
  • Clarifying criteria for qualification of current measures

Version 7.0 also awards new points for innovative home features and current green building best practices. For example, adding energy storage systems in tandem with solar PV, or adding electric vehicle charging stations to apartment buildings, or conducting a climate change vulnerability assessment for a project site. For a full list of Version 7.0 updates, view the Executive Summary (pdf).


How Can GreenPoint Rated Help You?

  • For single-family builders: Increase sales and differentiate your high-quality homes from others that are built only to code-minimum standards. Meet the needs of consumers who increasingly demand energy-efficient, healthier, high-performing homes.
  • For affordable housing developers: Maximze your tax credits with a green-certified building and gain access to attractive green financing programs. Meet your sustainability and tenant goals with GreenPoint Rated measures that promote health, efficiency, community design, and social equity.
  • For local governments: Adopt GreenPoint Rated as a cost-effective, plug-and-play policy to meet your climate action plan goals (because baseline building codes are not strong enough). Requiring GreenPoint Rated certification for new home construction adds verification to the construction and permitting process: Third-party raters inspect the work to verify that CALGreen measures and above-code measures have actually been installed. This relieves municipal staff of additional inspection burdens. Finally, track and quantify the benefits of your green building policies with the GreenPoint Rated Climate Calculate, which estimates avoided GHGs for all projects in your jurisdiction.