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News & Updates

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Certified Green Building Professional Training

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Build It Green Wins Award from National Association of REALTORS®

Build It Green (BIG) has been selected from a distinguished pool of candidates to receive the 2014 EverGreen Award from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS'® (NAR's) Green REsource Council. BIG won this recognition due to its national leadership in the green real estate industry.

In Southern California over the past year and a half, BIG has pioneered one of the nation's most innovative programs to spur energy upgrades among homebuyers. The program, funded by The Energy Network, trains real estate agents to achieve NAR's Green Designation certification, which helps them educate their homebuyer clients on green building benefits and energy upgrade opportunities through rebate and financing programs.

"Build It Green is honored to accept this award and we're grateful for our fruitful partnership with the National Association of REALTORS® and The Energy Network," said Catherine Merschel, Executive Director and CEO of Build It Green. "This recognition validates BIG's efforts to find new and innovative ways to transform the marketplace for green homes. We are committed to helping the state of California reduce its energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, and at the same time helping homeowners save money and real estate agents and contractors expand their businesses."

Real estate agents serve as key influencers to new homebuyers, and often serve as gatekeepers to other home and building professionals, from electricians to remodeling contractors and home performance contractors. Agents who have achieved the Green Certification can now assist homeowners with upgrades that will save them money and increase the comfort and health of their homes—and lower energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2014, BIG has delivered a dozen no-cost trainings to help 361 real estate professionals achieve the Green Designation. In addition to real estate agents, 44 appraisers have been trained to assess the value of a home's green features, from solar to insulation. These ongoing efforts are transforming the marketplace into one where both homebuyers and home industry professionals recognize the value of green features and upgrades.

To stimulate consumer awareness and demand for green-certified REALTORS in Southern California, BIG has also launched a website,, to connect homebuyers with agents via an online directory. Thanks to a major online marketing campaign, the site has received nearly 100,000 page views since May 2014!

BIG would also like to recognize its real estate trainer, John Shipman, who received a separate EverGreen Award from NAR for his success in delivering the Green Designation trainings. Shipman is a recognize innovator and leader in Southern California, whose expertise and passion for green building brings the topic to life for his students. Congratulations to John!