Earth Advantage Certification

Earth Advantage

1. Explain briefly what is the basic certification process (application, inspection, completion)?
All of our builders must sign up as an Earth Advantage builder and pay a one-time initiation fee.  Their building site managers notify our office at the point of a rough inspection and a final inspection.  If a home does not pass the inspection we explain the issues to the builder and they fix those issues and we return to inspect again.  Once a home passes final inspection, the builder receives a certificate that verifies that home’s certification date and level of certification.  If the home is a Zero Energy or Zero Energy Ready home the homeowners also receive a bamboo plaque.
2. Approximately how long does it take for a home to get certified?  

Assuming a home passes both the rough and final inspection necessary to receive Earth Advantage certification, our part of the process takes roughly between 4 to 6 hours depending on the size of the house.  The time between inspections depends on the builders own construction schedule.
3. What is the cost the certification for a single family home?

We don’t list our pricing for certifications.

4. What makes you different from other certifications?

Our certification compared to LEED® for Homes, Passive House or Living Building Challenges is much simpler.  We have an online tool that makes it easy for builders to track measures against points earned and our full time energy modeler works with our green building consultants to provide a very clear pathway for each builder to achieve their goals.  Often our Silver level home certification is a gateway for builders to move beyond code and get on the pathway to building high performance homes.  Many of our builders build to increasingly higher standards over time and will sometimes combine other certifications, like PHIUS+ with our own.

5. Do you focus primarily on energy efficiency or multiple elements for certification?

Our certification is based on five pillars—Energy, Health, Land, Materials, and Water.  If builders achieve a Zero Energy or Zero Energy Ready certification there is also a renewable energy component factored in.  We encourage builders to think of the home as a holistic system, not just energy savings.  Energy efficiency certainly plays a large role in the buildings certification process however.
6. Approximately how many certifications have been completed?

To date we have certified over 15,500 single family homes and over 7,000 multifamily units.
7. Please describe the region you cover, if not national.

Our certification covers all of Oregon and a portion of SW Washington state.  Our education and training is nation-wide and is currently offered in over 7 states.  Our research is focused on the impact of buildings and energy efficiency in the Northwest region.

8. Are renovations/remodels eligible for certification, or is it primarily new construction?

Yes, we have an Earth Advantage Remodel certification.  A home can certify to a specific pillar (i.e. Energy) in their renovation, or do a whole house renovation that fully certifies across all five of our pillars.
Anything else you’d like to share?

Our mission is to accelerate the creation of better buildings throughout the Northwest region of the U.S. by providing training to building professionals, conducting relevant research, and certifying single family, multifamily, and small commercial buildings. 

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