Built Green

Built Green is an environmentally-friendly, residential building program of the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties, developed in partnership with King County, Snohomish County, and other agencies in Washington state, that sets standards of excellence that have a significant impact on housing, health and the environment and are achievable today.

Built Green provides builders and consumers with easy-to-understand rating systems, which quantify environmentally-friendly building practices for both remodeling and new home construction, communities and multi-family development projects. These systems and the holistic certification framework demystify green building, showcase a variety of strategies, and provide a flexible path for builders to certify their projects.

Built Green is designed to help homebuyers and renters find a variety of quality homes and apartments that also safeguard their health, that of their families and the Northwest environment. Built Green homes provide their dwellers with comfortable, durable, environmentally-friendly homes that are cost-effective to own and operate. These resource-efficient homes are crafted to exceed building codes and provide homeowners and renters with years of healthy, quality living, while promoting sustainable communities and protecting the environment.

For more information, see builtgreen.net.

More about the certification

Explain briefly what is the basic certification process (application, inspection, completion)?
When a builder wishes to certify a home, they must first enroll the project with Built Green, as well as join as a member if they aren’t already one. Then, during construction, they work closely with an approved third-party verifier who makes multiple site visits and works with the builder to compile necessary documentation, photographs, and other methods of proving that the home is adhering to points claimed on the Built Green checklist. Once the home is complete, the third-party verifier submits a packet with all information to Built Green staff, who reviews the home for certification.

Approximately how long does it take for a home to get certified? 
Upon receipt of the certification packet from the third-party verifier, the turnaround time for certification is generally two weeks or less, barring any issues with the submission.

What is the cost for a single family home? 
$150. If the builder is a member of the Master Builders Association, the enrollment fee is reduced to $50. Builders also must pay for the work of the third-party verifier; their fees vary.

What makes you different from other certifications?
As a regional certification, Built Green’s checklist is tailored to the local climate. It is also extremely accessible and relatively inexpensive. Built Green also works with local governments and utilities to improve circumstances for green builders. Multiple incentives in the Seattle area are based on Built Green certification.

Do you focus primarily on energy efficiency or multiple elements for certification and what are they? 
Built Green is a holistic certification and looks at environmental impact from many different categories: site and water, energy efficiency, health and indoor air quality, materials efficiency, and operation, maintenance, and homeowner education.  

Approximately how many certifications have been completed?
As of September 2016, Built Green has certified over 16,000 buildings.

Please describe the region you cover, if not national.
Built Green certifies in Washington State.

Are renovations/remodels eligible for certification, or is it primarily new construction?
Built Green certifies new construction, both single-family and multi-family, remodels, retrofits, and communities.

Any other information you’d like to share?
In addition to certifying homes, Built Green provides education on green building and its importance to those in the building industry and the public in general. Built Green also conducts research on the benefits of green homes and maintains positive relationships with local governments to collaborate on incentives.