Green Building Programs Compared Post II

Posted by Ben Licari on Mar 18, 2015

This is the second in a series of posts summarizing the various green building programs currently in use. We started our series with a summary of LEED®.  

Today’s post addresses Build It Green. Later, we’ll be taking a look at StepUp2Green, and CalGreen. Build it Green Overview: Build It Green is a membership-supported non-profit organization whose mission is to promote healthy, energy- and resource-efficient homes in California. Key elements of Build it Green are: 

1. Developed in Berkeley for adoption by Alameda County. 

2. Established in 2003 to provide credible and accessible green building policies that promote private sector innovation and provide consistent guidelines statewide.

3. The program includes accreditation as a Certified Green Building Professional (CGBP) .

4. Training courses and exam provided; Concurrent education is also required to maintain accreditation. Courses are provided by Build It Green, but courses from other legitimate sources also qualify, such as PG&E’s energy and water courses. 

5. Minimum mandatory requirements and numerous electives, very prescriptive based.

6. Most common residential certification for new homes. Adopted by almost all Bay Area California counties without changes, including both the City and County of Santa Cruz. Also has a home remodeling component that is less utilized than the new construction certification.

7. A directory of CGBPs can be found here:

8. Guidelines for the various rating systems can be found here:

9. In Graniterock’s experience, an adequate training program includes 2-day training course that includes exam for the basic level. Enough can be gleaned from the short course to pass the test, if you work hard and use enough sticky notes.

10. Graniterock currently has two CGBPs on staff: Keith Severson and Ben Licari.

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