Real Estate Broker/Owner with DMK Real Estate Ct RE Broker 0789963




Green Build Rating Systems


There are many rating systems and organizations for Green Building. Here in Fairfield County Connecticut I have seen three of them in use:-

•·         Energy Star for Homes.

•·         National Green Building Standard (NGBS)

•·         LEED for Homes


Each one of these systems is voluntary and is used to give an architect, builder and homeowner a rating system for evaluation their investment, to help design and set priorities of the project. All three rating systems need to be initiated before the project starts, active during the project and final rating at completion of project.


Energy Star for Homes.

These homes focus on energy efficiency and cost and meet strict guidelines set by the US Environmental Protection Agency(EPA). These homes are at least 15% more energy efficient than homes built to 2004 International Residential Code (in 2011 requirement will be 20%) and tend to be 20-20 % more efficient than standard homes. It is based on a 100 point index with lower the number the better the score, minimum qualifying score is 85. While the program is free, you will need to hire a HER's rater to evaluate the home and the builder will need to become an Energy Star Partner.


National Green Building Standard (NGBS)

The NGBS is the first residential green building rating system to undergo the full consensus process and receive the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approval in 2009. The National Association of Home Builders and their local state chapters offer a certification process to determine the level of green the project has achieved. There are up to 1000 points to earn with four levels of certification; Bronze, Silver, Gold and Emerald. The cost for this program certification is for members $200 and non-members $500, many of your local builders and architects are members of the NAHB local state chapters. The other cost is hiring the independent third party Green Verifier, trained to the NGBS. These costs can vary since each Green Verifier is not employed by the HAHB.


LEED for Homes.

This program is overseen by the United States Green Build Council(USGBC), a consensus nonprofit organization providing Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).  USGBC is an international organization that provides different rating systems for Residential Homes, Multifamily homes, apartments and all types of Commercial construction.

LEED for homes requires the project to hire a third party rater called the LEED Home Provider. They will do all the paperwork for the project and help plan the project. They in turn have a LEED Rater who will come out and evaluate your project during construction. Total points available is 136 for a project with four certification levels; Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum.  Costs incurred registration members $150, non-members $225; certification fees members $225, non-members $300. Plus the cost of the Home Provider an independent party approved by the USGBC, there are currently 3 Providers for Connecticut.


To learn more on Home Green Rating Systems go to Linda Reeder, AIA, new book "Guide to Green Building Rating Systems" now available. This book helps explain the difference further in rating systems both in residential and commercial applications.


 Comparison Chart for Green Build Home Rating Systems, 2010.


Green Build Home Rating Chart


David Popoff is a license Realtor in Connecticut with William Raveis office in Darien.   A life time resident of Fairfield County he has worked throughout lower Fairfield County and now resides in Darien, Ct since 2004. 

  • member of the Connecticut Association of Realtor's, CAR.
  • member of the National Association of Realtor's, NAR.
  • David Popoff is an accredited LEED Green Associate (LEED GA) and member with the United States Green Build Council (USGBC) and the Connecticut chapter (CTGBC).  
  • Associate member of National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the local chapter HBRA-Fairfield County, Ct.
  • Contact David Popoff for all your real estate needs in Darien, New Canaan, Rowayton and other parts of Connecticut.




Posted by

David Popoff
Connecticut Licensed Real Estate Broker
Realtor® Green
Seller Representative Specialist
Accredited Buyer Representative


DMK Real Estate, Darien, CT.
Cell (203) 228-0646




DMK Realty, 06820 





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Scott Hayes
(512) 786-8300 - Austin, TX
Realty Austin, Broker Associate



We did some Energy Star stuff in our home that we remodeled. I've been meaning to check in to our rebates, and although this post wasn't about that, it is a good reminder for me to address that today. Thank you.

Oct 27, 2010 07:03 AM #1
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

These are all good programs, but why can't every new home be built to a higher energy and environmental standard? Well I know why, $. Yet down the road the cost of ownership is less, so the up front costs are usually justified.

I am also involved in energy efficiency by doing energy audits (real audits) on existing homes. Older homes need the most help.

Oct 28, 2010 01:21 AM #2
David Popoff
DMK Real Estate - Darien, CT
Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct

Scott & James, so right some up front costs but pays off in a couple of years. You really just have to use common sense on some of these products. If you are buying a new appliance for hundreds of dollars then yes it makes sense to spend 20-40 dollars extra on an energy star appliance. Same with building techniques, you don't have to spend $10-$20 thousand more for an energy efficient home.

James on older homes the energy audits are a big help take a look at my blog, of course one needs to be careful of lead paint in homes built before 1978 and the new RRP law in effect by the EPA.


Oct 28, 2010 03:33 AM #3
Conrad Allen
Re/Max Professional Associates - Webster, MA
Webster, Ma, Realtor

Hi David -In order for a third party certification you have to pay an engineer thousands of dollars for the certification.  Also as an appraiser I can't show where cost equals value.

Nov 17, 2011 05:08 AM #4
David Popoff
DMK Real Estate - Darien, CT
Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct

Hello Webster, Yes you are correct that one needs to hire a engineer for a commercial building but compared the the millions $ it costs to build it and the savings it neglects the cost.

But here we are talking about residential and yes again you need to hire a 3rd party verifiyer, usely a HERs rater but not always. Depending on the location and size of the job will determine the cost but it is usually under 1% of the job. Here in Ct the costs range from $750 to $7500 just to give you an idea.

If you know what you are doing as a builder the cost of building a sustainable, green, efficient home usually adds 2-4% to the total building budget, not much compared to the savings. All it takes is a little education on the public side and the correct facts. Most of my AR posts are from hands on experience over the past 25-30 years in the construction field.

A lot of green building really has to do with common sense and quality control. Many of the green features will pay off in a year or two and then it is all money in the pocket. I just replaced a 30 yr old boiler with the high efficient boiler compared to the up to date boiler and it will take 3 years to recoup the additional cost, and then the next 27 yrs will be all money for me.

Nov 17, 2011 08:01 AM #5
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David Popoff

Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct
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