Green building certifications authenticate, with independent third-party verifiers, that a home or building has met established performance thresholds. This provides owners and occupants with the assurance that a building is healthy, durable and energy-, water- and resource-efficient.
How Southface Can Help
Southface has helped thousands of owners, builders and architects to navigate the building certification process for each of the nationally recognized green building programs listed below. In addition, we provide on-site technical assistance, including blower door tests, and the physical inspections and verifications often needed to achieve a green building certification.
EarthCraft, a family of programs of the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association and Southface, provides green building standards tailored to the climate, energy and water conditions of the Southeast. It aims to reduce utility bills, promote healthy living and protect the environment. Southface can guide you to achieving these EarthCraft certifications:
- EarthCraft House
- EarthCraft Renovation
- EarthCraft Multifamily
- EarthCraft Communities
- EarthCraft Light Commercial
ENERGY STAR® Qualified Label
The ENERGY STAR Qualified Label was developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy, and is a nationally recognized mark of energy efficiency. Southface can help you attain ENERGY STAR qualification for residential or commercial buildings.
Residential: The Southface staff includes ENERGY STAR Rater Partners who routinely qualify single-family homes, as well as low to high-rise multifamily buildings. Southface provides the required energy rating, inspections and diagnostic testing to qualify a project with the ENERGY STAR.
Commercial: The ENERGY STAR program for commercial buildings assesses “whole building energy efficiency” by comparing a building’s utility bills to those of similar building types across the nation. Southface can provide ENERGY STAR compliance analyses that will allow you to benchmark your building’s energy performance and submit it for ENERGY STAR qualification.
The nationally and internationally recognized Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program administered by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) provides Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum certifications to buildings based on their achievement of specific sustainability criteria. Southface is one of six USGBC affiliates in the country, and has provided LEED document administration for dozens of projects, both residential and commercial, leading to their LEED certification. LEED version 3.0, introduced in 2009, includes these building categories:
- New Construction
- Existing Building: Operations & Maintenance
- Commercial Interiors
- Core & Shell
- Neighborhood Development
For more details on how Southface can help you achieve LEED Certification view our LEED Administration page.
National Green Building Standard
The National Green Building Standard is a residential green building rating system developed by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and approved by American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Builders of single-family and multifamily projects, as well as remodelers, can seek one of four certification levels: Bronze, Silver, Gold or Emerald. These certifications recognize entry-level green building certification up to the highest levels of energy performance, with the top certification, Emerald, awarded to buildings that achieve in excess of 60 percent energy savings. Southface’s team of authorized verifiers can assist you in qualifying your project to achieve National Green Building Standard certification.
Green Communities is a national program that assists builders to build and rehabilitate affordable homes, making them more energy efficient, healthier and better for the environment. Its supporting organization, Enterprise Green Communities, offers grants, loans, tax-credit equity, and technical assistance to new construction and rehabilitation projects that meet the Green Communities criteria. Southface can provide the technical assistance necessary to ensure your affordable housing project meets the criteria needed for the Green Communities Program.
EPA Indoor airPLUS
The EPA created Indoor airPLUS to help consumers identify homes that have good indoor air quality, a distinction that is especially useful for individuals with asthma, allergies and other breathing issues. Southface, a Certified Verifier for the Indoor airPLUS Program, works with builders to help them earn the Indoor airPLUS label. We do this by providing input on the features required to protect homes from moisture, mold, combustion gases and other pollutants.
WaterSense is a partnership program sponsored by the EPA and is intended to help save water and protect the environment. The WaterSense New Home Certification System is designed to label new single-family homes that comply with the program specifications for high performance, water-efficient systems. Southface works with builders to certify their projects for the WaterSense label.
ENERGY STAR Advanced Lighting Package
New homes that contain more than 60% ENERGY STAR qualified hard-wired fixtures may qualify for the EPA’s ENERGY STAR Advanced Lighting Package label. Southface helps builders and owners verify their qualification for this label.
Please contact us for more information about any of these certifications.