More and more, home owners that are looking for ways to save energy and be kind to the environment when they build, remodel or renovate a home are seeking help from a Certified Green Professional (CGP).
Home builders, remodelers, designers, and contractors with the CGP educational designation understand green building. Today, there are more than 5,000 CGPs in the business of helping consumers build a new home or remodel their existing one.
These professionals know how to combine good, cost-effective building science with an ever-expanding selection of products and materials to build or remodel a home with sustainability in mind. They are trained to incorporate energy, water and resource efficiency, improved indoor environmental quality and sustainable and locally sourced products into their projects – and to teach you how to best take advantage of these features.
Trying to build or renovate a home to be green can be a complex, confusing process without some professional guidance. Terminology such as low-E windows, dual-flush toilets, tankless water heaters and ENERGY STAR ratings doesn’t make a lot of sense without some explanation, and with the ever-growing number of products on the market today promoted as “green,” it’s hard to know which ones will actually achieve your goals.
A CGP uses the National Green Building Standard, the nationally approved benchmark for the design, construction and operation of green homes, to help you understand all the factors that should be considered when building green and work with you to decide what is appropriate for your project. They will help you choose the right products and advise you on how to ensure everything works the way it is designed to and operates at maximum efficiency.
You can be certain a member of the building industry with a CGP designation is a trained professional. CGPs must complete three days of classroom instruction and have at least two years’ building industry experience before they earn the designation. They also are required to adhere to the CGP Code of Ethics and complete 12 hours of building industry and green-related continuing education every three years.
If you are building a new home, a CGP understands how to best take maximum advantage of the natural contours of the land and how to preserve water quality on site. For example, they will design a home’s window placements to either promote the sun’s heating effects in the home in colder climates, or offset it in warmer regions. They’ll recommend trim, cabinets and flooring that don’t use harmful solvents and sealers, and they’ll show you how you can save water inside and outside your home.
Many CGP remodelers and builders encourage home owners to have their new homes, additions, or renovations certified under the National Green Building Standard, which involves two independent, third-party inspections by trained verifiers to ensure compliance.
Some CGPs take their education further by seeking the Master Certified Professional designation, introduced just this year for builders and remodelers with longstanding green building education and experience. As green building practices expand over the next few years the number of Master CGPs is expected to grow as well.
Spartan Homes Inc. is a certified CGP builder.