How do you know if it is real green knowledge?

Do you judge someone by how they dress? What about how they talk? Does the car they drive make a difference?

I started thinking about these concepts today after a question was posed by a writer developing a story on green renovations. How do you find a designer that really understands green design? I intentionally wear green shirts most days (no I don’t think this gives me any credibility, but I do like the color green). There are multiple certifications, but how does a client really know which add value? If you ask any architect in town, they will tell you they do green design. Almost every builder I know will tell you they understand green building. So what can a typical client look for in a designer and contractor to determine their level of knowledge?

net zero house

I would first start with asking for past experience. What other projects have they worked on and what were the green goals? Were the green goals achieved and what has been the real-time results from the clients? Ask for references so you can talk to those past clients. They will know if the house is working the way the designer and builder intended it. Look for certifications, has your design team done EarthCraft training, are they a LEED AP (or a LEED GA), have they done building science training courses? Ask them questions about how they will measure success. While there is a lot of green washing in the industry, there are people who understand building science and can add value to your project. I am happy to talk to you about things to look for in a designer and builder, give me a call.