9 Green Building Certifications & Programs

Leed CertificationDid you know that Portland offers several green building certifications and programs? Portland building demolition contractors will certainly want to stay abreast of these programs, and so we will spend some time examining them.

Portland takes pride in its green building practices. The City of Portland’s Planning and Sustainability website has multiple green construction resources for Oregon demolition pros, including information on available incentives, salvage yard and online exchange locations, and how to earn green building certifications. Below, we outline Portland’s green construction programs.

Construction and Demolition in Oregon: Portland’s Green Building Programs

Earth Advantage certifications cover various aspects of site and community development, such as energy efficiency, eco-friendly materials, water issues, and indoor air quality. Titles for professional certifications are available; these include Sustainable Homes Appraiser, Energy Performance Score (EPS) Auditor, Green Appraiser, and more.

Green Gloves is a national third-party certification for new and existing commercial properties. This is a rating system for environmental design and management that includes an online assessment and guidance program.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). LEED 2012 will replace LEED 2009 standards for energy, site, water, materials, and indoor air quality. LEED offers programs for Accredited Professional (AP) and Green Associate (GA) certification, as well as recognizing projects at the Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum levels. Learn more about why it pays to be LEED certified.

Energy Performance Score (EPS) is a system for rating home energy, and is not a certification program. However, EPS does provide a convenient and easy way to calculate energy consumption, utility costs, and carbon emissions.

The Living Building Challenge (LBC) is developed by the Cascadia Region Green Building Council, which in turn is associated with the International Living Future Institute. Buildings can meet the challenge by processing their waste, generating energy, capturing water, and using local materials.

WaterSense. An EPA labeling program for new residences that is similar to Energy Star. This certification verifies that fixtures are 20% more efficient than standard models. Beyond faucets, toilets, and other water fixtures, this labeling program also extends to irrigation systems.

Other programs sponsored by the City of Portland include Northwest Energy Star, which is a federal certification that spotlights energy efficiency for new homes. Oregon’s Reach Code provides an optional path for high performance residential and commercial construction that exceed state code for building design, plumbing, mechanical systems, lighting, and more. PHIUS+ includes standards and certification for passive house design, an air-tight construction approach in which buildings are heated by solar power, and by passive energy gains.

Elder Demolition excels in green deconstruction and asset recovery. Like the City of Portland, we are committed to green demolition. Although the older buildings that we typically demolish are often replaced by modern, energy-efficient designs, we also know that it takes around 50 years to recover the environmental impact of new construction. Activists and environmental groups are certainly concerned about this, and for good cause. That is why here at Elder Demolition we take a strong stance with our commitment to green demolition practices. This includes recycling and reusing as much as possible, preventing hazardous waste, and innovating new approaches to minimize our impact on the earth.


[photo by: Oregon Department of Transportation on Flickr via CC License]

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