In order to qualify for certification, the homebuilder must be trained and certified by Energy Star, and a third-party rater employed to ensure program standards have been met.
The ventilation requirements of the program can help improve indoor air quality, but there are no other environmental criteria or considerations within Energy Star.
Energy Star certification is available in both Canada and the United States. There is no fee for the project team, though the qualified builder may charge a premium for meeting the standard.
The WELL Building Standard
The WELL Building Standard focuses solely on human health within buildings, and was formed to address the lack of focus on occupant health issues in other green building programs. The program identifies performance metrics, design strategies, and policies to be used to improve wellness of occupants.
Certification in the program requires points in the following areas of consideration:
There are compulsory preconditions in each area, and additional “optimizations” for additional points. A WELL scorecard is created for each project, and a rating of Silver, Gold, or Platinum is possible. A third-party verification process is used to ensure scores are accurate. Recertification is required every three years to ensure buildings continue to perform at their intended levels.
The WELL Standard is focused on large buildings, and there is no inclusion of single-family residences. However, build teams interested in creating a high-quality indoor environment can use the standard as a guideline in all areas that are relevant to the home.