LEED? ICC-700? Energy Star? One Builder Gives Up on Green-building Ratings

McKowen_webVernon McKown, co-owner of Ideal Homes of Norman, Okla., is a pretty enlightened green builder whom I heard speak last week at the International Builder’s Show in Orlando.

The topic was how to build affordable green homes and Vern made a shocking statement: He said he’s quitting all green-building rating systems programs. That includes Energy Star ratings, NAHB green building ratings, LEED ratings, and all those from local utilities.

Why? They’ve all gotten too complicated and political and competitive, Vern says.

Instead, he is sticking with a HERS energy rating for each home, and the company wants potential buyers to ask, “What’s your home score?”

HERS stands for Home Energy Rating System and it’s a standardized measurement of a home’s energy efficiency. In the HERS Index, 100 stands for the typical new home, and the lower the score, the better. So if you go look at a home with a HERS rating of 65, that’s much better than standard.

And official HERS rating comes from extensive diagnostic testing done by an energy rater, like those who are certified by RESNET, the Residential Energy Services Network.

A HERS score is a simple number that allows you to compare one home’s energy efficiency against another.

See more about HERS ratings