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The City of Portland, Oregon

Planning and Sustainability

Innovation. Collaboration. Practical Solutions.

Phone: 503-823-7700

Curbside Hotline: 503-823-7202

1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201

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Green Building Certifications and Programs

Green Building Certifications and Programs


Earth Advantage (new and existing residential and commercial) The regional Earth Advantage certifications cover: site, energy, water, materials and indoor air quality, and community development. Professional certifications include Sustainable Homes Professional, Green Appraiser, Energy Performance Score (EPS) Auditor and Sustainable Real Estate Professional.

Energy Performance Score (EPS) (new and existing residential). Not a “certification,” this is a home energy rating system similar to the miles-per-gallon (MPG) rating for automobiles. Co-developed by Earth Advantage Institute and Energy Trust of Oregon, the EPS provides an easy way to estimate actual home energy consumption, related carbon emissions, and utility costs. It also shows homeowners where they rank in energy use on a regional and national scale.

Green Globes (new and existing commercial)

National third-party certification that is an environmental design and management rating system. It includes an online assessment protocol and guidance for green building design, operation and management.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) (New residential, new and existing commercial, new developments)

Voluntary, third party rating system that include points related to site, energy, water, materials and indoor air quality. Projects can earn recognition at Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum levels. LEED 2009 is soon to be updated with LEED 2012. LEED also accredits professionals with their Accredited Professional (AP) and Green Associate programs.

Living Building Challenge (LBC) (new residential and commercial)

A challenge developed and implemented by the Cascadia Region Green Building Council, part of the International Living Future Institute. To meet the Challenge, buildings are required to process waste, generate energy, source materials locally and capture water.

Northwest ENERGY STAR (new residential) 

A federal certification focusing on a new home's energy efficiency.

Oregon’s Reach Code The Reach Code is a set of statewide optional construction standards for energy efficiency that exceed the requirements of the state's mandatory codes. Builders have an optional path for high performance construction and jurisdictions can be assured the innovative construction methods are sound. The Reach Code covers a variety of topics including: mechanical systems, lighting designs, overall building design (both residential and commercial), plumbing practices and products. There are residential and commercial versions.

Passive House (PHIUS+) (new and existing residential)

A certification from the Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) ensuring a super-insulated, virtually air-tight building primarily heated by passive solar gain and by internal gains from people and electrical equipment.

WaterSense (new residential)

An EPA labeling program, similar to ENERGY STAR, this label shows that your home conserves 20 percent more water, indoors and outdoors, than a typical home. The label is also used on plumbing products.