By Talia Haller, Built Green Intern, University of Washington Student
Founded in 1999, the Built Green Program has grown a lot in the past 17 years. To date, Built Green has certified over 16,618 projects, representing almost 30,000 units. At Built Green, we’ve focused on growing in many different ways, but there are three core growth dimensions Built Green is especially proud to see on the rise.
Total Number of Built Green Certifications
During Built Green’s first full year of certifying projects in 2001, 700 projects were certified Built Green, representing 971 units. Before the recession, Built Green™ was experiencing large volumes of project certifications. While the crash absolutely affected the program, we’ve been growing ever since, even in spite of the program also growing in rigor (such as updated checklists and third-party verification being required at all levels). Last year, in 2015, more than 900 projects were certified Built Green, representing 2,387 units. This year, we’re on track to beat last year’s numbers by a significant margin. With over four months left to go in 2016, Built Green has already certified 634 projects this year, which represents 1,578 units.
- Total Number of Builders Involved
While Built Green certified a fair amount of projects in 2001 (700 projects), all of this work was done by only two builders: Quadrant Homes & Habitat for Humanity. One of Built Green’s core objectives is to be an inclusive program, available and appealing to all builders whether they’re constructing multifamily homes or single-family homes, or doing a remodel or another type of home building project. In 2005, when the housing market was on the rise, Built Green had expanded its reach more than 10-fold: During 2005, 26 builders certified more than 1,200 projects. Even better, the number of builders using Built Green to certify their projects has only continued to increase as the Built Green program gains legitimacy and recognition, as builders increasingly grow to see the importance of environmentally-friendly construction, and as demand continues to shift towards more sustainably built homes. From 2001 to 2015, the number of builders increased almost 50-fold, with over 100 builders certifying their projects last year.
- Total Number of 4-Star & 5-Star Certifications Increasing
When the program started in 2001, there were no 4-star or 5-star certified projects completed – only 2-Star and 3-Star. In fact, the program hadn’t even created parameters for these higher levels yet. But, as can be seen in the graphics below, over the years, more and more builders are shooting for ever-higher star-levels in their projects. 5-Star projects in particular are on the rise, as can be seen in the very bottom graph. At the moment, 4-Star makes up the bulk of our certifications, despite it representing a significant jump in requirements from 3-Star. Higher star-levels indicate increased energy and water efficiency measures, homes built with a larger amount of sustainable materials, and homes that will have better indoor air quality.
Over the years, Built Green has been slowly building its popularity, credibility, and value in the Puget Sound region. We are proud of both the growth we’ve already achieved and the growth we see coming in the future. Stay updated on Built Green activities by following our blog! The next blog in the Built Green Growth series will explore:
- How Seattle’s Hot Housing Market Can Benefit Built Green