Green building certifications: A field guide

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ENERGY STAR: The Pacwest Center and Portland City Hall are both Energy Star-certified buildings

ENERGY STAR: The Pacwest Center and Portland City Hall are both Energy Star-certified buildings, meaning they perform better in terms of energy efficiency than 75 percent of similar buildings nationwide.

Recent news that homes with green credentials are selling at higher prices than their non-green counterparts captured headlines earlier this month. Meanwhile, businesses seem to be tripping over each other for green office space.

With ever more green building designations arriving on the scene, we thought it would be helpful to provide a brief guide to what the different certifications mean, how they are being used in Oregon and what's likely coming up for each one in the months to come.

Green building designations:

  • Energy Star
  • LEED
  • Earth Advantage
  • Living Building
  • Net-zero (not a technical certification)
  • Passive House
  • Green Globes
  • Energy Performance Score


We added the last two based on reader feedback. Did we miss anything else? If you have something to add or would like to weigh in on green building trends, please leave a comment below.

View the guide >>


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