Green Home Choice Certification Process

The Green Home Choice Program makes it easier for homeowners, architects, and builders to carry out a green home renovation, addition, or new home project by providing support and a point-based scoring system. Certification process steps are outlined below. At any point in the process, if you have questions or suggestions for the program, please contact the program manager at 703-228-4792 or at energy@arlingtonva.us. We look forward to working with you!

Step 1.Step 1) Review the Green Home Choice (GHC) Program Materials

Download the Guidance ManualScoresheet, and Application form and review them. The Guidance Manual is simply an explanation of each of the items found on the Scoresheet. The Scoresheet is a listing of all of the available credits that can be earned within the GHC certification process.

Step 2.Step 2) Contact and meet with the GHC Program Manager early in the project design process

Call 703-228-4792 or email energy@arlingtonva.us early in the design phase for a preliminary meeting to discuss your project goals and sustainable design concepts and review the program with the Program Manager. If this is a renovation project, we will meet at the home where the project will occur. If you are a homeowner and have already selected an architect or contractor, it is suggested that they attend this first meeting. A meeting with the project construction manager is required prior to the start of construction.

If the project is a new home, an Energy Rater must be hired early in the design process to provide energy modeling, testing, and either a Home Energy Rating (HERS) score, and/or an ENERGY STAR qualified home certification for the project, depending on what certification level you are seeking. It is suggested that this person be involved in early design meetings for the project. An Energy Rater can also be an extremely helpful resource in renovation projects to make sure that your house is as efficient and safe as possible. Please see the GHC scoresheet for alternate energy compliance paths that involve Energy Raters.

Step 3.Step 3) Submit a draft Scoresheet and application form to the GHC Program Manager for review and approval/signature prior to submission with the County building permit application

The GHC Manager will review the Scoresheet and Application shortly after submittal, provide comments, and the scoresheet will be finalized.  The GHC Manager’s signature is required on the GHC application prior to submitting a building permit application. Please make sure that the GHC Program Manager also receives an electronic copy of your GHC Scoresheet.

The GHC Scoresheet and application will be submitted electronically online with the building permit plans. The online system will ask you if you are doing a green project, and if you answer “Yes”, it will ask you to attach your application and scoresheet to your building permit application

Please ask the GHC Program Manager for a Green Home Choice yard sign for your project or for the logo to add to your own sign. You receive a point on the Scoresheet for doing this. If you are a building professional working on the project, you can request that your name is added to the Green Home Choice Participating Professionals list at this point in the process. Company names will be removed if the project does not complete certification.

Step 4.Step 4)  Request and complete the two necessary site visits with the Program Manager and create a Homeowner’s Manual

Once construction is underway, your green home project will be visited by the Green Home Choice Program Manager at two key points in the process: just before drywall goes up and right before or after your final building inspection.  Please note that official County Code-based insulation and final inspections by the Building Inspectors are required in addition to your Green Home Choice site visits. For renovation projects, another site visit or two may be desired to go over final plans for insulation and air sealing and for reviewing air sealing work just prior to insulation.

Two or three days prior to your two “green-specific” building inspections (insulation and final), please a call or email the GHC Program Manager at 703-228-4792  energy@arlingtonva.us to let her know when you would like the visits to be scheduled.

The Homeowner’s Manual should be completed at the time of final building inspection or if not, shortly thereafter. The manual must include the original, signed GHC Project Scoresheet with the Program Manager’s initials from both site visits.  The manual must also display all of the “Product Information” and other noted items in the “Required Documentation” column of the GHC Project Scoresheet along with a bulleted list of all of the green features of the home. Please see the GHC Guidance Manual for a detailed list of items that may be included in your Homeowner’s Manual.

Step 5.Step 5) Complete the certification process with the Program Manager and receive your certificate

As noted above, the GHC Program Manager must do a final review of the home and the Homeowner’s Manual to complete the certification process. Once the final site visit has been conducted and enough points have been demonstrated to complete certification and the Program Manager is satisfied with the manual, she will do a final sign-off of the project certification. You will also be invited to the annual GHC recognition ceremony with the County Board and will receive your official GHC certificate at that time. This generally occurs early in the calendar year following the completion of the project.