Enterprise Green Communities Criteria Being Updated

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In 2015 the use of LEED v4 will become mandatory, a new 2015 International Green Construction Code will be available, an updated ASHRAE 189.1 will be published, the new ICC 700 National Green Building Standard will be approved, and there will be a 2015 Enterprise Green Communities Criteria.

In the arena of green building standards, green rating systems and green codes among the widely respected residential rating systems is the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria.

While the Criteria was developed by Enterprise to “provide a clear, cost-effective framework for all affordable housing development types in any location in the country, including new construction and rehabilitation in multifamily as well as single-family buildings,” the Criteria are used in more than just affordable housing.

The current Enterprise Green Communities Criteria, adopted in 2011, are grouped into the following eight categories: 1. Integrative Design, 2. Location + Neighborhood Fabric, 3. Site Improvements, 4. Water Conservation, 5. Energy Efficiency, 6. Materials Beneficial to the Environment, 7. Healthy Living Environment, and 8. Operations + Maintenance, which are not dissimilar from LEED for Homes.

All project types (single family, low rise multifamily, and mid/ high-rise multifamily) and construction types (New Construction, Moderate Rehab, and Substantial Rehab) use that set of Criteria.

There is only one level of Enterprise Green Communities Certification awarded. To achieve certification, projects must achieve compliance with the Criteria mandatory measures applicable to that construction type. Additionally, New Construction projects must achieve 35 optional points and Rehab projects must achieve 30 optional points.

Enterprise Green Communities has certified more than 30,000 homes to date (as compared to more than 132,000 registered with 50,000 certified under the LEED for Homes rating system). Also significantly, the Criteria have been adopted by more than 20 states as a mandatory requirement for allocation of Low Income Housing Tax Credits, a Federal program that finances roughly 90% of all affordable housing production in the U.S. So, the revision of the Criteria is of great import.

There are two primary opportunities where you can engage with the 2015 Criteria Development Process: First, Enterprise community partners local market offices are currently collecting feedback during the “Local Developer Comment Period” through third quarter 2014. And then, after the efforts of several working groups, Enterprise Green Communities will welcome comments on a draft version of the 2015 Criteria during their public comment period late in the fourth quarter of 2014.

For more information about the 2015 Green Communities revisions process email greencommunities@enterprisecommunity.org

2015 will be a year of great change in green building standards, rating systems and codes. Participating now in the development of the 2015 Enterprise Green Communities Criteria is an ideal way to prepare for what is to come.

About Author

Stuart Kaplow is an environmental attorney and the principal at the law firm that bears his name, Stuart D. Kaplow, P.A.