Green Assessment Potential Score GAPScore for Homes

Welcome! From the Founder and CEO, Steve Pohlman

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Thank you all for your support.

As you know the site has been out for some time and this has been the first and only internet publication to write a blurb in GAPScore's favor.  We really love it.  And we'd like to see more!

Happy owners
Jennifer and Jason LeFleur - GAPScore 49.2  Lt. Green
Green appraisals and GAPScore
The appraisal industry is not particularly well known for its rapid movement toward adding green valuation to their methods and materials. But Jason played an early role in the development of a new Appraisal Institute effort: the Valuation of Sustainable Buildings Professional Development Program. The program currently has two courses, Introduction to Green Buildings: Principles and Concepts and Case Studies in Appraising Residential Green Building. There are also some online education offerings such as Valuation of Green Residential Properties. Additionally, a recent The Appraisal Journal article, “Valuing High Performance Houses,” provides very specific methods for appraisers to employ to capture green value. (You can download this article from the Alliance for Environmental Sustainability’s Green Real Estate Toolkit.
Finally, a colleague of Jason’s, Steve Pohlman, has been hard at work developing GAPScore, the first green assessment test for existing single-family dwellings. “When I first got involved in green building, becoming a verifier for the National Green Building Certification program, I asked the question, ‘How green is my home?’” says Steve Pohlman. “And no one could tell me.” Jason La Fleur did a before-and-after GAPScore on Humphrey House, starting with a 29 (out of 100) and landing with a score of 49.2, making Jason’s home in the “light green” category — 46 to 70 — or “above average” (See Certification sidebar). “If GAPScore catches on and we get a critical mass of existing homes scored in different neighborhoods and markets, that can be pretty useful to home buyers AND appraisers, right?” Steve asks.
GAPScore is a novel and innovative approach to the green valuation issue for existing homes, and it will be interesting to see how it relates to rating programs for existing homes, such as LEED for Homes (gut rehabs)NGBS-rated projects, and the new DOE Home Energy Score program.

Our special thanks to Jason LeFleur and Peter Yost for spreading the word.
And nice job on the house, Jason.  

What's your GAPScore today?


From all of us.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

GAPScore Test Questions Available

GAPScore Test

Green Assessment Potential Score
for Single Family Homes

How do you determine a home’s green potential? Answer yes or no and then go to to register and complete the 30 minute GAPScore Verifier training, determine your green score and list your test results.  The online test has "hint" sections next to each question to help you along the path to being greener.

  HINT: use the "hint" section online to related questions.  
And the more you can answer "yes" to the questions the better, but not always.  
Best policy: Be honest and truthful with integrity.
  1. Is the house less than 2,000 square feet?                                            
  2. Is the house less than 16,000 cubic feet? 
  3. Does the longest wall face south?  
  4. Does the south wall receive direct sunlight? 
  5. Does the foliage in the yard cover more than 50 percent of the lot?
  6. Do more than 30 percent of the windows face south? 
  7. Do the windows have awnings?                                                             
  8. Are the windows Energy Star rated?                                                    
  9. Are the south walls constructed of brick?                                              
  10. Is more than 50 percent of the roof exposed to direct sunlight?                
  11. Is the roof covered in black asphalt shingles?                                          
  12. Is the roof flat and coated with silver reflective paint?                             
  13. Is there a heat barrier on the roof?                                                         
  14. Is there an attic fan with a thermostat?                                                  
  15. Are there gutters on the house and does the water travel more than five feet away from the foundation or concrete pavement?
  16. Do the downspouts drain into the sewer?                                                 
  17. Does the house have a rain barrel or rain storage system?                      
  18. Is the property an EPA-certified Brownfield site?                                     
  19. Are there roofs covering the porches and decks?                                     
  20. Does the property share a driveway with another property?                       
  21. Does the house have insulated, continuous siding?                                 
  22. Are the doors properly weather-stripped?                                                
  23. Are there foyers leading to all exterior doors?                                         
  24. Does the house have plaster walls?                                                        
  25. Are the exterior walls insulated between the studs?                                 
  26. Is hardwood flooring installed in more than 50 percent of the house?         
  27. Is tile flooring installed in more than 50 percent of the house?                   
  28. Is there non-VOC carpeting in the home?                                              
  29. Is there non-VOC paint and/or wallpaper used throughout the house?        
  30. Is the driveway composed of gravel or other porous materials?                
  31. Are there above-ground decks with open soil underneath?            
  32. Have any advanced lighting systems been installed?                               
  33. Does the house have a solar landscape lighting system?                         
  34. Does a solar panel produce more than 50 percent of the homes electricity?
  35. Does a solar panel heat water for the home?                                           
  36. Does the home have an Energy Star air conditioning unit?            
  37. Is the home equipped with a geothermal cooling system?                        
  38. Is the home equipped with a geothermal heating system?                        
  39. Do all of the air ducts in finished spaces have seams that have been sealed with foil tape?
  40. Does a wind turbine produce more than 50 percent of the home’s power?
  41. Does the attic have more than 10 inches of insulation?                            
  42. Is the foundation insulated from the interior?                                            
  43. Does the home have more than 100 square feet of radiant flooring?          
  44. Are the water fixtures equipped with point-of-service heaters?                  
  45. Does the house have a tankless water heater?                                       
  46. Is the water heater Energy Star rated?                                                    
  47. Is the furnace Energy Star rated?                                                           
  48. Is the home equipped with more than one type of heat source for climate control?
  49. Does the home have two or more ceiling fans?                                      
  50. Is there a whole-house ventilation system separate from the forced-air furnace system?
  51. Is there an exhaust fan in every bathroom?                                              
  52. Are there can lights that open into the attic or can lights that are installed next to the roof line?
  53. Are there motion sensors or timers on the home’s exterior lights?             
  54. Are there motion sensors on interiors lights?                                           
  55. Are there timers on interior lights?                                                          
  56. Are there tubular skylights installed in rooms without windows?               
  57. Are all appliances Energy Star compliant?                                             
  58. Is the home equipped with a boiler system?                                            
  59. Does the home have a gray water recovery system?                               
  60. Does all water-supply plumbing pipe run parallel?
  61. Does all hot water pipes have 2 inches insulation and all cold water pipes have 1 inch insulation?
  62. Does the home have water-efficient low-flow fixtures?                              
  63. Are the water fixtures within 30 feet of the water heater?                         
  64. Is the home located more than 500 feet from a waterway or natural wildlife path?
  65. Is there an irrigation system for rainwater runoff?                                    
  66. Is there an organic compost bin on the property?                                     
  67. Does the home have a fireplace?                                                            
  68. Does the kitchen stove hood vent to the outside?                                   
  69. Is the home equipped with a radon mitigation system?  
  70. Is a bathroom fan attached to the hygrostat control?                                
  71. Is there a dedicated cabinet space for a recycling bin in the kitchen?         
  72. Has the home been tested for overall air leakage and received a score of less than five percent air loss?
  73. Were any of the 10 advanced framing techniques used during the original construction or rehab enlargement of the home?
  74. Is the exterior of the foundation and slab insulated?                                 
  75. Are the floors sealed in all finished areas?                                              
  76. Are the floors above unfinished areas insulated and covered?                  
  77. Does the home have a green roof?                                                     
 HINT: use the "hint" section online to related questions.  
And the more you can answer "yes" to the questions the better, but not always.  Be truthful

Now that you’ve completed the GAPScore Test, go to and find out!
Home Buyers, Home Sellers and Real Estate Pros welcome.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Investment Benefits of a Home with a GAPScore
Any existing single family residence can "show-off" green traits and potential.
Investors see the benefits of using GAPScore to attract buyers and tenants.

To assess the potential benefits of a GAPScore rated property, look at our scoring system and ask yourself how you want to enhance the home's value in the marketplace. There are four rankings available through the GAPScore system: a Yellow (or low) GAPScore, a Blue (or low to medium) GAPScore, a Light Green (or medium to high) GAPScore and a Dark Green (or high) GAPScore. As your GAPScore rating increases, so does your home's appeal -- and its environmental sustainability.

Benefits of a Yellow (or low) GAPScore: Investors may be interested in a property even if it isn't green. Why? Because it can be purchased as a tear down, and the developer can build a green home in its place.  This house has potential to score better when you look at the lack of simple mechanisms incorporated to the systems to be environmentally efficient.  If there are design features that shine while the simple mechanisms are missing, then the property can be immediately turned around to be made more efficient with minimal cost to the owner. 

Benefits of a Blue (or low to medium) GAPScore: Investors may be interested in this property especially if the owner hasn't performed any green upgrades because the property has some pre-existing green characteristics, traits or attributes. A green renovation project represents a valuable opportunity for a smart investor who understands the value of green building practices. Because this home already has green features,the developer's financial investment in green enhancements may be lower. To become a green property the features presented must fit a base score in all categories.  Many blue homes are energy efficient and superior in thermal properties and material use, but do not fit water, air, solar or land use attributes to comply.  With a little planning and investment this property can be a green property in no time at all. 

Benefits of a Light Green (or medium to high) GAPScore:  This home has many green characteristics. Whether it is a newly constructed home, a rebuilt home or a home that has been modernized with green technologies, this house is a gem.  The property has been fitted to incorporate an energy and environmental efficiency that surpasses most lower end home environmental certification programs.  Of course there is still room to be greener.  With the right property owner, this home can become dark green very easily. 

Benefits of a Dark Green (or high) GAPScore: Any green-certified home should rank in this category. It is interesting to note that only one tenth of a percent of existing homes are Dark Green! This home's Dark Green ranking was no accident. Rather, it was the result of a lot of planning and green expertise. It represents the Green Standard that we should all aspire to. Whether it is a newly constructed home, a rebuilt home or a home that has been renovated with green upgrades, this home is highly efficient, ecofriendly and ready for healthy green living with a low overhead.

Benefits of the GAPScore:  When you've completed our GAPScore test, you will receive a report summarizing your property's green attributes. You will see a graphical representation of the green categories that the levels of effectiveness property posses at this moment. This report will enable home owners, buyers, sellers, brokers, appraisers, bankers, investors and other interested parties to easily assess the home's design, land management, water systems, air control, sustainability attributes and energy efficiency potential. When used during the sale process of your property, a GAPScore will favorably impact the speed at which it sells and potentially make a substantial value increase to the perspective buyers.

Having a GAPScore puts your house in the green spectrum. Every house should have one. Everyone should be a GAPScore Verifier. It starts with you at

Thank you,

Steve Pohlman