Green Assessment Potential Score GAPScore for Homes

Welcome! From the Founder and CEO, Steve Pohlman

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Break the Green Ceiling - A Case for Green Value in Residential Existing Homes

The earth's environment is changing.  The people and the places that we live in are influencing the the environment.  

This generation is faced with some dyer consequences from our people's influences upon the ecosystem. 

Some people live in more severe danger from other's production and release of harmful toxins and other chemical threats.  This thought of environments being toxic created the US EPA.  Climate change wasn't even on the radar when it was created.  It took the Cuyahoga River to start on fire and simple people from the surrounding area to advocate for environmental justice and the idea of an environmental protection agency. The amount of environmental disasters added to the realization that something had to be done.

We're at the point with climate change that everyone has realized that something has to be done.  It's up to simple people, like you and I to make a difference.  Not everyone knows how to do that or what to do.  Others only concentrate on certain solutions and forget about others.  Some have tried to implement every technique of being green into their lives.  They ride a bike, use green public transportation, recycle packaging, wash clothes with ultra low water washing machines and air dry, They even use glass containers to store food products, maintain a garden and buy organic.  They can be called "super green" or "dark green" people.  The climate change has created anxiety in society and people are doing everything in their own capacity to be greener.  The climate anxiety is a cause for our population and species to become ultra-green as a primitive reflex for survival.

The survival instinct has always been in our DNA.  The earliest settlements of man were learning experiments based on survival.  Over thousands of years the built environment has changed, morphed, translated and contorted.  But there have been basic rules that have existed for the sustainability, resiliency, and cost effectiveness since existing homes have been built.  The green traits of your home can be one or many of these basic rules from the past.  It really wasn't thought of as "green" in the past.  It was just a good way to do it.  One such ancient green rule is that the front door of the structure is oriented facing towards the sun.  That can be found in the US DOE Energy Star certification as well as 90% of todays green home certifications.

Having your front door facing the sun is not going to make your house green, but it is a building design technique that enhances the ability to be energy efficient and more sustainable water management, after nightly dew and moisture sets in, the house dries out and warms up living areas facing the sun.

When reviewing all of the prominant green home certifications and seeing common green techniques that have been popular for many years and taught through generations and then new technologies that have become popular over the last one hundred years, there are commonalities in every home that appear in green certifications.

Over the past 50 years or so, green building has come a long way.  Green homes were called eco homes and usually looked eco, kind of weird and not usual.  People were perceiving the green benefits as "it has to look weird, or it's not eco or green."  Architects were making ecological homes in all kinds of designs.  It wasn't until BREEAM and Green Globes arrived when architects said, "We have to have a standard for all of these different ways to benefit from and for the environment in our structures and teach people all of the ways."

NAHB and the USGBC have been strong advocates of green traits in their designs and building techniques in the US, which has rippled around the world thus influencing the World Green Building Council and International Energy Green Codes.

The idea is to get every home certified. The idea is to get every architect onboard to design and rebuild the neighborhoods one home at a time.  Every subdivision will be a minimum level of green from now on and the only ones that get recognition are the ones that have been vetted through the system of certification.  Appraisers are having trouble appraising green homes because they only see a certification as adding value.  Mortgage lenders aren't handing out green loans because they aren't aware of the green traits and requirements of a green home certification, unless it's somewhat tied to an energy incentive like a heat pump or PV solar array.  Yet. both industries see green building attributes every day and money has been loaned out since the beginning of financial time, over and over again for home improvements that warrant green status without any recognition or green building certification.

Green, in our older existing homes, is there.  The question is at what level of green can you say that a building or property is green or not?  All buildings, new or old, are in some state of green.  Low, as in having basic green design traits, or high level of green being that a substantial amount of knowledge expertise, experience, and diligence went into incorporating the most beneficial and sustainable design practices which may be certified or not. and then somewhere in between those parameters, is your house.

Your house has green design and you've upgraded to add a better living condition for yourself and your family, and hopefully help the climate battle.  You added value because, if you decide to move, the cost of upgrading another property to your level of comfort is time consuming.  Do you get credit for the green traits that are in your existing residential property when you sell?  Not at the moment.

The US Green Registry is accepting data from prominant green building certifications.  The appraisal residential green addendum form is rarely used.  The NAR MRED Residential Green Disclosure is not allowed in realtors offices, unless you have a prominent green certification.

The average homeowner with green savvy and a house to match is S.O.L. when its time to sell the green side of their property.

Until the homeowner can verify with confidence that the green attributes are present and a third party like can assesses the amount and determine the level of beneficial traits with each and all attributes included, only a certified green home will benefit at the time of sale.

The populace needs the green knowledge to better our housing stock. They need recognition for their efforts in reaching the goals set by our leaders and our internal instincts for survival.  We need to take advantage of every resource possible to combat the environment by living along side of it, rather than against it.  Every green attribute in every building is a step in right direction.  They all add value in one way or another.

Get rid of the green ceiling that is holding back the environmental successes of our people.  Use GAPScore to motivate, educate, and disseminate architectural information that is climate related and green ecologically beneficial to all home owners and the world at large.  Confidence comes from knowing and you'll know where the green is after you verify your house at

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