How do I find a green builder in my region?

Marie Isakower July 26, 2018, 8:12 a.m.

I am thinking of having a house built in Pensylvania, but would like the builder to incorporate as much green-building into the new house as possible. I don't know how to go about locating a competent builder.


Responses (3)

Ecohome July 31, 2018, 8:48 a.m. Reply

Hi Marie,
We don’t have a listing of builders to offer unfortunately, but we can offer some advice on how to search and make a final selection. You could try an internet search with your local region (the closest town or city) alongside words like ‘Passive house’ or ‘LEED’. Those are green building certification programs, so even if you don’t want to pursue one, finding a builder that has built a Passive House or a LEED certified home would be knowledgeable in the area of green home building. Also search ‘green builder’ with your local region, there are no guarantees doing that as anyone can make such a claim, but its at least as starting place.

 I just did a search for ‘Pennsylvania green builder’ and came up with the following website that may be of value - https://www.pabuilders.org/GreenBuildingFAQs

If you find a potential candidate and they can’t take on your project themselves, ask them for recommendations, local performance builders have often heard of each other. Aside from that, you can make some calls to local builders and see what types of homes they construct, ask them a few basic questions to weed them out – 

Do you build high performance / energy efficient homes?
Do you build airtight homes?
Do you conduct blower door tests?
Do you do energy modelling?
Are you familiar with different types of wall assemblies, and which do you prefer?

Their answers will tell you right away, in that they will either answer the question with confidence or they may dodge it a bit.  

You can also do some research here on our pages about home performance, ventilation, durability, etc, so you are armed with a bit of info when you make calls. I would say that you are best off with a builder that respects your goals for performance, durability, air quality etc, rather than trying to talk you down from them. 

If you end up getting conflicting information from different builders about what you ‘should do’ or what you ‘shouldn’t do’, or different wall systems, drop us another question here if you like and we may be able to help sort out the good from the bad. 

And if you want to chat about design and best practices we can do a quick phone consultation to help you make a final decision if you like. Feel free to drop us an email at info@ecohome.net.

Marie Isakower July 31, 2018, 11:52 a.m. Reply

Thank you SO much for your response! I am printing out all your suggestions, and now feel a bit more confident. My son, who works for a remodeling company called Power Home remodeling, passed on your website to me, and I have found it to be a wealth of knowledge! There are quite a lot of new advances on the "green home" front, and it makes sense to try and incorporate as much of the new technology as you can.

Thanks again!!

Johsua Perida Aug. 4, 2018, 10:52 a.m. Reply

A great place to start is the international Passive house association site. They'll have a list of certified passsive house tradesperson within your state.