Green building wave drives demand for Colorado raters

The rapidly growing green home market needs qualified professionals to maintain standards
With tens of thousands of registered projects, demand for qualified raters is growing every day. (Photo: Andrea DeMartin, Dreamstime.com)

In less than a year, the number of LEED-certified residential units in Colorado has doubled, from 8,000 to more than 16,000 around the state. This jump has increased the demand for qualified professionals to verify the sustainability of these units.

Even as many of us are working from home and connecting with our colleagues virtually, applications for LEED certifications are still being submitted and verified every day. LEED Green Raters provide verification services for LEED residential projects and play a critical part in the LEED certification of residential buildings. With tens of thousands of registered projects, demand for qualified raters is growing every day.

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Green Raters must be involved with the project from the design phase throughout the construction process. They are responsible for providing documentation review and onsite verification services for registered projects; and assembling the project submittal package for submission to GBCI for certification review.

How to become a LEED Green Rater

To support the growth of this increasingly in-demand group, USGBC is updating the training and application process. Raters must complete the two-part training provided by USGBC. Part 1, which is available free of charge, consists of an overview of the LEED v4 residential rating systems. Part 2 consists of a 1.5-day, instructor-led interactive workshop.

These LEED professionals will need to:

  1. Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the LEED rating systems by holding a current LEED AP: BD+C or LEED AP Homes credential.
  2. Complete the LEED v4 Green Rater Training and pass the assessment.
  3. Have a minimum of three years of residential construction experience (e.g., energy rater, general contractor, building inspector).
  4. Provide two professional references.
  5. Earn at least one CEU in the areas of building envelope, heat transfer, moisture transfer and air transfer.
  6. Verify two projects every two years to maintain qualifications.

Why become a LEED Green Rater

LEED is one of the few green building rating systems that has requirements specifically for homes. The residential LEED rating systems address the needs of single-family, multifamily and affordable housing projects, and help builders and remodelers create efficient and sustainable homes that support residents’ health and comfort. Residential units cannot earn LEED certification without the verification of a LEED Green Rater, and as one of the most rapidly growing sectors of LEED buildings, homeowners and builders need the guidance that LEED Green Raters can provide.

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There are already more than 1.6 million residential units across the world engaged with LEED. The economic benefits of sustainably constructed homes, plus increased demand by customers, will continue to help the green homes market grow. LEED Green Raters are at the forefront of ensuring a sustainable housing market to meet the growing demand.

Charlie  Woodruff is regional director for the mountain region at U.S. Green Building Council.

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