Our Rating Systems

Stoop photoTwo Different Systems –
New and Existing

When it comes to energy- and resource-efficient homes, building a new one and upgrading an existing one are very different processes. That’s why we offer two different rating systems: GreenPoint Rated New Home and GreenPoint Rated Existing Home. Both rating systems are available for both single family homes and multifamily buildings of two units or more.


What’s the difference?

  1. Energy Performance: Older homes use more energy than new homes, so they have different energy efficiency targets.
  2. Health and Safety: GreenPoint Rated Existing Home ensures that older homes meet basic health and safety requirements which are automatically assumed in new construction, such as a solid foundation, leak-free plumbing, and a well-sealed building exterior with no holes.
  3. Point Allocation: The Existing Home rating system provides a pathway for making continued improvements over time, so it awards points for partial improvements like a bathroom upgrade. The New Home system requires green building best practices throughout the entire home upon completion of construction.

The Existing Home Rating System

The Existing Home rating system verifies the green features of a home that has been upgraded. This Rating is usually used by homeowners to showcase their green remodel or to certify their home as green at time of sale. Studies show that if you’re selling your home, you can get up to 9% more on the sales price with a green label.

Under this Rating system, a house can receive two different labels:

Elements Label:

  • Recognizes green building best practices for a small remodel or addition. It’s a great stepping stone for homeowners making small improvements over time.
  • Minimum Requirements: 25 points (capped at 49), a combustion safety test and other basic safety measures, and an energy survey to assess performance.
  • Some common measures for single family homes include: Installing a built-in composting and recycling center in the kitchen; water efficient and native landscaping; using faucet aerators and replacing all water fixtures with high-efficiency versions; installing an EnergyStar® bathroom fan.

Whole House/Building Label:

  • Recognizes green building best practices for a large renovation, gut remodel, or cumulative improvements made over time. A home with this label has significantly better energy efficiency and reduced environmental impact compared to homes of a similar vintage.
  • Minimum Requirements: 50 points, an energy performance improvement that depends on the home’s age, recycling 100 percent of all cardboard, metal, concrete and asphalt waste created during the remodel.
  • Some common measures for single family homes include: High performing heating and cooling systems; insulating the building envelope with 30% post-consumer recycled content insulation; low emitting interior products (including insulation and patins); using environmentally preferable materials for interior finishes (FSC-Certified cabinetry, recycled tile and countertop materials, reclaimed or local products); replacing appliances with EnergyStar® versions.

The New Home Rating System

The New Home rating system is for designing and building brand new homes. It’s usually used by architects, builders and developers who work with independent third-party GreenPoint Raters to give home buyers proof of a home’s green features. Homebuyers can differentiate between green homes and conventional homes by looking for homes that have earned the New Home label.

  • Minimum Requirements: 50 points, an energy performance target of 15 percent above the current California energy code, and 50 percent construction waste diversion.
  • Some common measures for single family homes include: High-efficacy lighting, EnergyStar® appliances, FSC-Certified lumber, insulation with 75% recycled content, water efficient fixtures, solar electric panels, solar water heaters, and low or zero emitting interior paints, varnishes, cabinetry and carpeting.

View all GreenPoint Rated checklists for more information.

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