Selecting a building professional that has green building experience, and having them involved in your project from the beginning, is one of the most important keys to ensure your project successfully achieves both your environmental and economic goals.
Look For Green Building Experience
If your project requires the use of an architect, engineer, contractor, landscape architect, or other building professional, choose professionals who have some demonstrable level of green building knowledge or experience. Professionals that have a working understanding of green building will be more likely to deliver the green project that you are looking for and will not need a big “learning curve” to able to effectively and efficiently incorporate the measures that you want for your project. When interviewing prospective building professionals, ask about their background, their philosophy (architects), have them describe their green building experience, and ask for a list of references and green projects they’ve worked on that you can visit.
Several resources are available to help you find professionals with green building experience:
- Bay Area Build It Green has compiled a list of certified green building professionals in the Bay Area.
- Green Home Guide lists building professionals in Northern California.
Employing green building techniques is sometimes perceived as being significantly more costly than using standard building practices. Several studies have shown that green building need not exceed more than 5 percent of the cost of traditional building. Often, the added costs of green building can be attributed to either the building professional’s inexperience with green building or because the green building measures were added late in the process.
Choose a Reputable Professional
Regardless of the profession, it is important to obtain and check references and state licenses. Checking the license(s) will ensure they are up-to-date and may flag any complaints from previous projects. Ask your friends, family members, and neighbors for references and check the references provided by the building professional(s) you are considering.
- The State Contractor’s Licensing Board also has resources for What You Should Know Before Hiring a Contractor, including researching contractor’s licenses, selecting a contractor, project planning, and more.
- Consumer’s Guide to Hiring a Certified Interior Designer provided by the California Council for Interior Design.