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2011 Green Communities Criteria

The Criteria was developed collaboratively by Enterprise with leading national organizations and experts to:

  • Provide a clear, cost-effective framework for all affordable housing development types in any location in the country, including new construction and rehabilitation in multifamily as well as single-family buildings.
  • Deliver significant health, economic and environmental benefits to low-income families.

Projects meeting the 2011 Criteria can register at the link to achieve Enterprise Green Communities Certification.


The Criteria are grouped into the following categories:

  1. Integrative Design
  2. Location and Neighborhood Fabric
  3. Site Improvements
  4. Water Conservation
  5. Energy Efficiency
  6. Materials Beneficial to the Environment
  7. Healthy Living Environment
  8. Operations and Maintenance

2011 Criteria Frequently Asked Questions

2011 Criteria Supplemental Documents

2011 Enterprise Green Communities Criteria Certification Overlay for NYC HPD Projects

2011 Enterprise Green Communities Criteria Updates

January 13, 2015
5.1b Building Performance Standard: Alternative Compliance Pathway for New Construction Projects Four Stories or More
Enterprise Green Communities is accepting the LEED for Homes Multifamily Midrise Alternative Compliance Path as an alternative pathway to certifying under the ENERGY STAR Multifamily High-Rise Program per Criterion 5.1b. The LEED Alternative pathway is intended to be a replacement of the EPA Multifamily High Rise (MFHR) Testing and Verification protocols. Project design is still dictated by the EPA Multifamily High Rise (MFHR) performance or prescriptive program parameters.

Submission guidelines 5.1b Building Performance StandardAlternative Compliance Pathway for New Construction Projects Four Stories or More can be found here.

Information on the LEED for Homes Multifamily Midrise Alternative Compliance Path.

November 13, 2014
Enterprise Green Communities 5.1a & 5.1c Building Performance Standard: Sampling Guidance: New Construction and Rehab projects: (Single-Family and Multifamily, three stories or fewer)
In lieu of submitting HERS documentation for every dwelling unit in a given development, project teams may choose to verify compliance with Criterion 5.1a and/or Criterion 5.1c through a sampling protocol aligned with RESNET guidance.  Project teams choosing this sampling route should follow the Enterprise Green Communities 5.1a & 5.1c Building Performance Standard: Sampling Guidance.

May 7, 2014
5.5a Efficient Lighting: Interior Units – Alternative Compliance Pathway for Substantial and Moderate Rehab Projects Only
Regardless of fixture type, 90% of light bulbs in the building interior should be ENERGY STAR-labeled compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) or light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

December 12, 2013
5.1b Building Performance Standard (New Construction: Multifamily buildings, four stories or more): Garage Heating Guidance in heating dominated climates.

September 21, 2012
5.1a Building Performance Standard: Additional Guidance
Projects certifying under the ENERGY STAR New Homes Version 3 program per Criteria 5.1a, will be allowed to request an exemption to using an EPA H-QITO (HVAC Quality Installation Training and Oversight Organization) approved HVAC contractor.  Requests should be submitted in the online Certification Portal under waiver requests, and will be reviewed on a one-off basis.

7.8 Combustion Equipment:Language Clarification
The language in the first paragraph of the "Requirements" section of Criterion 7.8 has been updated to state the following:  “Specify power-vented or direct vent equipment when installing new space and waterheating equipment in New Construction and any Substantial and Moderate Rehab projects.”
October 1, 2011
Building Performance Standard 5.1c: Guidelines for Moderate and Substantial Rehab Projects Addendum
Single family and low-rise multifamily brick / masonry buildings built prior to 1980 using the 2011 Criteria have had difficulty achieving a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index of 85, as required by Enterprise Green Communities mandatory criterion 5.1c, without undertaking drastic renovations to the building envelope that are unfeasible under the project scope and budget. In response, Enterprise has developed an alternative compliance pathway for eligible projects. 

Companion Documents and Tools

2011 Criteria Planning Tool Online

Comparison of Enterprise Green Criteria with other Programs:

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