Certification Systems

Beyond the checklists

Our approach to sustainability reaches beyond the typical "checklists" measures and seeks innovative and practical ways to solve the programmatic, functional, budgetary, and aesthetic goals of the client.  We view the various certification processes as validation of proper design, not the driver of design.  As such, decisions will be based on meaningful strategies that bring value to the project and end-user.

LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a sustainable building certification offered through the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED® is a third-party verification system that rates a building’s design and operation on its efficiency in using natural & renewable resources and creating ease & comfort for occupants while producing minimal waste. Since its inception in 1994, LEED® has gained popularity and has now certified over 83,000 projects worldwide. AMD Architecture has designed and administered multiple LEED® Certified buildings including single-family homes, medical clinics, and exhibits.  AMD LEED® Certified buildings include Funke-Dorward Residence, Utah Valley Clinic, Avian Health Center, and Treasures of the Rainforest.

The Energy Star program by the Department of Energy spans from light bulbs and appliances, to homes and large-scale commercial buildings. The third-party verification certifies that a product, appliance, or building has met energy and quality standards. A new building that has earned the ENERGY STAR label has undergone a process of inspections, testing, and verification to meet strict requirements set by the US EPA. Local power companies often offer financial incentives for efficiency strategies which help to shorten the payback of many investments.

PHIUS (Passive House) building is a standard of design principles that achieves maximum energy efficiency while maintaining optimal comfort for the occupants. These principles can be applied to most building types from single-family homes to multilevel mixed-use complexes. Passive House Certified buildings meet strict envelope performance criteria which results in a building that will maintain a high level of user comfort, minimize energy and operation costs, and limit the impact of our buildings on our changing climate. Principal Angela Dean is a Certified Passive House Consultant.

Zero Energy Ready Homes is another US Department of Energy program that promotes high-performance design and construction. Buildings certified in this program are built to be efficient enough to be sustained with renewable energy for 100% of their energy needs. DOE Zero Energy Ready Homes are verified by a qualified third-party and are at least 40%-50% more energy efficient than a typical new home. This generally corresponds to a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index Score in the low- to mid-50s, depending on the size of the home and region in which it is built.