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Enterprise Green Communities Criteria Online Certification

The Enterprise Green Communities Criteria is a green building framework uniquely suited to the specific needs of affordable housing developments. Green building integrates materials and methods that promote environmental quality, economic vitality, health, and social benefits through the design, construction, and operation of the built environment.  To support and recognize those using the Criteria, we have launched a streamlined online process for certifying green affordable housing developments.

Online Criteria

Want to see if your development meets the Green Communities Criteria? Use this helpful online Criteria with customizable checklists to get started.


Enterprise Green Communities offers an online process for certifying green affordable housing developments. Get started here.

Returning Users

Have you already registered your development with Enterprise Green Communities? Log in to your account and access your application(s).


The online certification portal:

  • Streamlines the user experience
  • Simplifies the technical review process
  • Provides a one-stop shop for affordable housing developers seeking certification


  • Open to all entities engaged in the development of affordable housing. Enterprise defines affordable housing as projects serving residents at or below 60 percent AMI for rental projects and at or below 80 percent AMI for for-sale projects. For NSP-funded projects, this definition extends to 120 percent AMI.
  • Projects must designate a minimum of 80 percent of the units for affordable housing (i.e., no more than 20 percent can be market-rate housing).
  • Projects must designate a minimum of 80 percent of the square footage of conditioned space for residential use (i.e., no more than 20 percent can be commercial or common space). 

Certification Requirements

  • All projects must apply online during before construction starts.
  • All projects must achieve compliance with the mandatory measures applicable to their construction type as found in the 2011 Enterprise Green Communities Criteria.
  • New construction projects must achieve an additional 35 optional points.
  • Substantial and moderate rehab projects must achieve an additional 30 optional points. 

Certification Documents

The following documents and instructions are intended to be used with the new Enterprise Green Communities Certification portal. In addition to your online application, you will upload all of the following documents in under the “Upload Attachment” section of your online application.  Please allow for a 30 day review period after the submittal of your Prebuild or Postbuild application.

Prebuild (Step 1) Supplemental Documents 

Site Plan 

Using the project’s site plan, mark or highlight the following, as applicable:

  • The project’s proximity to existing infrastructure (mandatory Criterion 2.2), and connecting pathways into the adjacent pedestrian grid.
  • For mandatory Criterion 2.6 and optional Criterion 2.7, show the location of additional open space in relationship to the project.

 If there are multiple documents, submit as a ZIP file.

Context Map 

On the context map, indicate the center of the site. Then demonstrate the walk distance from the project to the following, as applicable:

  • The required community amenities surrounding the project (mandatory Criterion 2.5)
  • Public open space (Option 2 of mandatory Criterion 2.6 for rural/tribal/small towns projects)
  • The location of public transit stops (optional Criterion 2.8)
  • The location of the site to a farmer’s market (Option 3 of optional Criterion 2.12)
  • Walk distances may be demonstrated by creating a Context Map with concentric circles, indicating the distance of the above listed neighborhood features. Alternatively, project teams may satisfy the Context Map requirement by submitting a Walkscore for your site, including the neighborhood features.
  • For projects seeking optional points under Criterion 2.8, attach the weekly bus, train and/or ferry schedule.

If there are multiple documents, submit as a ZIP file. 

Energy Performance Report Form

All project teams must upload the results of their energy model, unless following an approved prescriptive energy performance path as indicated on the “Intended Methods” tab.

Single Family and Multifamily Buildings (three stories or fewer) - New Construction and Rehabilitation.

  • To demonstrate compliance with Mandatory credits 5.1a or 5.1c, submit the appropriate Home Energy Rating (HERS) reports. If you have multiple documents, submit as a ZIP file.

Multifamily Buildings (four stories or more) - New Construction and Rehabilitation

  • Complete the Energy Performance Report Form. Note that multifamily moderate and substantial rehab projects must complete an additional section – Section IV: Energy Improvements – to identify specific energy improvements proposed in the project scope to achieve the desired percentage of whole-building energy improvement.
  • Submit the preliminary energy modeling report provided by your project’s energy modeler and the completed “Energy Performance Report Form” as a combined PDF or as a ZIP file.

If the project has multiple buildings, then submit a ZIP file with all of the required documents. 

Certification Clustering Protocol (required if your project has 8 or more buildings)

New construction projects with more than 8 buildings should use the following protocol and documents to cluster the Certification of their development. Projects that may be qualified to use this protocol include, but are not limited to:

  • A development entity responsible for a group of single-family homes or buildings that meet the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria and were certified under one application.
  • The lead partner in a consortium of developers certifying single-family homes under the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). The lead partner is acting as an intermediary between the consortium of developers and the Enterprise Green Communities Certification process, handling the application work.

For instructions, download the Certification Clustering Protocol. A clustered project is required to submit the Certification Clustering Form during Prebuild (Step 1). 

Postbuild (Step 2) Supplemental Documents 

Utility Release Form

Upload PDF versions of the utility release forms signed by the property owner/developer for at least 15% of homes or units.  Since there will be multiple documents, submit the PDF’s as a ZIP file. 

Project Photos

Upload project photos that show the project and site before, during and after construction.

These photos should be packaged as a ZIP file containing the photos of the project. They should be a print quality of at least 4” x 6” and 300 dpi.

Image Release Form

Upload a completed set of image release form(s) for the submitted project photos as a ZIP file.  

Energy Performance Report Form(s) 

All project teams must upload the final results of their energy model, unless they are using an approved pathway.  If following a prescriptive pathway, provide documentation that they requirements were met.  If the project has multiple buildings and/or multiple documents to submit, please submit a ZIP file.
Single Family and Multifamily Buildings (three stories or fewer) - New Construction

Submit official ENERGY STAR for New Homes Certificates.  Required of both prescriptive and performance pathways.

Single Family and Multifamily Buildings (three stories or fewer) - Rehabilitation

Submit official Home Energy Rating (HERS) reports. 
Multifamily Buildings (four stories or more) - New Construction and Rehabilitation

Revise the preliminary Energy Performance Report Form and energy modeling report provided by the project’s energy modeler. Combine and submit documents as a PDF or as a ZIP file.  

Waiver Request Process

 A formal waiver request process is available for project teams with extenuating circumstances that may preclude the full integration of a mandatory measure. To maintain the technical integrity of the Criteria, this is offered on a limited basis for situations where an alternative approach or a waiver for a single mandatory measure may be acceptable.
Project teams may request a waiver on the “intended methods” form. 

Verification Protocol

The Verification Protocol is designed to bring the benefits of third-party, on-site assessment and performance testing to developments seeking Certification.  Any project team submitting a request for certification to Enterprise may be subject to on-site verification by a third-party provider. Projects in step 1 of the process will be selected for on-site verification on a quarterly basis, using a sampling approach based on the number of certification requests submitted in a given quarter. Enterprise will direct a consultant to conduct the verification, monitor the consultant for quality assurance, and cover the costs to complete the verification.