Thank you so much for coming to Washington to conduct the Green Advantage National Certification on Thursday and Friday. This is the first time in years that I have been so excited about my profession. I’m leaving with a renewed since of hope and enthusiasm for creating the change that is so necessary in our industry. I already had a fairly sound base in green design, with chunks of knowledge in many different areas. Your class has helped me fill in the gaps and tie it all together. I am certain that by using your approach we can all, together, effect an appreciable difference.

I recently studied for and passed the LEED-AP exam for new construction. I did learn a lot from that, but I have to say, your approach is far more practical and to-the-point. LEED required a tremendous amount of memorization (of things that could be looked up), and it was really all about learning a complicated system. Your system is about rolling up your sleeves and making a practical difference. Over the weekend, I strategized about how to incorporate the most important aspects into my business, and am anxious to begin doing so on Monday morning.
Thank you so much and keep going! This planet needs you!

Susan C. Pierce, AIA
Commonwealth Home Remodelers, Inc.

"What’s Working has done a great job teaching the Certified Green Building Professional course here in the Bay Area. The classes are packed with interesting information that brings remodelers up to speed on building green, including segments on Indoor Air Quality, Energy Efficiency, and Resource Conservation."

Michael McCutcheon, President, McCutcheon Construction, Inc.

Green Building Training & Certification

Our green building training is called "Green from the Ground Up" and is based on David Johnston's best selling book by the same name.

Th 2-day training is geared toward builders, architects, contractors and trades people who need a more in-depth understanding of how to build green. Participants will learn how to approach a home from the green building mindset. Instead of seeing the house just as a conglomeration of parts, students learn to view a home in terms of interrelated systems. From foundations to flooring, from roofs to HVAC systems, students learn that all aspects of design and construction must function together in order to build a green home. Learn more about the benefits of green building certification.

We will emphasize the best available green building practices available for implementation and build professional’s capacity to retrofit homes or build new homes to be more energy efficient, improve indoor air quality and enhance the environmental performance on various levels of sophistication.

Students will learn the fundamentals of good green building and design. At its most basic, green building is a tripod of three interrelated goals:

  • Energy-Efficiency
  • Resource Conservation
  • Indoor Air Quality

The principles and practices in the course apply at all levels of residential construction, from single-room renovations to production built communities. This course is designed to provide students with useful information that can be applied on the jobsite or in the home right away. Participants leave the class armed with real-world, affordable solutions.

If your a building professional and interested in taking the next steps to becoming a green building professional, contact GreenBuilding.com for more information. Tel. 303.444.7044

Green Advantage Certification

The Green From the Ground Up course prepares professionals to take the Green Advantage Certification exam. Learn more about Green Advantage certification and its benefits.

More about the Trainers

David Johnston, President of What’s Working developed this training course over the last 15 years in the green building industry. It has evolved into the state-of-the-art in builder/remodeler education. The basis of the training is Green from the Ground Up his best selling book on how to build green. His book Green Remodeling is a Nautilus Book Award winner. 

 Who Should Attend?

The course is geared toward anyone involved in the building industry especially those in the remodeling business. The course attracts trades people, general contractors, production home builders, architects, interior designers, suppliers and manufacturers, and real estate professionals. Homeowners, too, find the course helpful for jumpstarting their DIY projects.


Course Outline


Unit One: Context, Planning and Design

Why Green Building?

  • Environmental Context
  • Economic Context
  • Benefits to the Homeowner

Building Science

  • Thermodynamics
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Whole Systems Design

The Green Building Tripod

  • Energy-Efficiency
  • Resource Conservation
  • Indoor Air Quality

Working with Site and Climate

  • Passive Solar
  • The Design Charette

Unit Two: Building the House


  • Insulating the Foundation
  • Fly-Ash Concrete
  • Controlling Moisture
  • Crawlspaces


  • Loose-fill, Spray-in and Rigid-foam Insulation
  • Radiant Barriers



  • Advanced Framing Techniques
  • FSC Certified Lumber
  • Engineered Lumber
  • Structurally Insulated Panels (SIPS)

Siding and Decking

  • Siding Materials
  • Decking Materials

Roofs and Attics

  • Attic Insulation and Ductwork
  • Sheathing and Roof Membranes
  • Roofing Materials

Solar Energy

  • Photovoltaics
  • Solar Hot Water

Windows and Doors

  • Window Frames
  • Glazing: Low-E, Super Windows
  • Skylights, Light Tubes
  • Doors

Indoor Air Quality

  • Volatile Organic Compounds
  • Formaldehyde
  • Mold


  • Reducing Standby Losses
  • On-Demand Circulation Systems
  • Tankless/Instantaneous Water Heaters
  • High-Efficiency Boilers
  • Water-Saving Fixtures and Appliances

Interior Finishes

  • Paints, finishes, adhesives
  • Cabinets
  • Countertops
  • Flooring


Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning

  • Sizing HVAC Systems
  • Efficiency Testing and Upgrades
  • Radiant Heating Systems
  • Geothermal Systems
  • Ventilation

Site Management and Landscaping

  • Construction and Demolition Recycling
  • Minimizing Construction Impact
  • Climate-Appropriate Landscaping



  • Ambient and Task Lighting
  • Compact Fluorescents, LEDs
  • Energy-Efficient Appliances

Unit Three: Putting It All Together

Green Programs and Certifications

  • Green Advantage
  • Green Label
  • LEED for Homes
  • NAHB Green Building Program

Marketing Yourself as a Green Builder

  • Market Research
  • Strategies
  • Next Steps
  • Integrating

Green Practices on Monday Morning


If your a building professional and interested in taking the next steps to becoming a green building professional, contact GreenBuilding.com for more information. Tel. 303.444.7044, info@greenbuilding.com