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Earth Advantage Commercial

Commercial Certification Overview

COCC Health Careers CenterEarth Advantage Commercial (EAC) was developed to specifically address the green building certification needs of smaller commercial projects. It reduces the costs and complexities of delivering certification to smaller buildings while providing comprehensive and robust results. Over 90% of new buildings are 50,000 sq. ft. or less but unfortunately, the vast majority of these buildings are built without receiving any formal green certification. Despite the tremendous success and quality of LEED®, implementation of LEED for smaller, typical commercial projects has been very modest.

EAC offers a complementary certification option by providing a primarily prescriptive system that is streamlined and cost-effective for project teams who might be reluctant to certify to LEED standards. For instance, EAC utilizes the New Buildings Institute’s Advanced Buildings Core Performance Guide – a prescriptive, best-practices guide developed specifically for small commercial buildings as the foundation for its group of energy measures.

Our goal is to supply a streamlined, cost-effective and comprehensive small commercial certification that helps to fill the gap in the 50,000 square foot and under market.


The comprehensive nature of the Earth Advantage Commercial program is designed to improve health, comfort, durability, energy efficiency and water efficiency while reducing operating expenses. Earth Advantage Commercial incorporates key high performance strategies through a streamlined set of cumulative measures which helps keep certification soft costs low. The result is a straightforward system for certifying mainstream small commercial buildings.

Key Facts

  • Accommodates buildings up to 70,000 sq. ft.

  • Designed for new construction and major renovations

  • Best suited for buildings from 5,000 to 50,000 sq. ft.

  • No energy modeling required

  • Commissioning only required at Platinum level certification

  • No points system - prescriptive sets of measures

  • Significant energy savings beyond code using proven strategies

  • Energy pathway utilizes nationally recognized Advanced Buildings Core Performance Guide

  • Typical Building Types: Office, Medical Office, Retail, Restaurants, Schools and Higher Ed, Public Assembly


Michael Jordan Center at Nike HeadquartersIn the 1990s and early 2000s, Earth Advantage Commercial (EAC) was a utility-run certification program. Between 1999 and 2004 Earth Advantage (then a program run by Portland General Electric) certified over 50 commercial buildings across the greater Portland region. When PGE spun off Earth Advantage as a stand alone nonprofit, the program was temporarily put on hold until 2008. Between 2008 and 2012, EAC was redeveloped in a pilot phase funded by the Energy Trust of Oregon, certifying in both Portland and Bend, Oregon. EAC left its pilot phase in late 2012 and is now ramping up its unique delivery system for small commercial certification across the country. 

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Certified high-performance buildings are healthier, more efficient and show a documented increase in value.
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