Welcome to

Emerald House

The home of green initiatives…

Welcome to Clark County’s sustainable home building project, the Planet Clark Emerald House.

Clark County’s Building Safety and Department of Environmental Services (DES) joined forces with the local building community and public-private partners to build Clark County’s first net-zero energy house In Clark County – The Planet Clark Emerald House.

The site was selected because it included both an unused and untaxed piece of land, and the house situated on the property became uninhabitable. The leaders of Clark County Building Safety created an opportunity to develop a new house based on the Clark County Sustainability Policy, and donate the house to a family in need. 

Since Clark County adopted the Green Building Standard in 2012,  the The Clark County Emerald Team investigated the requirements for a certified ‘green’ house to determine if the site was suitable. This was one of several sites previously considered for a green building house project, but the previous lots didn’t meet the criteria. After reviewing the requirements for an NAHB Certified Emerald House – this property was a match and would meet the minimum requirements. 

Emerald House was designed and built to the highest standards of green building based on the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Certification for “Emerald” level. This means it met rigorous stands for sustainable building, leaving a very small footprint on the environment and producing as much energy as it uses. That’s a pretty big deal considering the challenges we now face with limited and diminishing resources. But, it’s not just about the big actions we can take, there are many smaller actions to improve a structure’s longevity, strength, energy-efficiency, environmental footprint and health. 

Clark County is committed to fostering a safe, secure future where natural resources are conserved and basic human needs are met. This includes clean water, fresh air and healthy food, along with shelter, education and employment. Here’s more about the CCSP Policy:

The Clark County Sustainability Policy (CCSP) was adopted to identify areas of improvement relating to environmental preservation and enhancements, energy conservation and renewable energy resources. The CCSP advisory committee implements and monitors impacts and funds sustainable projects using the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System framework as a systematic methodology to manage change.

The Planet Clark Emerald House is another “lead by example” project, selected by the CCSP because it meets the policy objectives for neighborhood improvement, energy reduction, innovative design and efficient use of resources. Learn more about Clark County’s sustainability mission, targets and achievements.

Featured articles

Why is Sustainable Development so important?

The environment is where we live. Development is what we do to improve our lives within the abode. You cannot separate the two. In order to sustain human progress, we must build in ways that protect the environment and in that process ensure that such development will serve future generations.

Global leaders have long recognized that the development paths of our nations are unsustainable. In October 1987, the Brundtland Commission of the United Nations published a report entitled “Our Common Future,” which introduced the most commonly cited definition to date:

Sustainable development is develop-ment that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of further generations to meet their own needs.

Get the lowdown on the

Construction Process

Learn about the inspiration and progressive home building project that turned an unused tax lot into a home for a family in need. This Clark County Project has won numerous awards and is the first NAHB Emerald Certified Home in Clark County, Washington. Here are a few videos that demonstrate the planning and construction process for the Emerald House. Clark County Building Safety and the teams in Community Development, along with Planet Clark Building Partners and Volunteers worked tirelessly to complete this Emerald Certified Green Home. The benefits of this green home are enormous, and with positive and lasting impact our economy, environment, community, and society as a whole.


What is the impact of building and why is it important? The benefits of the PCEH House are immense, and include community benefits, economic benefits, enviornmental benefits and social benefits. Read more.

Design & Features

What is a high-performance home? The five elements of sustainable building relate to energy, health, land, materials, and water. This single-family home includes a modern and stylish look too. Read more.


PCEH was constructed to meet the criteria for five complimentary third-party certification program. In particular, the National Green Building Standard (NGBS ICC 700-2008) includes five common green building practice arenas. Read more.


Emerald Certification is the most stringent certification and highest achievement in sustainable building by the National Association of Home Builders under the National Green Building standards based on budget, land and resources. Read more.