LEED Certified Homes and Green Home Buyer Benefits
In my last post I introduced LEED and the LEED for Homes program. In this post I’ll review the LEED for Homes Certification system and LEED home buyer benefits. All LEED programs are managed by the U.S. Green Building Council. The certification systems are periodically updated as new benchmarks are determined.
LEED for Homes is a rigorous certification program with well defined metrics for green home performance nationwide. The rating system evaluates home’s performance in eight principle categories.
1) Sustainable Site Selection: Location in proximity to schools, shopping, work and transit along with other factors enhancing the quality of life are encouraged. Attention to potential erosion, pollutants and interference with natural environment is discouraged. LEED Home Buyer Benefits: Homes conveniently located central to work and community services means less travel time and lower fuel cost in addition to more efficient use of personal time.
2) Water Efficiency: Innovative techniques and technologies are used in LEED homes to reduce a home’s water use and to incorporate creative ways to reuse water. LEED Home Buyer Benefits: Lower water bills and more efficient use of water resources.
3) Energy Efficiency: LEED homes use up to 60% less energy compared to the International Code Council’s standards for minimum energy efficiency. LEED Home Buyer Benefits: Lower energy bills and lower carbon emissions.
4) Materials and Resources: The use of recycled and reclaimed materials is encouraged in LEED homes. LEED Home Buyer Benefits: Efficient use of resources and lower carbon emissions.
5) Indoor Environmental Quality: LEED for Homes certification establishes benchmarks for indoor air quality by minimizing exposure to potential toxins and pollutants. LEED Home Buyer Benefits: Healthier homes mean healthier people.
6) Innovation: LEED encourages innovative ways to improve a home’s performance while improving durability and comfort. LEED Home Buyer Benefits: Innovative design and creative selection and use of materials take advantage of the latest technologies to help maximize operating performance which can increase comfort and lower operating costs.
7) Site Development: LEED homes use construction processes that minimize environmental impact and incorporate design practices that protect the land where the home is built. LEED Home Buyer Benefits: Improved landscaping and external water management systems.
8) Awareness and Education: LEED is actively involved with helping to educate homeowners about green home features. A LEED certified home is intended to be an educational example to the community. LEED Home Buyer Benefits: Everyone benefits with greater community awareness of the features and benefits of LEED certified green homes.
LEED for Homes certification is awarded on the basis of points earned from compliance to LEED rating benchmarks. A total of 136 points are possible. The more points achieved, the higher the rating which means higher home performance.
There are four levels of LEED for Homes certification:
1) Certified: 45-59 points
2) Silver: 60-74 points
3) Gold: 75-89 points
4) Platinum: 90-136 points
LEED homes help create a healthier home and a healthier planet. LEED home buyers benefit from purchasing a LEED certified home while helping protect the environment and helping preserve natural resources.
Visit E3GreenHOMES.com for information about locating Colorado green homes in Denver and Boulder areas.