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LEED for Homes: Green Building

 

What is LEED & Green Building?

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a more environmentally conscious construction process than traditional building. Created by the U.S. Green Building Council, it works toward sustainability with a focus on several issues including materials selection, energy efficiency, saving water, indoor environmental quality, and sustainable site development.

The USGBC gives accreditation to individuals for LEED certification. If building or remodeling, consider contractors with LEED certification. Even you can become certified if interested. You must register your project with the USGBC to have it evaluated and qualify.

For more information on LEED for homes, which will be available starting in the Fall of 2007, visit the U.S. Green Building Council's website.

 

How are buildings ranked by LEED certification?

In general, buildings are certified based on their level of sustainability commitment, in other words, by how many "greener" steps the builder/owner has taken. The rankings are Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum with Platinum being the highest. LEED certification is available for commercial properties and large-site development and is expected to be available for private residences starting Fall 2007.

To view the current, tentative project check list for LEED certification click here. This will give you a general idea of the goals that need to be obtained to create a greener home.

 

 

NRDC's Santa Monica Office

*This picture taken from Natural Resources Defense Council at http://www.nrdc.org/buildinggreen/casestudies/default.asp.

This office complex received a Platinum LEED certification.

 

Why should you build a "Green" home or a LEED certified home?

The construction and maintenance of buildings are responsible for 40% of U.S. energy use, 30% of wood and raw materials use, and buildings generate 30% of U.S. CO2 emissions. (www.globalgreen.org) These CO2 emissions are a major contributor to global warming. With environmental issues at the forefront of news, politics, and everyday life, everyone should pitch in to do their part on reducing their ecological footprint. A LEED certified home is a fantastic step in the right direction for making YOUR environmental statement. For more information on LEED certification, please visit the U.S. Green Building Council's webpage at http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CategoryID=19.

 

Not only does having a LEED certified home reduce the waste stream to a landfill, or use less water, but the operating costs are smaller, they are healthier for their occupants, and the owner is taking on a respectful environmental and social responsibility.

 

What can you do to make your existing home greener?

Click here for the U.S. Green Building Council's "16 Ways to Green Your Home."

 

Environmental Department Homepage