LEED | New Homes Market Center
It’s a roadmap for how buildings can be built to meet high performance standards for the design, construction, and operation of green buildings. The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) created the LEED® Green Building Rating System™. LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – is a leading green building rating system for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance. Buildings get rated on different aspects of efficiency and design covering six key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site planning and development, water management, energy management, materials use, indoor environmental air quality, and innovation and design process.
LEED is a voluntary, consensus-based national rating system. Once a project is registered and meets all prerequisites, the project gains points or credits towards certification. Like other green building rating systems, the LEED Rating System is flexible, not a ‘one-sized fits all’ approach, so scores are tallied and based on the number of credits achieved for different aspects of efficiency and design; they receive Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum certification.
This comprehensive approach is the reason LEED-certified buildings have lower operating costs, healthier and more productive occupants, and conservation of natural resources. The USGBC offers the following analogy to help consumers understand the usefulness of their rating system. “If you can by an $.89 box of crackers and have it tell you down to the microgram how much salt, fat, calories it contains, you should be able to find out the same for an $89 million building” (www.usgbc.org).
Green home in general are a smart move
With LEED’s “seal of approval” you can feel confident that your home is safer, healthier, more comfortable, and more durable than a conventional home. Owners of these homes can expect lower utility bills; environmental benefits like reduced greenhouse gas emissions; and health benefits such as reduced exposure to mold and other indoor pollutants. Even better, the USGBC states that net cost of owning a LEED home is comparable to that of owning a conventional home.