LEED Certification

LEED for Homes Certification
LEED Certification by USGBC

As mentioned in Part One, LEED certification is a rating system to measure just how green a home is. You can think of LEED as a scorecard, counting up all of the ways your home is saving energy, money, and the environment.

The Levels of LEED Certification

LEED sets clear targets for a green home, then tracks its progress throughout the design and construction process. Once the home is finished, thoroughly inspected and tested, the LEED seal of approval is hard-won proof of its energy-saving and environmentally-friendly performance.

LEED has several levels of certification; Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Homes with higher scores within the LEED rating system will earn a higher certification level. It is important to remember, however, that due to the strict and difficult certification process, a LEED home at any rating level is a very efficient, superior green home. The higher levels are for homes that truly go above and beyond for extraordinary performance.

LEED awards points on a 100-point scale; the credits are weighted to reflect their potential to affect environmental impacts. Any home project must satisfy ALL prerequisites and earn a minimum number of points in order to be certified. In addition, bonus points are available which address environmental issues crucial to specific regions.

What LEED Certification Measures

LEED promotes efficiency and sustainability by using a whole-home approach, and considers a home's performance in several important areas:

The LEED rating system is complex, and certification is difficult; the list of items covered is incredibly long and detailed. If you are considering building a green home and want it LEED-certified, it is imperative that you work with the right people from the very beginning. Home designers and builders who are certified in the LEED program have the experience, knowledge, and tools necessary to guide your new green home through every step of the LEED certification process. We will look at how to get started with LEED more closely in our next article.

Once your new green home undergoes the vigorous third-party inspections and verifications, its LEED certification will be the rock-solid proof that it operates with lower operating costs, conserves energy and water, reduces waste, is healthier for its occupants, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants.

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