LEED for Homes
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a non-profit organization that developed the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™. In 2008 the USGBC introduced LEED for Homes, a rating system that promotes the design and construction of high-performance green homes. The LEED for Homes rating system uses eight different resource categories to measure the overall performance of a home. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has also developed a green rating system similar to LEED for Homes rating system, but it’s less restrictive and seemingly more accessible to be rated. Both are great systems to assure a properly built house, and time will tell what having two systems competing for attention will bring about.
LEED for Homes uses the following categories for awarding points:
- Innovation and Design Process (ID)
- The category that includes several types of innovative measures including: special design methods, unique regionally credits, measures not currently addressed in the Rating System, and/or exemplary performance levels.
- Location and Linkages (LL)
- The placement of homes in socially and environmentally responsible ways in relation to the larger community.
- Sustainable Sites
- The use of the entire property so as to minimize the project’s impact on the site.
- Water Efficiency (WE)
- The water conservation practices (both indoor and outdoor) built into the home.
- Energy and Atmosphere (EA)
- The improvement of energy efficiency particularly in the building envelope and heating and cooling design.
- Materials and Resources (MR)
- The efficient utilization of materials, selection of environmentally preferable materials, and minimization of waste during construction.
- Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ)
- The improvement of indoor air quality by reducing possible air pollution.
- Awareness and Education (AE)
- The education of homeowner, tenant, and building manager (as appropriate in larger multifamily buildings) about the operations and maintenance of the green features of their LEED Home.