Continue reading below for an outline of the LEED for Homes process or contact us for a consultation today!
What is LEED for Homes?
More than a decade ago the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) saw the need to transform the way we build, buy, and sell buildings. To that end, with the help of countless industry professionals they began formulating and implementing the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Rating Systems. Over the years they have been tested and refined through the construction of thousands of LEED projects around the world, and because in all our lives there is perhaps no building more important, the home has a rating system all its own. LEED for Homes is the green building rating system specifically designed to make your home the best it can be for you and yours.
Is My Project Eligible to Participate in LEED for Homes?
The vast majority of newly constructed homes fit into the scope of LEED for Homes. Below is a list of the most common construction types addressed by the rating system:
I addition to the construction types covered above the LEED for Homes system can also accommodate two other special cases:
*Major “gut” rehab projects can participate. In order to qualify the work scope must include completely stripping away the materials on at least one side of all exterior walls and ceilings.
**Multi-family buildings over 3 stories can participate in LEED for Homes through the LEED for Homes Mid-Rise Program. This special rating system addresses buildings with 4-6 above grade occupiable stories. Mixed-use buildings can participate, but must be at least 50% residential space in order to qualify.
Why Should I Want My Home to be a LEED Home?
As a new homeowner you have the option to build to code, or go beyond it. In making that decision it might be helpful to think about the code home in a way you might not have before. A code home is quite simply the lowest standard to which your local government will legally allow you to build, and programs like LEED for Homes would not even exist if building codes truly represented what today’s construction professionals can produce given the opportunity. You and your family will spend a lot of time in your new home so no aspect of its design is insignificant.
How does LEED for Homes accomplish all this?
The rating system breaks the certification of the home down into 8 credit categories. Each category deals with one facet of the home’s design development & construction, however many opportunities for synergy exist between the categories and credits.
Innovation & Design
Location & Linkages
Energy & Atmosphere
Builders and homeowners can choose to follow either the Prescriptive or Performance Path for the EA section. In the Prescriptive Path the components above are addressed individually, and are required to meet certain predetermined standards. When utilizing the Performance Path, EAM as a qualified HERS Provider (Home Energy Rating System) will create an energy model of your exact home. Using this model and our experience we will then bring the design up to the proven performance level of an EPA Energy Star Home, and if you so choose well beyond it. While both paths can lead to eventual LEED certification, the Performance Path offers builders and homeowners more flexibility in the design process, and maximizes the value of having EAM on your LEED for Homes team.
Materials & Resources
Indoor Environmental Quality
Awareness & Education
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