Guest Post by Scott Turner
You may have heard of LEED certification mentioned with regards to office buildings, commercial real estate projects, or new construction.
However, more and more individual homes and renovated properties are working towards LEED certification (and for good reason — the benefits are numerous).
The most obvious reason to consider a LEED certification for your home is a commitment to helping the environment. We have only one planet, after all. However, there are a number of other compelling reasons that make a LEED certification an excellent idea for your home.
Here’s what you need to know:
The US Green Building Council (USGBC) began the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification in the year 2000 as a program designed to encourage environmentally friendly construction and design.
Through LEED, the USGBC has created a measurable standard by which green architecture can be held to demonstrate a level of efficiency and sustainability.
And not just nationally, but globally.
Starting with just 60 projects a month in 2000, it grew dramatically in the next decade, representing around 500 monthly projects by 2009.
During this time, it became the rating system which today is internationally recognized as the standard for green buildings.
According to the USGBC, over 2.2 million square feet of building projects are now LEED-certified every single day. And with a total of 90,000 projects currently using LEED in over 150 countries and territories, it’s a dramatic rise in popularity and one that continues to grow.
There are a number of benefits beyond the knowledge that you are helping the environment that make LEED appealing to homeowners:
To be LEED-certified, a home needs to meet a certain efficiency standard as laid out by the USGBC. There are five different rating systems that are connected to certain building types. But there are four certification levels that apply to individual homes:
Certification happens when your house earns a certain number of LEED points. Here’s how those are assessed.
There are six main categories for structures and ways to accrue LEED points:
Want to know how many points your house would earn right now? This LEED scorecard can give you an idea.
A LEED home must also meet a certain number of other criteria to be certified as such. Referring to the USGBC will help you understand the full range of these, but important examples for homeowners include the following:
The LEED certification process is rigorous but worth the work to help the environment and reap the benefits. The step-by-step guide to LEED certification below walks you through the process:
Scott Turner is passionate about writing content that solves real problems and makes the world a better place for everyone. When he's not laboring over the perfect headline, you'll usually find him surfing, scuba diving, or hunting down the best tacos in San Diego.