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What is L.E.E.D. Certification?

Posted by: raindrop 7 years, 9 months ago


Have you heard the term, "LEED certified," but never really knew exactly what it meant?

Something to do with bettering the environment, or going "green"? Is it another marketing tool to help sell a home? Fortunately, we did some research on our own, and are here to help clarify what exactly a LEED certification entails.  L.E.E.D. stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, which was established in 1998 by the U.S. Green Building Council.  LEED certifications help to standardize a criteria for how “green” new constructions and gut renovations are. You can think of LEED as a checklist, in that it sets targets and tracks progress during the design and construction of a green home. You can also think of LEED as a scorecard that gives a clear, concise picture of all the ways a green home performs. It is difficult to meet LEED's requirements, as LEED is considered the most rigorous of all the available home programs, and every home is inspected and tested to ensure that these requirements are met. Higher-scoring homes within the LEED rating system earn higher certification levels (Silver, Gold, Platinum).

There are different categories of certifications from schools, retail buildings and commercial interiors, to private homes.  LEED criteria is incorporated into every aspect of the construction, from the pre-planning, all the way through to planting the last tree in the landscaping. Instead of focusing on just one area, LEED homes are green in every way including; energy, water, indoor air quality, types of materials used, thoughtful land use and landscaping, and educating homeowners on the home’s green features. When construction on your home is complete, your builder will fill out a LEED checklist. There are 129 available points in the LEED for Homes category, and the requirements are weighted. Using renewable energy like wind or solar power, for example, can get you 10 points, while installing exhaust fans in your bathroom is good for one point. A LEED-certified inspector will then award a level of certification.

    • Certified (45-95 points)
    • Silver (60-74 points)
    • Gold (75-89 points)
    • Platinum (90-128 points)
Points can be added or subtracted from this total based on the square footage of your home. Check out the chart in the LEED for Homes Program Pilot Rating System manual for more information.



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