Friday, February 26, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Residential construction is constantly evolving and sustainable/green building is a logical step in that evolution, particularly when thinking about energy usage, a healthier living environment and environmental impact. The fact that all homes account for 22% of the total energy and 74% of the water consumed in the nation necessitates that we design and construct more sustainable homes. When our homes have indoor air pollutant levels often four to five times higher than outdoor levels, we have to make our homes a healthier place to live. When 21% of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions are coming from our homes, we have to construct our homes so they have less of an impact on the environment.
LEED and LEED for Homes
LEED, is an internationally recognized green building certification program, initiated in 1998 by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The LEED Green Building Rating System is voluntary and is based on existing, proven technology. It is applicable to all building types, commercial as well as residential.
LEED for Homes was created by the USGBC in November 2007 to promote green building techniques, energy saving strategies, and use of high performance materials, appliances, and mechanical and electrical equipment. With LEED certification, homebuyers can readily identify a high-quality green home that has been third-party inspected, performance tested, and certified to perform better than a conventional home. LEED provides national consis tency in defining the features of a green home which assures homebuyers of the quality of their purchases.
LEED for Homes certification is based on a point system, with 18 prerequisites and credits, within specific categories in the building process. The 18 prerequisites are basic performance standards, which are mandatory for every home. No points are awarded for prerequisites. To achieve certification, builders must earn credit points by exceeding the minimum stan dards of the prerequisites. In total: 136 credit points are available. Prerequisites and points are classified in following eight credit categories.
1. Innovation & Design Process: Special design methods, unique regional credits, measures not currently addressed in the Rating System, and exemplarity performance levels.
2. Location & Linkages: The placement of homes in socially and environmentally responsible ways in relation to the larger community.
3. Sustainable Sites: The use of the entire property so as to minimize the project’s impact on the site.
4. Water Efficiency: Water conservation practices, both indoor and outdoor.
5. Energy & Atmosphere: Energy efficiency, particularly in the building envelope and heating and cooling design.
6. Materials & Resources: Effi cient utilization of materials, selection of environmentally preferable materi als, and minimization of waste during construction.
7. Indoor Environmental Quality: Improvement of indoor air quality by reducing the creation of and exposure to pollutants.
8. Awareness & Education: The education of homeowner, tenant, or multifamily building manager about the operations and maintenance of the green features of a LEED Home.
LEED for Homes Certification Levels
Total available points
The number of points for each certification level is adjusted for smaller-than-average and larger-than-average homes using the Home Size Adjustment chart.
Based on the amount of points earned, a LEED-certified home will receive a rating of Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum.
Welcome to Sustainable Home Consultants, LLC new web-log. Our new firm was started to help Homeowner and Builders navigate through the LEED for Homes certification processes. We have worked with builder and homeowner to certify 3 LEED for Home "Platinum" projects and 1 LEED for Homes "Gold" project. We currently have two new projects register in the LEED for Homes certification program with the goals of LEED for Homes "Platinum" for both of them.