Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, is an internationally recognized green building certification system (developed by the USGBC) which provides third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most:
- Energy savings
- Water efficiency
- CO2 emissions reduction
- Improved indoor environmental quality
- Stewardship of resources
- Sensitivity to their impact
LEED for Homes certification increases the value and environmental integrity of new projects. There are levels of certification which vary in terms of benefits and requirements. Certification levels are based on a point system:
Certification levels for LEED for Homes v2008 and LEED for Homes Midrise Pilot v2010:
- LEED Certified™: 45-59 points earned
- LEED Silver®: 60-74 points earned
- LEED Gold®: 75-89 points earned
- LEED Platinum®: 90+ points earned
Points are measured using a LEED for Homes Project Checklist.
Example: Annabelle’s Place LEED Checklist
The checklist measures how a project contributes to a set of key factors using a detailed set of criteria. These factors include:
Location & Linkages – The building is located near community resources and amenities with transit access for residents.
Energy & Atmosphere – Optimum energy efficiency and performance of HVAC and water heating systems. ENERGY-STAR appliances help reduce carbon emissions while also reducing residents’ utility costs.
Indoor Environmental Quality – Provides proper ventilation, air filtering and protection from radon and pollutants.
Water Conservation – The building uses high efficiency fixtures and fittings on faucets, showers and toilets to conserve water. Water reuse and irrigation are also considered.
Materials & Resources – Building materials used are from local or regional sources. The materials are environmentally friendly, consisting of low VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS (VOCs) finishes (eliminating the “new paint” and “new carpet” smells), green label carpets and pads, and formaldehyde-free composite woods. Waste management is also considered.