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What is a LEED Certified Home?

The Lead­er­ship in Ener­gy and Envi­ron­men­tal Design (LEED) is a build­ing project rat­ing sys­tem for sustainability2 devel­oped by the Unit­ed States Green Build Coun­cil (USG­BC)1. The USG­BC began devel­op­ing LEED in 1995. When first intro­duced in 2000, LEED empha­sized lim­it­ing the neg­a­tive impacts of a build­ing project. Today LEED focus­es on the poten­tial for build­ing projects to con­tribute to their com­mu­ni­ties and the plan­et pos­i­tive­ly. Cur­rent­ly, LEED impact cat­e­gories includ­ing cli­mate change, water resources, green econ­o­my, human health, bio­di­ver­si­ty, com­mu­ni­ty and nat­ur­al resources. The LEED cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­gram ensures a home is healthy, high­ly effi­cient and cost-sav­ing from the top down to the bottom.

What is a LEED Cer­ti­fied Home?

All LEED-cer­ti­fied homes are healthy, safe, and good for the envi­ron­ment. Home­own­ers obtain LEED cer­ti­fi­ca­tion by earn­ing LEED points. LEED points are obtained by includ­ing spe­cif­ic pre­req­ui­sites and cred­its in a home design and con­struc­tion. Pre­req­ui­sites are required ele­ments of any LEED cer­ti­fied project. Cred­its are option­al ele­ments that projects may pur­sue to earn points toward a high­er LEED cer­ti­fi­ca­tion lev­el. There are four lev­els of LEED cer­ti­fi­ca­tion: Cer­ti­fied (40 – 49 points), Sil­ver (50 – 59 points), Gold (60 – 79 points), and Plat­inum (80+ points). Home­own­ers can earn LEED points in nine categories.

  1. Loca­tion and Trans­porta­tion: Com­pact devel­op­ment, alter­na­tive trans­porta­tion, and con­nec­tion with ameni­ties such as restau­rants and parks earn points.
  2. Sus­tain­able Sites: Sus­tain­able treat­ment of the sur­round­ing build­ings and ecosys­tem earn points.
  3. Water Effi­cien­cy: Effi­cient use of indoor, out­door and spe­cial­ized use of water, along with meter­ing earn points.
  4. Ener­gy and Atmos­phere: Address­ing ener­gy use reduc­tion, ener­gy-effi­cient design strate­gies, and renew­able ener­gy sources earn points.
  5. Mate­r­i­al and Resources: Min­i­miz­ing the impacts asso­ci­at­ed with the extrac­tion, pro­cess­ing, trans­port, main­te­nance, and dis­pos­al of build­ing mate­ri­als earn points.
  6. Indoor Envi­ron­men­tal Qual­i­ty: Design choic­es that con­sid­er indoor air qual­i­ty and ther­mal, visu­al, and acoustic com­fort earn points.
  7. Inno­va­tion: Designs that include inno­v­a­tive build­ing fea­tures and sus­tain­able build­ing prac­tices and strate­gies earn points.
  8. Region­al Pri­or­i­ty: A focus on local envi­ron­men­tal pri­or­i­ties earn points.
  9. Inte­gra­tive Process: Achiev­ing coop­er­a­tive inter­ac­tion across dis­ci­plines and build­ing sys­tems earn points.

The Ben­e­fits of Leed Cer­ti­fy­ing a Home?

There are many ben­e­fits to a LEED cer­ti­fied home. LEED cer­ti­fied homes are healthy, good for the envi­ron­ment, save home­own­ers mon­ey, and have increased resale val­ue.

  • LEED cer­ti­fied homes are healthy: LEED homes pro­vide clean indoor air and are healthy for their occu­pants. Accord­ing to the Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency (E.P.A.), indoor air is two to ten times more pol­lut­ed than out­door air. LEED-cer­ti­fied homes require prop­er ven­ti­la­tion, high-effi­cien­cy air fil­ters and mea­sures to reduce mold and mildew. These fea­tures max­i­mize the qual­i­ty indoor air and min­i­mize expo­sure to air­borne tox­ins and pollutants.
  • LEED homes are good for the envi­ron­ment: LEED homes are ener­gy-effi­cient and use less ener­gy and water than non-LEED homes, which saves home­own­ers mon­ey. In fact, accord­ing to the USG­BC, LEED-cer­ti­fied homes are designed to use about 30 to 60 per­cent less ener­gy than non-LEED-cer­ti­fied homes.
  • Improved resale val­ue of LEED-cer­ti­fied homes: LEED-cer­ti­fied homes are a good invest­ment for home­own­ers. In fact, a recent study by the Uni­ver­si­ty of Texas at Austin and the USG­BC found that new LEED-cer­ti­fied homes in the Austin-Round Rock Met­ro­pol­i­tan Sta­tis­ti­cal Area are worth an aver­age of $25,000 more in resale val­ue than con­ven­tion­al homes. 

Earn LEED Points with the Bau­tex Wall System

The Bau­tex™ Wall Sys­tem, includ­ing the Bau­tex Blocks and Bau­tex Air & Mois­ture Bar­ri­er, con­tribute towards LEED cer­ti­fi­ca­tion by earn­ing LEED points in ener­gy and atmos­phere; mate­ri­als and resources; indoor envi­ron­men­tal qual­i­ty; and inno­va­tion in design.

  • Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem cre­ates an ener­gy effi­cient build­ing enve­lope that is com­pli­ant with the lat­est build­ing codes. Bau­tex Block wall pro­vide an R-14 con­tin­u­ous insu­la­tion; far exceed­ing the ASHRAE90.12010 stan­dards required in the LEED rat­ing system.

  • The per­cent­age of recy­cled and region­al­ly sourced mate­ri­als uti­lized by Bau­tex can con­tribute towards LEED points.
  • Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem cre­ates indoor envi­ron­ments that are com­fort­able and enhance the pro­duc­tiv­i­ty of its occupants.
  • Baute Wall Sys­tem insu­lat­ed con­crete wall sys­tem reduces the trans­fer of sound from the out­side to the inside of a struc­ture. In fact, Bau­tex™ Wall Sys­tem received a high Sound Trans­mis­sion Class (STC) rat­ing of 51 and a high Out­door-Indoor Trans­mis­sion Class (OITC) per­for­mance rat­ing of 47 
    • Bau­tex AMB20 air and mois­ture bar­ri­er applied to the block wall pre­vents air and mois­ture infil­tra­tion to the inte­ri­or of a home
    • Bau­tex Blocks have low­er volatile organ­ic com­pound emit­tance than wood 
  • The Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem is an inno­v­a­tive prod­uct that replaces wood frame, met­al and con­crete con­struc­tion for use in one- to three-floor build­ings. The wall sys­tem is stronger and per­forms bet­ter than tra­di­tion­al con­crete blocks and installs up to twice as fast as CMU. Bau­tex Block also has a four-hour fire rat­ing, as well as a storm rat­ing suit­able for use in tor­na­do and hur­ri­cane safe rooms.

A Lead­er­ship in Ener­gy and Envi­ron­men­tal Design (LEED) home is healthy, high­ly effi­cient and cost-sav­ing. A LEED-cer­ti­fied home also has high­er resale val­ue over non-LEED-cer­ti­fied homes. For more infor­ma­tion on how to use Bau­tex Blocks to achieve LEED cer­ti­fi­ca­tion your home, vis­it Bau­tex Wall System.

1 Sus­tain­abil­i­ty in con­struc­tion aims to lessen deple­tion of crit­i­cal resources like water, land, raw mate­ri­als and ener­gy. Sus­tain­able design of build­ing and infra­struc­ture also pre­vents the destruc­tion of the ecosystem.

2 In 1993, the Unit­ed States Green Build Coun­cil (USG­BC) was estab­lished to pro­mote sus­tain­able prac­tices in the build­ing and con­struc­tion indus­try. The coun­cil includes trade asso­ci­a­tions, archi­tects, design­ers, and indi­vid­u­als all inter­est­ed in the green­ing of the con­struc­tion business.