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