Whether you are building a brand new structure or having work done on your existing home, if you’re an eco-conscious homeowner, you should consider pursuing LEED certification. This involves two aspects of your project: hiring a LEED certified builder and having the structure itself certified.

What is LEED certification?

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is a rating system created by the USGBC (US Green Build Council) to help business and residential builders and building owners create and maintain more sustainable properties. There are two types of LEED certification for structures: standard LEED certification and LEED for Homes certification. The LEED for Homes guidelines lay out how efficient residential structures need to be to be LEED certified, while the general LEED guidelines refer to commercial structures.

The Advantages

LEED certification for your home comes with many advantages. Part of getting the certification involves making a home that is healthier. This is due to the requirements involving air quality, sunlight exposure and more harmonious views.

LEED certification also requires water and energy efficiency. This makes your home more eco-friendly. It also reduces your costs, as reduced water and energy usage translates into lower monthly costs for those utilities.

But this isn’t the only way it can save you money. Indeed, homes that are LEED certified also have higher resale values. This makes your home more valuable should you choose to sell it.

LEED Professional Credentials

But it isn’t just structures that can be LEED certified. Builders can also be certified. That is, their work has been evaluated by experts and rated based on how many of the designated areas they have hit, and how well. Builders with this credential have been acknowledged for their innovation and awareness of green building techniques and processes.

Getting LEED Certified

You can use the LEED for Homes Green Rater to determine how efficient your home already is. To get certified, you’ll need to register your project with USGBC and have your project evaluated by a professional LEED for Homes Green Rater. You’ll also need to have your home rated by a Home Energy Rating System Rater.

You can find a map of LEED for Homes providers on the USGBC website, www.usgbc.org. If there are no providers in your immediate vicinity, don’t worry. You can contact any of the providers listed and seek their aid.