In general, EnviroCitizen.org has found that the majority of consumers are becoming more familiar with LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is the green building rating system used by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED certified buildings are supposed to use resources more efficiently when compared to conventional buildings which are simply built to code, so it has gained national respect as the authority on green building. LEED certified buildings provide healthier work and living environments, which contributes to higher productivity and improved employee and resident health and comfort. The USGBC has compiled a long list of the benefits of implementing LEED strategies, which range from improving air and water quality to reducing solid waste, benefiting owners, occupants and society as a whole.
LEED has drawn up a set of guidelines for homes. Within those guidelines, there are different kinds of homes, but the idea is the sameâ€”to create a place to live that is truly sustainable and healthy as well as a quality home. From the early design phase a Green Rater should be involvedâ€”a person who verifies the green aspects of a home on the LEED checklist and handles the submittal package to those who are interested in building a green home. This serves to guide everyone through the process. Having a LEED accredited professional who specializes in residential buildings is always a good way to make sure that your project is on track and done to your local building codes. This professional can be an architect, engineer, home builder or any other individual involved in green building and design. This is earned through the recognition of being an expert in LEED for Homes as well as general LEED standards. Having the right help and goals set will help individuals to see what kind of a green home they want to have.
There are different levels of LEED certification. Being LEED certified means that the home has followed the LEED standards. Having a LEED Silver, Gold or Platinum certification reflects the level of LEED standards followed during a building's construction. LEED Platinum is the best certification anyone can get, meaning that many green aspects of the building process were followed and implemented.
The possibilities on how green a home can be in LEED standards depends on the individual goals of its builders as well as the fiscal parameters. EnviroCitizen.org has found that a green home is a realistic goal that anyone can achieve with a little additional effort.