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LEED for Homes FAQs for Home Buyers

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) provides answers below to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about LEED for Homes.

 

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Q: Is a green home right for me?

 

A: If you would like a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle for you and for your family, a green home is right for you. Green homes have lower utility bills, use less water, are associated with fewer asthma attacks, and are at lower risk for mold and mildew. Green homes are better for the environment, and they are affordable.

 

Q: How are green homes good for the climate?

 

A: In the United States, our homes are responsible for 21% of our nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. Living in a green home means that you’re helping to stop the causes of climate change.

 

Q: Why should I buy a LEED-certified home?

 

A: LEED is a nationally recognized, third-party certification system that’s based on measurable results. As such, LEED recognizes the highest quality in green homebuilding. LEED-certified homes are energy efficient, use non-toxic building materials, are water-smart, and respect the environment in which they’re constructed.

 

LEED was created and is administered by the U.S. Green Building Council, a nonprofit environmental organization with more than 14,000 member organizations dedicated to sustainability in building design and construction. The certification system has been in use for more than seven years in commercial construction, and includes more than 3.2 billion square feet of real estate currently seeking LEED certification.

 

You can explore case studies on a variety of LEED-certified homes at www.thegreenhomeguide.org.

 

Q: How will a LEED home benefit me?

 

A: The benefits of a LEED home include economic benefits such as lower energy and water bills; environmental benefits like reduced greenhouse gas emissions; and health benefits such as reduced exposure to mold, mildew and other indoor toxins.

 

LEED-certified homes may also be eligible for financial benefits such as lower fees for financing and lower insurance rates.

 

Q: How can I compare a green home to a conventional home?

 

A: Think of LEED as a nutrition label for your home that gives you much greater confidence in specific features of your home that will contribute to your quality of life.

 

LEED-certified green homes include a homeowner’s manual and a LEED “scorecard” that reflects third-party verified information about your home’s energy performance, water savings, materials used in construction, and other features.

 

Similar, third-party verified information is typically not available for conventionally constructed homes.

 

Q: What types of homes are LEED certified?

 

A: The LEED for Homes certification system is tailored for the construction of market rate and affordable new single family or low-rise multi-family homes (like condos and garden apartments). Existing homes undergoing extensive renovations are also eligible to participate in the program.

 

Q: What about remodeling projects?

 

A: USGBC and the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) have partnered to create the REGREEN Program, which are the first nationwide green residential remodeling guidelines for existing homes.

 

Q: How can I purchase/build a LEED home?

 

A: Tell your realtor or builder that you want a LEED-certified home. Some markets now include whether a home is LEED-certified in MLS listings of homes for sale.

 

You can also visit www.thegreenhomeguide.org to find a homebuilder participating in the LEED for Homes program in your area.

 

Q: Do LEED-certified homes cost more?

 

A: LEED certification can fit into your family’s budget regardless of what it is. LEED certified homes include everything from luxury residences to Habitat for Humanity projects. Buying green and asking for LEED-certification is your choice.

 

Q: Are there any incentives?

 

A: Many local and state governments, utility companies and other entities across the country offer rebates, tax breaks and other incentives for green homes and for remodeling with green technologies.

 

Q: Where can I find more information on green home building?

 

A: Visit www.thegreenhomeguide.org for comprehensive information and links to other great online resources.

 

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LEED for Homes FAQs for Home Buyers:  Created on August 4th, 2009.  Last Modified on June 19th, 2011

 

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About The U.S. Green Building Council

The U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ is a nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high-performance green homes and buildings. LEED gives home and building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their homes' or buildings’ performance. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality. The Green Home Guide is a resource created by the U.S. Green Building Council.


 

 

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