healthy house institute

4 Free HHI Books:

Creating a Healthy Household, The Healthy House Answer Book, Healthy Home Building, The Healthy House 4th Edition
Your email will only be used as described in our Privacy Policy

Follow us on Twitter



Proud Supporter of:




LEED for Homes - A Primer for Homebuyers

Are all new homes created equal? Homebuyers often expect that they are. Generally, a new home is perceived to be of better quality than an existing home, assuming that a new home offers the best available performance. New homebuyers often do not realize that the building codes define the lowest level of acceptable performance in new homes. In fact, most new homes are built to minimally satisfy the building code. which is the lowest level of performance allowed by the law.


article continues below ↓

We do not strictly control Google ad content. If you believe any Google ad is inappropriate, please email us directly here.

In most parts of the U.S., home energy prices have increased by over 50 percent over the last 5 years. Also, the average new home in this country emits twice as much carbon dioxide as a car. This raises the question of whether your new home is going to be environmentally friendly or a major contributor to climate change.

Homebuyers have begun to look beyond code-built homes, to higher quality homes that are available. Among these options are homes certified through green homebuilding programs, like the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System for Homes. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) developed the LEED for Homes rating system as a tool to assess the overall performance of new green homes.
It is possible to buy a home that is designed and built to perform at a level that substantially exceeds the building code. As an example, an ENERGY STAR Home is designed to exceed the national energy code by 15-20% or more. New home buyers are also beginning to realize that there are other upgrade options available, beyond just energy efficient features. These performance options include health, safety and comfort features, durable designs, and more environmentally responsive designs and materials. And in some cases the whole community may be developed using a more sustainable approach. 


Consumers repeatedly raise a few important questions when researching green homes. What exactly is a green home? And, which programs can best help to differentiate a home with green features from a conventional (code-built) home?


The LEED for Homes program defines a green home as:

  • Healthy
  • Comfortable
  • Durable
  • Energy efficient, and 
  • Environmentally responsible

One of the main purposes of the LEED for Homes program is to guide homeowners to new homes that meet this definition. A home buyer needs only to look for a certified LEED home to readily identify a true green home that has been third-party inspected and performance-tested. LEED homes substantially outperform conventional homes that are built to the minimum code.


LEED homes offer numerous benefits to home owners, including lower energy and water bills; reduced greenhouse gas emissions; increased comfort, less exposure to indoor pollutants such as mold, mildew and other indoor toxins, and lower maintenance costs. Owners of LEED homes can feel good every day, in that they are doing something substantial to lessen their contribution to environmental degradation. 


Most important, these benefits are very affordable. The net monthly cost of owning a LEED home (i.e., mortgage payment plus utility bills) is comparable to that of the monthly cost of owning a conventional code-built home. The increase in the mortgage payment (due to the first cost of the green upgrade measures in a LEED home) is usually completely offset by the reduced monthly utility bills. So, a homebuyer can have all of the benefits of a LEED Home for the same net monthly cost as a code-built home. Which one would you choose?

For more information about LEED homes in your community, contact a LEED for Homes Provider near you. The Provider will connect you with a builder and other homebuilding professionals participating in the LEED for Homes Program. A list of these Providers can be found on our website at



HHI Error Correction Policy

HHI is committed to accuracy of content and correcting information that is incomplete or inaccurate. With our broad scope of coverage of healthful indoor environments, and desire to rapidly publish info to benefit the community, mistakes are inevitable. HHI has established an error correction policy to welcome corrections or enhancements to our information. Please help us improve the quality of our content by contacting with corrections or suggestions for improvement. Each contact will receive a respectful reply.

The Healthy House Institute (HHI), a for-profit educational LLC, provides the information on as a free service to the public. The intent is to disseminate accurate, verified and science-based information on creating healthy home environments.


While an effort is made to ensure the quality of the content and credibility of sources listed on this site, HHI provides no warranty - expressed or implied - and assumes no legal liability for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, product or process disclosed on or in conjunction with the site. The views and opinions of the authors or originators expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of HHI: its principals, executives, Board members, advisors or affiliates.

LEED for Homes - A Primer for Homebuyers:  Created on April 16th, 2007.  Last Modified on June 19th, 2011


We do not strictly control Google ad content. If you believe any Google ad is inappropriate, please email us directly here.

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.



Information provided by The Healthy House Institute is designed to support, not to replace the relationship between patient/physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

Education Partners



Popular Topics: Air Cleaners & Air Purifiers | Allergies & Asthma | Energy Efficiency & Energy Savings | Healthy Homes | Green Building
Green Cleaning | Green Homes | Green Living | Green Remodeling | Indoor Air Quality | Water Filters | Water Quality

© 2006-2018 The Healthy House Institute, LLC.


About The Healthy House Institute | Contact HHI | HHI News & Media | Linking Resources | Advertising Info | Privacy Policy | Legal Disclaimer


HHI Info