Why build a LEED home?  The video below explains the benefits.

Comparing Green Building Rating Systems

There are many green building rating systems available. Why choose LEED?  In a word, Performance.  LEED  measures the building as constructed, not just as designed.  It measures the building’s actual performance rather than intentions, assuring you that the home truly is a green home.

LEED for Homes is a voluntary rating system designed to distinguish the leaders and innovators in the market, and it is the most rigorous national program available today. For an average size home to reach the entry Certified level under LEED for Homes, 45 points are required – along with 18 additional mandatory measures that earn zero points; these are 18 strategies, measures and techniques that USGBC’s consensus committees felt make up the basics of good, green homebuilding. For comparison, these same 18 measures, if performed under NGBS, will earn that home nearly 80% of the required points to reach its entry-level Bronze certification.

Another key area is in energy efficiency. LEED for Homes requires that a home meets the performance requirements under ENERGY STAR for Homes as validated through measures, performance testing and often a HERS (Home Energy Rating System) rating verifying that it is at least 15% more efficient than an average, code-built home. Many programs have similar requirements while others – like NAHB’s National Green Building Standard– reward, but do not require, this level of rigor or performance testing. Programs that require this standard provide greater assurance that the home will perform as it was intended.

Most of the programs approach green in a similar basic manner, gauging the sustainability of a home based on how efficiently it uses energy and water, the materials and processes used in construction, measures taken to improve indoor environmental quality and how the site and land are impacted.
Beyond this, each program varies in how certified levels are calculated and the overall certification structure. As an example, both LEED for Homes and the National Association of Home Builders’ National Green Building Standard (NGBS, also known as ICC 700) are flexible point-based systems that also have required measures while, in contrast, the California Green Builder program is a pass/fail system with no differentiating certification levels

Leading builders who have historically incorporated high-quality construction practices into their businesses are quickly finding that LEED for Homes is well within their reach. Just look at the growing list of LEED for Homes projects in Illinois.

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