LEED for Homes Myth #3: The costs are expensive
February 01, 2010 :: Posted by - Jason :: Category - Common Myths
Recently, many people have told me they thought a LEED for Homes certification was going to cost many thousands of dollars – even over $10,000. This simply isn’t true, at least not when using the Alliance for Environmental Sustainability (AES) as the LEED for Homes Provider. So let’s bust this myth.
If a quality homebuilder knows a little about green design and construction, and is already doing many efficient construction practices (which often means Quality building), there isn’t a big step to construct a LEED-certified house. To borrow a pun, they are already close to Leading in Energy and Environmental Design. Now, there may be design-related costs outside of LEED – such as installing renewable energy system – but that is not required for LEED certification.
Let’s look over the actual LEED-related fees for a typical single-family home. When using AES as the LEED for Homes Provider, there are four required fees:
- AES single-family home fee: $650
- USGBC Registration fee: $150 / $225 (depending on USGBC membership)
- Green Rater fee: Varies based on scope of work, typically $1500, +/- $300
- USGBC Certification fee upon completion: $225 / $300 (depending on USGBC membership)
Total typical fees: Between $2,500 and $3,000 – often a fraction of a typical single-family home’s construction budget. Usually, someone on the project team works for a company that is an organizational member of USGBC, and the total costs end up on the low end of the range. Of course, every home is different, but is a typical project.
There may be optional fees if the project team would like a full-day design meeting or assistance with documentation. But the prices above reflect the minimum required fees to build a LEED-certified single-family home.
In summary, the costs are a small price to pay for the third-party verification that your home was properly constructed correctly to match an intended green building design. Typical code officials or home inspectors can’t give the same peace of mind on the home’s actual performance as the thorough work a professional LEED for Homes Green Rater can provide with their extensive training in building science. Other benefits include the ability to get an energy-efficient mortgage using the Green Rater’s report, since ENERGY STAR for Homes is basically a prerequisite for a LEED Home. Also, green homes have reduced home insurance, and higher property value now that the real estate MLS has gone green. Prospective home buyers can now look for third-party certification, such as a LEED-certified home.
The fees can be even less for multi-family homes or production-built homes that become LEED certified, due to the economies of scale on the reviewing and verification side.
If you’re located in the Midwest and would like to use AES as your LEED for Homes Provider, get started and sign up. For more information, or to receive a custom proposal for your project, call 888-533-3274 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Story Tags: benefits, Common Myths, costs, leed for homes