A Closer Look at LEED®

March 14th, 2011 | General

With the increased focus on green living, LEED® is a word bantered about with some frequency. But what exactly does it mean, and how does a home or business go about obtaining it? Read on to find out.

LEED® Defined

LEED® stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council in 1998. LEED® applies to both commercial and residential buildings and touches on every part of the building lifecycle: Design and construction as well as operations and maintenance. It provides third-party verification that a building was constructed using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that comprise green living: Energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. LEED® is also an internationally recognized ‘seal of approval,’ and homes with this designation often have a higher market value.

The Points System

LEED® points are awarded across six categories: Sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality and locations and linkages. The sustainable sites category encourages minimal impact on ecosystems and waterways and awards points to homes that reduce erosion and have light construction-related pollution. The water efficiency category encourages smarter use of water through efficient appliances and water-wise landscaping and the energy and atmosphere category encourages efficient design and construction, efficient appliances, efficient systems and lighting and the use of renewable and clean sources of energy. The materials and resources category encourages the selection of sustainably grown, harvested, produced and transported products and materials, as well as waste reduction and increased reuse and recycling. The indoor environmental quality category promotes strategies that can improve indoor air, acoustics and provide access to natural light, and the locations and linkages category rewards homes that are built near already-existing community resources and transit, and encourages access to open space for spending time outdoors. The more points a home receives in these six categories, the more prestigious certification level that home falls under. LEED® Certified is the minimum award for recognized green homes, followed by LEED® Silver then LEED® Gold, and LEED® Platinum is the highest level of certification a home can obtain.

Ecodwell’s LEED® Expertise

Ecodwell homes are on target to receive LEED® Gold certification. Kate and Jeff are LEED® Accredited Professionals (APs) which means they have been certified through LEED® by taking and passing an examination. Both Kate and Jeff demonstrated in this examination superior knowledge of green construction, operations and building design. They also demonstrated their knowledge in the six categories LEED® certification is based upon.

You can feel confident that the experts who stand at the helm of your Ecodwell home are uniquely qualified in design and construction strategies to create a residence that uses less energy, less water and natural resources, creates less waste and promotes optimal health.