About Green Homes | U.S. Green Building Council
Please upgrade your browser. This site requires a newer version to work correctly. Read more
Published on
Posted in Media
Published on
Posted in Media

This article was updated Aug. 1, 2016.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) homes are green homes, and they are transforming the residential market and people’s lives around the world. LEED homes are built to be healthier and safer by providing cleaner indoor air. They use less energy and water, leading to monthly savings on utilities, and maintain their value over time. Almost 150,000 worldwide residential units have earned LEED certification, and both certified single-family homes and multi-family projects are selling faster and for more money than comparable, conventional homes.

“Since 2005, the green share of new single family residential construction has grown dramatically—increasing from 2 percent in 2005 to 23 percent in 2013. This 23 percent market share equates to a $36 billion market opportunity,” according to a study on green labels in the California housing market.

Green homes create value

  • Nationwide, the typical household spends about $2,150 on residential energy bills each year, but LEED-certified homes are designed to use about 30 to 60 percent less energy. Over the seven or eight years the typical family lives in a home, this adds up to thousands of dollars in savings. Levels of indoor air pollutants can often be four to five times higher than outdoor levels, and with people spending an average of 90 percent of their time indoors, the average American suffers from significant exposure to unhealthy indoor environments. LEED residential units provide significant value to consumers through dramatically improving upon these environmental health factors.
  • Green homes are built to be energy-efficient, ensuring that they can be comfortably heated and cooled with minimal energy usage. They are individually tested to minimize envelope and ductwork leakage and designed to minimize indoor and outdoor water usage.
  • Green homes are increasingly desirable. More than half of consumers rank green and energy-efficiency as top requirements for their next homes, and LEED certification is a top individual attribute of apartment rentals, second only to location near a central business district.
  • Green homes can be built for the same cost as—and sometimes less than—conventional homes. Average upfront costs of 2.4 percent are quickly recouped, as a homeowner will save money for the duration of his or her green home’s lifespan.
  • Green homes sell at higher prices and faster than comparable, conventional homes. In 2011, the Earth Advantage Study found that, on average, green-certified, new homes sold for 8 percent more than non-certified green homes. Additionally, resale prices of existing green homes were about 30 percent more than conventional homes.

Green homes are growing

Green homes are healthier and safer

  • The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that indoor air is two to ten times more polluted than outdoor air. LEED-certified homes are designed to maximize the quality of indoor air and minimize exposure to airborne toxins and pollutants. They require proper ventilation, high-efficiency air filters and measures to reduce mold and mildew.
  • Each LEED-certified home undergoes onsite inspections, detailed documentation review and performance testing to ensure the health and safety of home dwellers.

Related videos

       

   


USGBC Articles can be accessed in the USGBC app for iOS or Android on your iPhone, iPad or Android device.
iOS App on App StoreAndroid app on Google Play

Total 3 commentsLeave a comment

CEO, Zevi Stewart Wolmark
This text captured my attention at the very beginning, where Reducing Energy & Water Consumption are a priority. Great text btw...
What is the benefits to the builder? Rebates, tax credits?
Green Building Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council

Leave a comment Don't have an account? Create one

You must be signed in to leave a comment.