In the U.S., homes consume nearly 25 percent of the total energy used, and most of that energy—about 80 percent—is used in single-family homes. The future of residential development must include a concerted effort to lower energy use through increased efficiency measures. Incremental progress can start with retrofits and appliance upgrades, and on a whole-building scale, pursuing LEED certification helps ensure homes of all sizes use fewer resources, cost less to maintain and, above all, are healthy and safe.
When USGBC launched the LEED for Homes pilot in 2006, it sought to adapt the successful framework of LEED used in commercial spaces to address the specific needs of single- and multifamily homes. Today, there are nearly half a million LEED-certified residential units worldwide, and the single-family and multifamily sectors have seen increased demand from home owners and occupants looking to live in a more sustainable home environment.
As part of World Green Building Week (WGBW) this week (hashtag #homegreenhome and #WGBW18), green building councils around the world are sharing knowledge and best practices to make homes greener, healthier and more energy-efficient. Here are a few highlights from USGBC:
Residential at Greenbuild
USGBC is ramping up its efforts to scale up the development of green homes more than ever by making it easier to build, construct and operate sustainable residential projects. LEED v4.1 Residential, the next iteration of the rating system, will drive higher performance through the application of difference lenses such as health, social equity, climate and resilience.
The LEED v4.1 Residential education session at Greenbuild Chicago will provide an overview of the new LEED v4.1 Residential offerings from USGBC. Panelists representing the 2017 Power Builders and LEED Homes award recipients will talk about the value of LEED and discuss successful strategies in addressing green building challenges at the project and portfolio level. Attendees can learn about their hands-on experience with LEED through case studies of their award-winning projects.
Green Home Guide
USGBC’s consumer-friendly Green Home Guide has plenty of resources for owners and renters looking to implement sustainable practices at home, as well as how-to information for green renovations. Here are some of our favorite recent articles:
- How to go green as a renter
- How to improve energy efficiency through exterior renovations
- Measure energy efficiency with the Home Energy Score tool
- Top four benefits of installing solar panels on your home
Green home leadership
USGBC annually releases its LEED Homes Awards, an honor given to innovative projects, architects, developers and homebuilders leading the residential green building market, as well as the LEED Homes Power Builders list, a distinction USGBC established to honor an elite group of developers and builders that have exhibited an outstanding commitment to LEED and the green building movement within the residential sector. To be considered for LEED Homes Power Builder recognition, developers and builders must have LEED-certified 90 percent of their homes/unit count built in 2017. Learn more about this year’s recipients and how they are transforming the residential market.
USGBC’s member magazine, USGBC+, has featured several of USGBC’s amazing LEED homebuilders who set the example for innovation when it comes to residential development:
- Frankel Building Group has cultivated a top-notch reputation for its dedication to designing and building LEED homes
- Florida developer hits home with green Mirabella Community
- The tiny house movement goes mobile in Florida with help from volunteers
- Go inside the LEED Platinum home of actor and activist Ed Begley, Jr.