green building + leed certication
Every building should strive to be green, especially homes as they promote a healthy lifestyle and are the most important building in our lives. Green building is the practice of creating homes out of materials that are environmentally responsible, using processes that create a resource-efficient home.
A green home, also known as "sustainable" or "high-performance", is a highly efficient home. It is built with products that are better for the environment such as recycled counter tops and composite decking. Such products and processes also extend into lighting and plumbing to minimize the consumption of water, energy, and natural resources, thus lowering utility bills.
What are the benefits to building a green home?
Green homes create value. Built to be energy-efficient, they can comfortably be heated and cooled with minimal energy usage. Green homes are increasingly more desirable, more than half of consumers rank green and energy efficiency as top requirements for their next home. They can be built for the same cost - and sometimes less than - conventional homes. Green homes sell at higher prices and faster than comparable, conventional homes.
Green homes are growing. It is estimated that by 2018, the green, singly-family housing market will represent about 40 percent of the market, and 84 percent of all residential construction will have sustainable features.
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 indoor air quality and minimize exposure to airborne toxins and pollutants.
Ask us for more information or visit www.greenhomeguide.com.
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environment Design is a certification process that was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to certify green homes. LEED-certified buildings are resource efficient. They use less water and energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As an added bonus, they save money. LEED works for all buildings. In particular, LEED for homes is available for building design and construction projects for single family homes and multifamily projects up to eight stories. LEED homes can quality for discounted insurance, tax breaks, and other incentives. LEED details code that all parties in all stages of the design process - architects, builders, developers, and subcontractors will follow.
There are four levels of LEED certification. As a project is built it is awarded points that then lead to its certified, silver, gold, or platinum status.
Nine key areas laid out by the USGBC and measured by LEED:
Energy and Atmosphere
Materials and Resources
Indoor Environmental Quality
Location and Linkages
Awareness and Education
Innovation and Design
According to the City of Cincinnati: the LEED-CRA residential tax abatement is a real property tax exemption offered for both new construction and renovation of residential space, constructed according to green standards and located within the City of Cincinnati. To be eligible projects must receive LEED certification from the USGBC. Consult the City of Cincinnati's Community Development offices for more information.
A home can be considered a Green Home, but not LEED-certified. We support our clients in any path they choose when designing their dream home. To find out more information about the process of certification visit www.leed.usgbc.org/homes.