What Is LEED Certification? Tips for Homeowners

Inexperienced constructing is not only a pattern; it’s a motion that’s gaining momentum daily. With local weather change on everybody’s thoughts, persons are searching for methods to cut back their carbon footprint and go away a greater planet for future generations. That’s the place inexperienced constructing is available in. Builders, traders, and owners alike are leaping on the sustainability practice, desirous to make a distinction.

One technique to present {that a} constructing or improvement is dedicated to sustainability and fairness is by getting it licensed by a Third-party. The biggest Third-party certification program on this planet is LEED, with over 100,000 licensed tasks worldwide. From residential models to towering skyscrapers, LEED-certified buildings are sometimes thought-about the gold-standard in sustainability.

However have you ever ever questioned if your house could be LEED-certified? In that case, you’re in luck. Inexperienced constructing certification applies to any kind of constructing, together with homes. So whether you’re a house owner in Duluth, MN, trying to dwell extra sustainably, or a renter in Wilmington, NC, who needs to study extra, this Redfin information is for you. We’ll go into the fundamentals of the LEED certification program, the tasks it covers, and the best way to get your house LEED licensed. 

What’s LEED certification?

LEED certification is a globally acknowledged score system for sustainable, equitable, and environmentally pleasant buildings. The acronym LEED stands for Management in Vitality and Environmental Design. It was created by the United States Inexperienced Constructing Council (USGBC) in 1998 to encourage and acknowledge sustainable constructing practices. Since its founding, LEED has been by many various iterations and reached each nook of the world, culminating within the present model, v4.1. 

The LEED certification course of evaluates varied features of a constructing’s design, development, and operation, comparable to power effectivity, water conservation, use of sustainable supplies, and indoor environmental high quality. Based mostly on the analysis, a constructing is awarded factors that decide its LEED certification degree.

Certification ranges

A venture should attain sure level milestones to attain LEED certification. These are:

  • Licensed/Inexperienced (40-49 factors)
  • Silver (50-59 factors)
  • Gold (60-79 factors)
  • Platinum (80-110 factors)

It’s essential to notice that necessities differ relying on the precise LEED score system, comparable to Constructing Design and Development or Inside Design and Development. Buildings could obtain certifications in a number of classes and might lose them in the event that they don’t meet persevering with training necessities. 

What are the targets of the LEED program?

LEED seems at a constructing or group’s huge image, comparable to the way it’s interacting with the setting, as a substitute of a single aspect, comparable to power or water. The purpose of this system is to create buildings and communities that:  

  • Cut back contribution to world local weather change.
  • Improve particular person human well being.
  • Shield and restore water sources.
  • Shield and improve biodiversity and ecosystem companies.
  • Promote sustainable and regenerative materials cycles.
  • Improve the group’s high quality of life.

sustainable home

Can a home be LEED licensed? 

Sure, properties within the U.S., Canada, and Sweden could be LEED licensed below their LEED for Properties program. Certification is accessible for a lot of residential tasks, comparable to single-family properties and multifamily buildings.

The house certification course of is just like different kinds of buildings. It entails evaluating efficiency in important areas, together with sustainable website improvement, water effectivity, power effectivity, supplies choice, and indoor environmental high quality. Factors are then awarded, which determines your house’s certification degree. 

The right way to obtain LEED certification on your house

To get your home LEED-certified, you’ll have to comply with a sequence of steps, from registering your venture to documenting and submitting your utility for certification. The method is far simpler with new development, as you may design and customise the house earlier than constructing it. Right here’s an summary:

  1. Resolve on the scope of your venture and create a funds for enhancements.
  2. Assemble a workforce of skilled professionals, comparable to architects, engineers, contractors, and LEED consultants, who can assist decide if certification is feasible in your property.
  3. Register your venture on the USGBC web site and pay the registration payment.
  4. Develop a plan incorporating LEED methods in varied classes (website choice, water effectivity, power effectivity, supplies and sources, and indoor environmental high quality).
  5. Implement the deliberate methods throughout development, and preserve correct documentation.
  6. Fee constructing programs to make sure they operate as supposed.
  7. Compile and submit documentation by LEED On-line, together with the certification evaluation payment.
  8. Await USGBC evaluation and obtain a certification degree (Licensed, Silver, Gold, or Platinum).
  9. Monitor and preserve your house’s efficiency to make sure continued adherence to LEED requirements.

Is it price it to get your house LEED licensed?

LEED certification advantages each you and the setting by demonstrating a dedication to sustainability and the well being of your neighbors. All LEED-certified properties are designed to maximise bodily well being, improve financial savings, and increase your property’s worth. Due to this, LEED-certified properties typically promote faster and for more cash. Moreover, some governments present tax incentives for sustainable practicies.

Whereas it has many advantages, the certification course of could be costly and time-intensive. Take your funds and schedule under consideration earlier than making use of.


Sorts of LEED tasks

LEED certifies many several types of tasks, every with distinctive necessities. Right here’s a breakdown:

  • Constructing Design and Development (BD+C): This class covers new development tasks and main renovations of current buildings. Examples embody business buildings, workplaces, retail areas, colleges, healthcare services, warehouses, and knowledge facilities.
  • Inside Design and Development (ID+C): ID+C focuses on tenant enchancment tasks inside current buildings, comparable to workplace fit-outs and retail and restaurant interiors.
  • Constructing Operations and Upkeep (O+M): This class targets current buildings present process enhancements of their operations, upkeep, and occupants’ conduct to boost their environmental efficiency. It applies to numerous constructing varieties, together with business, retail, hospitality, and residential.
  • Neighborhood Growth (ND): N+D addresses the planning, design, and development of sustainable neighborhoods, selling walkability, mixed-use improvement, and environment friendly useful resource use.
  • Properties: This covers the design, development, and renovation of single-family properties, low-rise multifamily buildings (as much as three tales), and mid-rise multifamily buildings (4 to 6 tales). LEED for Properties contains particular standards for power effectivity, water conservation, sustainable supplies, and indoor air high quality.
  • Cities and Communities: This evaluates citywide and regional methods for power, water, waste, transportation, and social fairness.

What are LEED certification necessities?

LEED certification necessities are based mostly on a set of stipulations and credit that tasks should meet or pursue to attain a certification degree. These necessities are organized into classes that cowl totally different features of a constructing’s environmental efficiency.

The primary requirement classes (and level values) are:

  • Integrative course of (as much as 1 level)
  • Location and Transportation (as much as 16 factors)
  • Sustainable Websites (as much as 10 factors)
  • Water Effectivity (as much as 11 factors)
  • Vitality and Environment (as much as 33 factors)
  • Supplies and Assets (as much as 13 factors)
  • Indoor Environmental High quality (as much as 17 factors)
  • Innovation (as much as 6 factors)
  • Regional Precedence (as much as 4 factors)

If a venture receives sufficient factors from these classes, they’re awarded a LEED certification. Additionally, some governments could require or present tax incentives for builders to obtain LEED certification.


Closing ideas

LEED certification is a vital step to constructing a climate-friendly future. As such, many LEED requirements have basically been written into constructing codes world wide to make sure the following era of buildings is extra resource-conscious. Nonetheless, it’s not good. LEED certification is an costly course of that isn’t financially viable for most individuals. Moreover, LEED will not be sufficient by itself; extra funding in clear power is important to impression local weather change. 

For those who’re contemplating making use of for LEED certification on your house, take into account your funds and schedule, as the method could also be troublesome and costly. For those who succeed, take satisfaction in realizing that you just’re selling the well being of your group and native setting.