Green Building Certification is Growing in Popularity LEEDing the Way

 Real estate professionals, developers and builders are all reporting the same  thing: today’s homebuyers who are looking for maximum value are asking for more than granite  countertops and hardwood floors. They want energy savings and green buildings.  

 LEED [Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design], a certification program of the U.S. Green Building  Council (USGBC), has become the leading benchmark for the design, construction  and operation of high-performance residential buildings.  

 Compared to conventional construction, a “green” home applying LEED standards and technology uses less energy, water and fewer  natural resources. LEED certified constructions create less waste, are good fit  for the terrain, and the standards ensure these new constructions are built  with as little impact on the land as possible. It’s also believed to be healthier for the people living inside.  

 The LEED Lowdown

 Originally only applied to commercial buildings, LEED standards and practices  have expanded to all types of construction. And LEED certification aspirations  aren’t limited to new construction, either. The USGBC also offers LEED for Existing  Buildings, which allows buildings over two years old to get certified by making  changes that will make them healthier and friendlier to the environment. Data  compiled by the USGBC shows that as of April 2009, almost 2,000 homes  nationwide have received the “LEED for Homes” certification. Another 10,000 are in the process of seeking certification—including many co-op and condo buildings.  

 “A green building is a high-performance building that is more environmentally  responsible, healthier and more profitable,” explains Ashley Katz, the USGBC’s communications coordinator. “Green buildings use less energy, less water and fewer resources. They also have  less of an impact on the environment and are healthier places for their  occupants.”  


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  • I am president of a 340 unit condominium that is all electric with one electric master meter. We are contemplating installing sub-meters in each of the units and have been advised we can expect more than 20% in energy savings. Would this qualify under as a LEED certification step?