First Residence Awarded Platinum LEED Rating
September 6, 2006
The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System has made green building practices in the commercial and government sectors more common, and the standards have proven valuable in residential construction. The pilot U.S. LEED for Homes, which the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) started in August 2005, provides guidelines for meeting efficiency and sustainability goals and uses a point system to rate buildings as Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum. In August, the first Platinum rating for a residential building was awarded to the homebuilder LivingHomes for its highly efficient model home, which the company touts as a "Zero Energy, Zero Water, Zero Waste, Zero Carbon, Zero Emissions residence." LivingHomes designs each of its houses to achieve at least a Silver LEED certification. See the press releases from LivingHomes and from the USGBC (PDF 148 KB) Download Adobe Reader.
As energy costs rise, many consumers are turning to green-building practices to make their homes more energy-efficient, and builders are offering more efficient options. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported in August that its members are using more products that will improve the energy efficiency of homes and lower energy costs for consumers thinking of buying or remodeling a home. These products include renewable technologies such as solar water heaters; ENERGY STAR-rated appliances; and energy-efficient, low-emittance (Low-E) windows. The market is expanding to meet this demand, and the National Association of Home Builders predicts that prices will decrease as more products become available. See the NAHB press release.