Green Home Certification: What You Need to Know

Learn more about and better understand the criteria for LEED for Homes and Green Globes eco-certification systems.

| March/April 2006

In coming years, homebuyers will hear about green-building certifications, but how do you distinguish between tough standards that make a difference and greenwash? Here’s how “green” is defined under two certifications—LEED for Homes and Green Globes—although others are sure to come. Also, keep in mind that if you can afford to custom build, you can be your own quality controller by partnering with a trustworthy builder to create a new home that meets your standards for health, comfort and sustainability.

LEED: Coming soon to a home near you

Ready to buy or build a new home? Trying to figure out how to make that easy on the environment? How do you compare all the materials and technologies available? By 2007 the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) plans to offer a rating system of environmental standards for new homes to help prospective homeowners make more informed decisions.

What is LEED? 

In 2000, the USGBC established the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program—the green equivalent of the Good Housekeeping Seal—for commercial buildings. Soon the council will offer the same kind of certification for residential building.

Redefining green

The LEED for Homes program will demonstrate that a high-performance, sustainable house includes comfort, quiet, a healthy indoor environment, low maintenance and beauty, says USGBC spokesperson Jim Hackler.

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