As more people seek out ways to reduce their environmental footprints, green homes are becoming increasingly popular.
Conventional homes tend to be a major contributor toward carbon emissions. The average household releases more than twice as much CO2 as the average car per year, and in 2014 alone, households accounted for 21.8% of total U.S. energy consumption. That’s not even taking into account the impact of new construction.
With existing housing inventory shrinking across the country, prospective homeowners are turning to new construction or renovation as a solution. But building and remodeling homes often involves the use of unsustainably sourced materials and produces excessive waste. Fortunately, one of the highest standards in green building design, LEED, is gaining momentum in the U.S.
Consumers in the market for a new home value energy-efficient features over luxury items.
What Is LEED?
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a rating system that provides a framework for green building practices. Buildings can be awarded one of four certification levels, depending on the number of requirements a project meets. LEED homes are designed to promote efficiency, improve comfort and quality of life, reduce maintenance, and minimize environmental impact. Since 2017, the number of LEED-certified single- and multi-family homes has grown 19%, representing more than 400,000 units. LEED offers a viable alternative for those looking to build or renovate without sacrificing sustainability.
Benefits of LEED-Certified Homes
Improve indoor air quality, use less water, and utilize sustainable building materials.
Use an average of 20–30% (sometimes up to 60%) less energy than a standard home built to code.
Provide the potential for higher resale value. A recent study found that LEED-certified homes experienced an 8% boost in value between 2008 and 2016.
According to the U.S. Green Building Council, green homes can be built for the same price as — or sometimes less than — conventional homes. While it requires an average cost of 2.4% more up front, homeowners typically recoup it through the long-term cost-saving benefits of going green.
Interested in pursuing LEED certification for your home? Learn more about energy-efficient financing options.
 Energy.gov, Energy Data Facts.
 Shelton Group, Energy Pulse Study.
 U.S. Green Building Council, LEED in Motion: Residential report.
 U.S. Green Building Council, Press Room.