About green homes
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) homes are green homes that are transforming the residential market and people’s lives around the world. We spend 90 percent of our time indoor, the majority of that time in our own homes. LEED homes are built to be healthier and safer by providing cleaner indoor air. They use less energy and water, leading to monthly savings on utilities, and maintain their value over time.
The LEED for Homes rating system is specifically designed so that both single-family and multi-family homes can earn LEED certification, which are in high demand across the country.
Green homes create value
- Nationwide, the typical household spends about $2,150 on residential energy bills each year, but LEED-certified homes are designed to use about 30 to 60 percent less energy, leading to thousands of dollars in cost savings over the seven or eight years the typical family lives in a home.
- Green homes are increasingly desirable. More than half of consumers rank green and energy-efficiency as top requirements for their next homes, and LEED certification is a top individual attribute of apartment rentals, second only to location near a central business district.
- Green homes can be built for the same cost as—and sometimes less than—conventional homes. Average upfront costs of 2.4 percent are quickly recouped, as a homeowner will save money for the duration of his or her green home’s lifespan.
- Green homes sell at higher prices and faster than comparable, conventional homes. According to a 2016 report, “What Is Green Worth? Unveiling High-Performance Home Premiums in Washington, D.C.," by real estate appraiser and author Sandra K. Adomatis and the Institute for Market Transformation, high-performing single family and multi-family homes with green features in Washington, D.C. will sell for 3.5 percent more than those without green features.
- In a 2017 report, “The Value of LEED Homes in the Austin-Round Rock Real Estate Market: A Statistical Analysis of Sale Premiums for Green Certification,” by the University of Texas-Austin and USGBC found that homes in the Austin-Round Rock area of Texas sell for a premium of 6-8 percent.
- It is estimated that by 2018, the green, single-family housing market will represent about 40 percent of the market, and 84 percent of all residential construction will have sustainable features.
- More than 430,000 residential units around the world have earned LEED certification, and this number continues to rise in countries like the United States, Canada, Saudi Arabia and China. Within the United States, states with the most LEED-certified homes include California, Texas, New York, New Jersey and Georgia.
Green homes are healthier and safer
- The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that indoor air is two to ten times more polluted than outdoor air. LEED-certified homes are designed to maximize the quality of indoor air and minimize exposure to airborne toxins and pollutants. They require proper ventilation, high-efficiency air filters and measures to reduce mold and mildew.
- Each LEED-certified home undergoes onsite inspections, detailed documentation review and performance testing to ensure the health and safety of home dwellers.
- Levels of indoor air pollutants can often be four to five times higher than outdoor levels, and with people spending an average of 90 percent of their time indoors, the average American suffers from significant exposure to unhealthy indoor environments. LEED residential units provide significant value to consumers through dramatically improving upon these environmental health factors.
- Green homes are built to be energy-efficient, ensuring that they can be comfortably heated and cooled with minimal energy usage. They are individually tested to minimize envelope and ductwork leakage and designed to minimize indoor and outdoor water usage.