How to Build a Green House With LEED

  • 06 Mar 2022 12:05
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How to Build a Green House With LEED

 

This post is by David Guion, SustainingOurWorld. Learn how to build a greenhouse using LEED. Enjoy!

You may have seen news stories claiming that LEED certification was granted to a new hotel, office, or university building. This certification is a huge deal for anyone concerned about the environment. You can apply for LEED certification to build a greener house. To set sustainability standards, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), developed LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design). This standard covers factors such as energy efficiency, water conservation, indoor air quality, and the use of eco-friendly materials.

To earn their credentials, builders and other construction professionals must pass tests. Based on the number of points earned, projects can earn one of four LEED certification levels. Basic certification is required to earn at least 40 points. Silver certification must be at least 50 points. Gold certification must be at least 60 points. Platinum certification needs at least 80 points. Single-family and multi-family homes with one to six stories can be certified as homes.

First, hire an architect and a LEED-certified builder if you're building a house. The architect and builder will help you choose the type of house that you would like, and then you will tell them how to get it certified.

Why get LEED Certification

Building a LEED-certified home will cost you more upfront. LEED places restrictions on the areas you can build it. What is the reward?

It will be cheaper to live in. It will be properly insulated, not only the ceilings and walls but also the plumbing and heating. The placement of windows and doors will maximize sunlight and natural breezes. It will require less water if it has low-flow plumbing fixtures. What are the restrictions on what you can build? You will find schools and shops close to your house. This means that you will be able to walk or bike more places. Your car will be used less which means that you'll need to maintain it less often, use less gasoline, and may qualify for lower insurance rates. The freedom to leave your car at home will help you improve your physical health.

It will also be more comfortable to live in. Paints and other materials that aren't toxic to volatile organic compounds will be used by the builder. The indoor air quality will be much better when you move into a homemade from non-toxic volatile organic compounds. To maintain indoor air quality, the ventilation system will bring in fresh air from outside. It will regulate indoor moisture to prevent mold growth. You will find mats at every door that can be used to clean your shoes, and shelves that can hold them. There will be no need to deal with any contaminants that are tracked in by others. You and your family will not develop allergies or other illnesses from polluted indoor air. You will pay less for medicines and doctor visits.

It will also help you when you sell your house. A LEED-certified house will be yours. You can boast about it! You can use USGBC approved language in advertising. Your house will be more expensive because it is healthier and more efficient. It will sell quicker and be more appealing to buyers even in a down market.

Fourth, sustainable building practices won't cost you any extra. The LEED house does not disturb wildlife habitats. It produces less construction waste and sends less to landfills.

How to obtain LEED certification

There are two ways to earn LEED points for your home. Your builder can look over the LEED checklist with you and help you either aim to earn full credit or find ways to get as many points as possible by making simple choices. These are just a few:

1. You can build a smaller house. Over the past 50 years, the size of houses has increased while households have shrunk in size. Inefficiently using that space can result in a lot of wasted space. You can make the most of your bedroom space by making it as big as you want, regardless of how you intend to use it.

2. Infill projects are those that are built on land that was previously used for another purpose. You can earn up to 10 location credits for your house.

3. You can build on a smaller lot.

4. You can live close to schools, public transportation, shopping, and walking/biking trails.

5. Choose a detached garage. A breezeway can be built to protect your home from the rain. A breezeway can be used for many other purposes. Another point is to add a bench and shelves for shoe storage. Ask for shoe storage at each door while you're at the same time.

6. You can choose not to install a fireplace.

7. Ask for local materials, concrete with fly ash, recycling construction waste, and other sustainable options.

8. For lighting control, ask for motion detectors and timers.

9. Ask for a central vacuum system.

10. Ask for water-saving faucets and showerheads as well as water-saving irrigation systems for your garden and yard.

11. For insulated hot water pipes, ask.

12. Even if your site is not at high risk of radon, ask for a soil gas venting system.

13. Instead of carpeting walls to walls, consider hardwood flooring. For large areas, you can buy area rugs.

14. Ask for low VOC paints, and other materials. Also, ask about ways to prevent termites from spreading without using poisonous materials. The better, the less wood is used for framing and other tasks.

15. Upgrade your heating and air conditioning filters.

To earn LEED certification, your house must have at least 40 points. These decisions can help you gain even more. These easy LEED points will be well-known to your LEED-certified builder and architect, but they may hesitate before suggesting them. You can be certain that they will be considered when you bring them up. Your architect or builder will be able to see your commitment to building a sustainable home and may offer additional suggestions.

Infill would be a construction here, but infill is more economically viable on larger plots that have enough room for multiple houses.

Source: Richard Spekking

Sources:

LEED Green Building Rating Systems / U.S. Green Building Council

Is it worth the effort to have your home LEED-certified? / Christie Matheson (How Stuff Works)

How to cheat at LEED for Homes (Carl Seville, Green Building Advisor May 24, 2011)


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