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10 Facts About the LEED Ratings System


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Say Goodbye to Your Lawn
You'll get credit for doing away with a conventional grass yard because of its demand for water.
You'll get credit for doing away with a conventional grass yard because of its demand for water.
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LEED standards focus on the landscape design of a home, not just exterior and interior features of the building itself. The guidelines pay particular attention to how much grass you can plant. Anyone who takes care of a sprawling green lawn understands the amounts of water required to keep grass growing and bright green. LEED understands too, and so they give credit toward certification for homes that use less "conventional turf" (in other words, a grass lawn) [source: U.S. Green Building Council]. Those points are weighted depending on what percentage of your yard is covered in grass. For yards covered 20 percent or less by conventional turf, you can net three LEED points. No points are awarded if the turf takes up more than 60 percent of the yard [source: U.S. Green Building Council]. Other stipulations over the use of grass include a ban on turf in shaded areas, or in areas that are steeply sloped. No matter what percentage of your yard is taken up by the lawn, you need to make sure all of the grass is drought tolerant to qualify for any points. The USGBC recommends using mulch and other plantings to cover the rest [source: U.S. Green Building Council].


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