10 Facts About the LEED Ratings System


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Think Outside the Box

The LEED guidelines are extremely detailed, extensive and complex. As you can tell just from this list, they painstakingly track hundreds of measures that can make a home more environmentally sustainable.

But you can also claim points for green improvements that the USGBC has never even thought of. The program sets aside up to six bonus points for environmental improvements that go above and beyond what LEED has outlined in its guidelines [source: U.S. Green Building Council]. Obviously, it might not be possible for every individual to come up with some revolutionary new idea in environmental construction. Even builders or contractors that you hire might not have many fresh ideas, unless they have training in green construction. So, if you want to aim for the highest LEED certification level but don't have the foggiest idea how to exceed the standards, you can hire LEED accredited contractors, architects or designers. LEED accreditation provides special training in environmental construction and technology. Hiring one of those professionals can net you the six bonus points, and save you the time of trying to invent the next great energy-saving technology [source: U.S. Green Building Council].

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Sources

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  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Healthy Community Design." May 2009. (Feb. 17, 2011)http://www.cdc.gov/healthyplaces/publications/CS_124788%20Healthy%20Community%20Design%20and%20LEED%20ND%20fact%20sheet%20PRESS.pdf
  • Miller, Stephani L. "First LEED Platinum Home in Chicago Sets Sustainability Example." Custom Home Online. Oct. 15, 2009. (Feb. 22, 2011)http://www.customhomeonline.com/industry-news.asp?sectionID=204&articleID=1093750
  • Taha, Haider, David Sailor and Hashem Akbari. "High-Albedo Materials for Reducing Building Cooling Energy Use." Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, University of California. January 1992. (Feb. 17, 2011)http://www.osti.gov/bridge/servlets/purl/7000986-lpoimS/7000986.pdf
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "Heat Island Effect." Jan. 7, 2011. (Feb. 16, 2011)http://www.epa.gov/heatisld/
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  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy. "Qualified New Homes." (Feb. 16, 2011)http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=new_homes.hm_index
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