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What is LEED for Homes?


The United States Green Building Council created LEED as a rating system for green building. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) LEED for Homes applies this rating system to “green” homes. A green home uses less energy, water, and natural resources; creates less waste; and is healthier and more comfortable for the occupants. Benefits of a LEED home include lower energy and water bills; reduced greenhouse gas emissions; and less exposure to mold, mildew and other indoor toxins. The net cost of owning a LEED home is comparable to that of owning a conventional home.


The LEED-H rating system has eight categories:


  1. Innovation and Design Process – any trait of the design that goes above and beyond the following categories can be considered an innovative credit.
  2. Location and Linkages – Building in a densely populated area with access to mass transit is better than building in an undeveloped area that only allows the use of private automobile transportation.
  3. Sustainable Sites – Minimizing the impact of your home’s footprint on the land is beneficial to the environment.
  4. Water Efficiency – Conserving water both indoor and outdoor of the home is a good green building practice.
  5. Energy and Atmosphere – Improving the home’s energy efficiency is not only good for the environment, it’s good for your utility bills!
  6. Materials and Resources – Using materials that are sustainable reduces the amount of materials that are thrown into the landfills every year.
  7. Indoor Environmental Quality – Improving your indoor air quality adds years to your home’s life as well as your family’s.
  8. Awareness and Education – Educating the homeowner on sustainable practices helps encourage green building practices.




Barbara Buffaloe, Architectural Studies, College of Human Environmental Studies, University of Missouri-Columbia




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Last update: Monday, May 18, 2009




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