Commitment to Sustainable Real Estate

Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for homes is a voluntary rating system that promotes the design and construction of high-performance green homes, including affordable housing, mass-production homes, custom designs, stand-alone single-family homes, duplexes and townhouses, suburban and urban apartments and condominiums and lofts in historic buildings.

LEED recognizes performance in eight areas:

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    Indoor Environmental Quality The quality of the air indoors is often two to five times worse, and occasionally more than 100 times worse, than outdoor air, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. A LEED home is designed to maximize fresh air indoors and minimize exposure to toxins and pollutants.

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    Energy Efficiency The average American household spends around $1,500 every year on energy bills, according to the U.S. government’s ENERGY STAR program. Based on average ENERGY STAR scores of LEED homes built so far, they have the potential to use 20-30% less energy, and some up to 60% less energy, than a home built to the International Code Council’s standards for minimum energy efficiency. Less energy use means lower utility bills every month through the life of a house.

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    Water Efficiency Wasteful water use is both costly and risky, as population growth and a changing climate make clean, safe water an increasingly scarce resource. It is also directly tied to wasteful energy use: As much as 1/4-1/2 of the electricity used by most U.S. cities is consumed at municipal water and wastewater treatment facilities, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. LEED homes use innovative strategies to reduce a home’s water use and to find creative ways to reuse water.

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    Site Selection The old truism about prime real estate – location, location, location – is especially true of green homes. LEED encourages homes that are close to schools, shopping, work and transit, maximizing your quality of life and reducing the amount of time you waste in traffic.

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    Site Development During construction and beyond, a home can cause erosion, interfere with natural habitats and pollute waterways through stormwater runoff. LEED homes avoid destructive construction practices and have landscaping and other elements that protect the land where the home sits.

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    Materials Selection The materials and resources that go into a home can be carefully selected from sustainably harvested, responsibly processed sources – or they can be wasteful and contribute to habitat destruction. LEED homes use recycled, reclaimed and responsibly obtained materials everywhere possible.

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    Residents' Awareness LEED is proactive in educating homeowners and renters about a home’s green features and how to get the highest performance from them. A LEED home also stands as an example to the community of a well-built home and encourages others to live the same.

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    Innovation LEED encourages builders and designers to find innovative ways to increase a home’s performance, taking into account local and regional needs and promoting durability for a long-lasting, comfortable home.

For even more information on the U.S. Green Building Council and its LEED programs, please visit their website at