How To Officially Have Green Real Estate | Homes in Golden

Posted by Greg Smith on Tuesday, April 12th, 2011 at 3:17pm.

What does it take to make a home green? For some people, the answer is simple. Using recycled materials and finding ways to lower your energy bill are all ways people assume get their house the green label.

It might not be that simple, though. The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) governs different sustainable practices and consists of the nation’s leaders in a variety of different industries. Its main goal is to encourage environmentally friendly building projects in which people can live and work. According to USGBC, performing a few sustainable practices in your home is just the beginning to getting your home considered green.

Instead, the nationally accepted benchmark for buildings that are considered green is LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It originally launched in 1998 and is a home rating system that encourages the design and construction of green homes. There are eight different categories used in its rating system. Each category has a certain number of credits which, in turn, are worth one or more points. United States homes are given a certification rating by LEED based on the number of points they scored.

What are some of these categories, then? Points can be awarded for innovation and design process. They can also be awarded for the home’s location and its relation to the larger community. In addition, there are points for sites that are sustainable and being fully used. So too are there points for water efficiency, materials and resources and energy and atmosphere. Points are awarded for the latter based on how energy efficient a particular home is. Lastly, points can also be awarded for relevant education to the homeowner or any other resident living in the building.

So the next time you hear someone tell you their home is green, you now have a basis from which to judge the accuracy of their statements. It takes more than simply maintaining a few sustainable practices to make a home green. The USGBC and LEED ratings, in particular, have a more balanced and impartial set of standards in place to ensure just that.

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Greg Smith

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