What Defines a “Green” Home?

Posted by Greg Smith on Tuesday, December 6th, 2011 at 9:14pm.

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More and more consumers are looking to reduce their impact on the environment and simplify their lives. Part of this movement is the building of "Green" homes.

But what does it take to make a home green? For some people the goal of using recycled materials and implementing strategies to lower thier energy bill are all ways to build a green home and achieve the green label.

In reality to truly be labeled green homes have to pass stringent standards. 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.

The national standard that has been held out to truly define a green home or building is meeting or exceeding the guidelines defined by LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED originally began 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.

The points cover a broad spectrum one example 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.

And do not forget the next time you are looking for that perfect green home for sale in Boulder CO or Nederland CO do not forget we are you Boulder County resource for all of your housing needs.  We know the market

Greg Smith

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