The US Green Building Council (USGBC) has announced that over 20,000 homes across the country have earned certification through the USGBC’s LEED for Homes program. Like the LEED certification program for government and business buildings, LEED for Homes is a national voluntary certification system that provides guidance and verification for homes that are designed and built to be energy- and resource-efficient and healthy for occupants.
As the USGBC has always been committed to “a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings,” this is quite a major achievement. By using the LEED green building certification program to promote and achieve their mission of market transformation, the USGBC has been the leading promoter of green buildings in the US.
In a statement, Nate Kredich, Vice President of Residential Market Development, USGBC said: “There are green homes, and then there are LEED homes. This milestone is evidence that the residential market is increasingly recognizing this fact. LEED for Homes is moving the residential market further and faster towards high-performing, healthy homes that save residents money.”
What is also impressive about this milestone is that the types of houses that have achieved the LEED certification are as varied as the whole of the residential market. They include multi- and single-family homes which encompass both market rate and affordable housing. While 20,000 homes have been certified since the LEED for Homes programs launched in 2008, it is impressive to learn that nearly 79,000 additional units are in the pipeline.
Among the recently recipients of the award are eight LEED Platinum certified affordable homes in the Coconut Cove development in Cape Coral, Florida, developed by Southwest Florida Affordable Housing Choice Foundation, Inc. and AMLI at Escena, the first two LEED Gold low-rise multifamily buildings in Texas, built by AMLI Residential.
With figures like this, it is not surprising to learn that the green building market is booming and the number of green homes are expected to grow to between 29% to 38% by 2016, equating to $87-$114 billion.