What is a Leed Certified® Sustainable Home?

Published March 26, 2021.
Est. Reading: 4 minutes

LEED is a point-based certification barometer that analyzes the performance of a home as a green home. A green home’s goal is to have a productive influence on the efficiency of energy, environmental impact, and human quality of life and well-being.

High-Performance Green Homes

The design and construction of a LEED-certified home fall under strict guidelines produced by the LEED for Homes green building certification program. This third-party verified, consensus-developed voluntary rating system endorses and promotes all kinds of sustainable eco-friendly homes. Architecture and construction are important when building these high-performance green-homes. All types of homes can be LEED-certified including; suburban and urban apartments, stand-alone single-family homes, custom designs, duplexes, and townhomes. Building a home of this nature increases the green footprint in the neighborhood they are built-in, showcasing progression and ingenuity in large proportions.

The Value Sustainable Living Brings

A Leed-certified home can represent something different to the category or sector you are looking at, so context is important to help understand the true value of LEED;

What Does LEED Mean for Homebuilders?

  • During the design and construction of a green home, LEED is a tool used to set targets and track progress for home builders and construction professionals alike.

What Does LEED Mean for Homebuyers?

  • LEED is like a school report given to a parent for homebuyers. It provides a clear indication of performance in the areas that matter and how satisfying the overall points match up for a green home.

What Does LEED Mean for Residents?

  • By delivering fresh air indoors and improved water and energy efficiency, LEED is a seal of quality for residents. It gives a certain assurance that they are living in a home designed for both the planet and their well-being.

To become a LEED Certified home, what are the steps?

  • Registration: your construction or building team registers a new home project via the LEED for Homes program.
  • Teamwork: A plethora of key individuals and groups work in tandem to establish the best way forward and how to incorporate all the benefits of a green home in a professional and efficient manner. This requires close collaboration from builders, architects, and engineers to plan how all the elements will fit together.
  • Verification: To verify that a project is on course and meeting expectations, there are significant milestone inspections carried out during the construction of the home. These often include an ENERGY STAR rating among other established point-scoring schemes.
  • Certification: At the project's conclusion, the home is awarded points for its achievements. The home can be certified at one of four levels: Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum based on the number of points it receives in various categories and against the strict criteria set by the awarding body.

How much does it cost for a home to be LEED certified?

This will depend on a variety of factors. The overall cost will vary from home to home as each one is so unique, containing different compositions. Pricing will be determined by which specific items you choose from the checklist. Other elements contributing to the final sum will include; consultation time, location, amount of units to build, and the certification cost. This includes; all set-up fees for the required Energy Star certification, the Green Rater, and Green Built Alliance. This excludes any upgrades, repeat clients, volume projects, and multi-family projects.

Can I Still Get My Home Certified if Construction has Begun on my House?

Absolutely! However, there will be a few obstacles. If a home is already framed, it can be hard to meet the required criteria. For example, if the insulation on a home cannot be inspected because it is already covered up then certification cannot be awarded. In all instances, your home will be subject to a design review and you will be asked to officially document any items that cannot be inspected. The home can attain certification if all the program prerequisites are met sufficiently but it is a much easier process, the earlier you get it going and enroll in it.

What is a LEED for Homes Provider?

The primary role of the LEED for Homes Provider is to offer administration locally. They act as a local resource for project teams implementing the LEED-Homes program and provide local supervision of Green Raters in the area. The provider cannot certify projects but submits them to the governing body for certification when appropriate.

If I Want a Move-in Ready LEED home, How Do I Find a Reputable Builder?

The most straightforward and efficient way to find a builder for your sustainable home is to get in touch with a LEED-Homes Provider. You can contact them in the same way you would for a traditional home move as they are usually located in most, if not all of the leading housing markets. Providers have lots of first-hand knowledge as they support and work directly with Calgary infill home builders on all local projects.

Efficient Living

Sustainable living is a step in the right direction. LEED has recognized the needs and wants for this type of housing. Their informative tools and certifications help create guidelines and understanding for clients and builders. LEED is an innovative program that helps us live in more efficient homes, providing a better, cleaner, and more sustainable planet for all.

Sustainable Housing - A Great Alternative 

LEED has been gathering momentum for years now and by attracting Calgary custom home builders of all sized homes they have been able to offer realistic alternatives to traditional homes. The construction companies and Calgary inner city home builders fully back LEED as it not only makes financial sense, it also helps hit environmental targets and match sustainability goals.

At Sunset Homes, we believe in giving each client the scope to turn their dreams into a reality. With experience and our reputation setting us apart, we are a green company that puts sustainability at the heart of everything we do.

If you are considering building a sustainable, LEED-certified home contact Sunset Homes today.

Learn more about our Calgary custom homes and major renovations and follow our progress on FacebookInstagram, and Houzz!

Too Long Didn’t Read (TLDR)

LEED for Homes is a point-based system for rating how sustainably built your home is; analyzing the efficiency of your systems and which materials you put in your home. The goal of a green home is to have a positive influence on environmental impact and human quality of life and well-being. Sustainable homes are a smart option for home builders.


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