Report Shows Growth In Demand For Green Homes

Green homes use less energyThe US Green Building Council (USGBC) now estimates that there are as many as 150,000 LEED-certified green housing units worldwide, a number that more than doubled between 2011 and 2012 and continues to grow steadily, according to the organization’s LEED in Motion: Residential report released last week.

The report is the latest in USGBC’s popular LEED in Motion series designed to equip readers with the insight and knowledge to understand LEED, the world’s most widely used and recognized green building rating system, and to make the case for sustainable building practices worldwide.

With the official start of summer and Americans bracing for higher energy bills, the benefits of LEED-certified houses are even more pronounced. LEED-certified homes provide 20 to 30 percent savings in energy and water use compared to code-built homes, and they maximize fresh air indoors while minimizing exposure to airborne toxins and pollutants.

“Our homes are more than just spaces that provide shelter,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. “Homes touch practically every aspect of our lives and are a critical element of our overall sense of safety, identity and community. Enhancing our homes’ efficiency and resilience offers an extraordinary opportunity to further the revolution in sustainable building and living practices so that it ripples outward to our communities. As demonstrated in LEED in Motion: Residential, this movement is already well under way.”

Featuring a foreword from Nest CEO and founder Tony Fadell, the report explores the multiple LEED rating systems for different types of homes, including new single-family homes as well as new and existing low-rise, mid-rise and high-rise multifamily buildings. USGBC is also developing a rating system for existing single-family homes.

Interesting facts from the report include:

  • There are as many as 150,000 LEED-certified residential units (under LEED for Homes and commercial rating systems)
  • 43% of LEED for Homes units fall into the affordable housing sector
  • The US, Canada and Saudi Arabia are the top 3 countries for LEED for Homes certified units
  • California leads the U.S. in LEED for Homes certified units, followed by Texas

LEED in Motion: Residential also highlights the importance of local policy in spurring the uptake of green homes as well as noting the important connections between green homes and occupant health and well-being.

The report is currently available as a free download on the USGBC website at go.usgbc.org/homes with hard copies available at Dwell on Design Los Angeles, the largest design event in the US, June 20-22, 2014.

Source: US Green Building Council

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