Many people know of the LEED program and its general goals, but the specifics can be rather involved. The requirements vary by building type and change over time.
This is just a very brief introduction and overview of the LEED for Homes rating system, which encourages the construction of homes that use less energy, water and natural resources, create less waste, and are more durable and comfortable. It is a quite comprehensive program and much more information is available on the U. S. Green Building Council website.
The rating system measures performance in the following eight categories.
Innovation and Design Process (ID)
Includes comprehensive project planning, orientation for solar design, durability planning and also covers innovative measures not currently addressed elsewhere.
Location and Linkages (LL)
Encourages the construction of homes near existing services, facilities and transportation.
Sustainable Sites (SS)
Promotes minimization of the impact of construction on the site, proper surface water management and erosion control, and the use of compact development.
Water Efficiency (WE)
Encourages efficient water usage both indoors and outdoors and the reuse of water where possible.
Energy and Atmosphere (EA)
Advocates improved energy efficiency with better building envelope design and more efficient heating and cooling systems, energy efficient lighting and appliances, and encourages the use of renewable energy.
Materials and Resources (MR)
Promotes the efficient use of materials, reduced construction waste, and the use of environmentally preferable products and the recycling of construction materials.
Indoor Environmental Quality (EQ)
Strives for improved indoor air quality with the use of controlled ventilation, moisture control and airborne contamination control.
Awareness and Education (AE)
Includes provisions for education of the homeowner (in this case, me) about the operation and maintenance features of the home along with the promotion of public awareness.
The LEED for Homes rating system provides for up to 136 potential points leading to a LEED rating of Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum.