what is Leed?
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is a certification process that was set up by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to certify green homes. LEED for Homes is an initiative designed to promote the transformation of the mainstream homebuilding industry toward more sustainable practices. It is a collaborative initiative that actively works with all sectors of the homebuilding industry to target new homes with best practice environmental features. LEED represents a consensus standard for green homebuilding developed and refined by a diverse group of national experts and experienced green builders.
Projects pursuing LEED certification earn points across several areas to include:
- sustainable sites (SS) - The Sustainable Sites (SS) category rewards decisions about the environment surrounding the building, with credits that emphasize the vital relationships among buildings, ecosystems, and ecosystem services. It focuses on restoring project site elements, integrating the site with local and regional ecosystems, and preserving the biodiversity that natural systems rely on.
- water efficiency (WE) - The Water Efficiency (WE) section addresses water holistically, looking at indoor use, outdoor use, specialized uses, and metering. The section is based on an “efficiency first” approach to water conservation. As a result, each prerequisite looks at water efficiency and reductions in potable water use alone. Then, the WE credits additionally recognize the use of nonpotable and alternative sources of water.
- energy and atmosphere (EA) - The Energy and Atmosphere (EA) category approaches energy from a holistic perspective, addressing energy use reduction, energy-efficient design strategies, and renewable energy sources.
- materials and resources (MR) - The Materials and Resources (MR) credit category focuses on minimizing the embodied energy and other impacts associated with the extraction, processing, transport, maintenance, and disposal of building materials. The requirements are designed to support a life-cycle approach that improves performance and promotes resource efficiency. Each requirement identifies a specific action that fits into the larger context of a life-cycle approach to embodied impact reduction.
- indoor environmental quality (EQ) - The Indoor Environmental Quality (EQ) category rewards decisions made by project teams about indoor air quality and thermal, visual, and acoustic comfort. Green buildings with good indoor environmental quality protect the health and comfort of building occupants. High-quality indoor environments also enhance productivity, decrease absenteeism, improve the building’s value, and reduce liability for building designers and owners. This category addresses the myriad design strategies and environmental factors—air quality, lighting quality, acoustic design, control over one’s surroundings—that influence the way people learn, work, and live.
- location and transportation (LT) - The Location and Transportation (LT) category rewards thoughtful decisions about building location, with credits that encourage compact development, alternative transportation, and connection with amenities, such as restaurants and parks. The LT category is an outgrowth of the Sustainable Sites category, which formerly covered location-related topics. Whereas the SS category now specifically addresses on-site ecosystem services, the LT category considers the existing features of the surrounding community and how this infrastructure affects occupants’ behavior and environmental performance.
- innovation in design (IN) - Sustainable design strategies and measures are constantly evolving and improving. New technologies are continually introduced to the marketplace, and up- to-date scientific research influences building design strategies. The purpose of this LEED category is to recognize projects for innovative building features and sustainable building practices and strategies.
- regional priority (RP) - Because some environmental issues are particular to a locale, volunteers from USGBC chapters and the LEED International Roundtable have identified distinct environmental priorities within their areas and the credits that address those issues. These Regional Priority credits encourage project teams to focus on their local environmental priorities.
Based on the number of points achieved, a project then receives one of four LEED rating levels:
LEED Certified homes receive a significant tax abatement in Cincinnati
The below chart is a representation of the various LEED levels and their corresponding max tax abatement amounts and durations. In an effort to promote homeownership within City limits, the City of Cincinnati offers residential tax abatement for LEED rate homes.
LEED is changing the way we think about how buildings and communities are planned, constructed, maintained and operated.
A home is more than just shelter. Our home is the most important building in our life. LEED homes are built to be healthy, providing clean indoor air and incorporating safe building materials to ensure a comfortable home.
LEED-certified buildings are resource efficient. They use less water and energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And as a bonus, they save money! Using less energy and water means lower utility bills each month.
Certified green homes typically sell faster and for more money than the comparable non-green homes. We believe in building a quality home and this is why we incorporate LEED for Homes specifications in every home we build.