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What Is A LEED Home?

Real Estate Agent with thredUP.com

Caring for the EarthIn the world of Real Estate there are many options for building.  All around the world groups are making efforts on building homes that are more friendly to the environment, and promote healthy living for the people that live in them.  Many products can adversely affect not just the environment, but your health as well.  The awareness of these products are being taken to a whole new level and consumers seem to be begging for more in many areas.

A LEED Home is a product brought together by the USGBCLEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.  Many consumers are aware of the Energy Star product, but please do not confuse these two. 

LEED Homes are very unique.  There is a wide array of products that can go into one, so many that I will not talk about all of them here.  But I will tell you what features make a home LEEDThere is a checklist for each one, so I will go down the list and talk about some of it in a little detail.  A LEED home is not required to have everything but must have a minimum. 

Location- The home must not be near Environmentally sensitive areas and have infrastructure leading to it.  Another point is water.  There must be existing water nearby.

Sustainable Site-  There are a few features here:

  • Erosion Control: Not likely to erode from the foundation and landscaping
  • Landscaping: Drought tolerant plans, non-invasive plants
  • Shading:  Believe it or not, shade trees can significantly reduce your utility bills. If there are not shade trees it is recommended to plant some
  • Surface Water Control:  Pools of water on the property can negatively affect many things
  • Non-Toxic Pest Control:  Toxins in Pest Control can affect you as a person, ground, plants..basically anything it touches

Water Efficiency- Managing your water usage is important.  This could be based on many items. Here are a few:

  • Rain Water Harvesting
  • Irrigation System
  • Indoor Water Use- faucets, toilets, etc.

Energy and Atmosphere- This section gets into Greenhouse gasses and Energy Efficiency which lowers your utility bills for the life of the home.

  • Energy Star Home- Again, this is different than LEED.  A home has to be certified as Energy Star which varies by region that the home is built.  I will cover that in another post.
  • Water Heating
  • Refrigerant Management- Loss of Refrigerant in the Atmosphere is not a good thing.

Materials and Resources- Here is a section where many products can be used.  But here is a small overview of what they look for.

  • Material Efficient Framing- Not a whole lot of wasted materials. 
  • Environmentally Preferable Products
  • Waste Management

Indoor Environmental Quality- This is where YOU come in.  Here are features that would help the air quality of your home.

  • Energy Star with Indoor Air Package- Most would know this as a whole house HEPA Filter.  It reduces 99.9% of allergens in the home.
  • Moisture Control- Reduces occurrences of mildew/mold
  • Outdoor Air Ventilation- Proper ventilation between indoors and outdoors is a necessity for healthier living.
  • Local Exhaust
  • Supply Air Distribution
  • Supply Air Filtering
  • Contaminant Control-  Central Vacuum would fall under this category. The dust and allergens stay out of the air.
  • Radon Protection
  • Garage Pollutant Protection

Awareness and Education- This is the last one.  It is recommended that anyone living in a LEED be educated on the products used.  This includes tenants if it is a lease home.

Global FireLEED Homes are:

  • Quieter due to better insulation
  • Healthier due to products used
  • Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • Lower your utility bills
  • Have less maintenance required  

I will be posting on different products that make up a LEED home.  It would take a Novel to put it all here.  But the main point to take away from this is that a LEED home is an investment.  It is an investment on the long term health of YOU and the Environment. 

For more information on LEED Homes please visit this website.


The Entire Team of Price & Company Professionals
Price & Company Realty - Myrtle Beach, SC
Great article, Stephanie!  Hopefully more people will become aware of these advances in "green" living.  Much appreciated.
Jun 18, 2007 09:02 AM
Stephanie Edwards-Musa
thredUP.com - The Woodlands, TX
knitwit at thred UP

Thanks Christopher, I hope it does.

Jun 18, 2007 09:08 AM
Ana Connell
G & C Properties - Burbank, CA
Burbank Real Estate Agent
Fantastic information Stephanie!  It would be great if eventually most homes qualified for these designations!
Jun 18, 2007 09:37 AM
Jeff R. Geoghan
Coldwell Banker Realty - Lancaster, PA
REALTOR, Marketing Manager
Good summay, Stephanie.  Well done!  I might have to reprint you on my website....with credit of course.
Jun 18, 2007 09:41 AM
Stephanie Edwards-Musa
thredUP.com - The Woodlands, TX
knitwit at thred UP

Thanks Ana, I think given time it will be code for much of this.  How long will that take is the question. :)

Hi Jeff, Thanks a bunch!

Jun 18, 2007 09:56 AM
CONTACT janeAnne365@gmail.com


THANKS so much for this succinct and easy-to-understand review. I am going to bookmark it right now...

Jun 18, 2007 10:22 AM
Stephanie Edwards-Musa
thredUP.com - The Woodlands, TX
knitwit at thred UP
You are most welcome JaneAnne!  I am glad it helped.
Jun 18, 2007 12:06 PM
Jeff Fulgham
T.U.P. Realty - Tupelo, MS
Broker E-Pro ABR

I think as humans we have to find a good balance of what we want and need and what is good for the earth. I hope that one day these type homes will be the norm. It is unfortunate that some green things are more expensive on the front end.

Another great post. You are the "man" or "woman" when it come to this subject. I think your post are probably the best, most informative of any post here.

Jun 18, 2007 02:23 PM
Stephanie Edwards-Musa
thredUP.com - The Woodlands, TX
knitwit at thred UP

Hi Jeff, what a great compliment! Thanks!  Green building is definitely a long term investment.  However, my goal is for people to understand that it is not JUST a long term FINANCIAL investment.  It is also a long term investment for you health and the environment...which goes back to health. 

Thanks for stopping by Jeff!

Jun 19, 2007 07:56 AM
Chrysti Tovani
Nick Sadek Sothebys International Realty - Sacramento, CA
Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Loved your outline of this!  I've bookmarked this page so that I can go back and read the links.  Thanks! 

Jul 07, 2007 06:48 AM
Stephanie Edwards-Musa
thredUP.com - The Woodlands, TX
knitwit at thred UP
Hi Chrystina, I hope the links help!
Jul 09, 2007 12:21 AM
Mary McGraw
GLREA - Rockford, MI
2015: Solar Energy Is Still A Simple Machine!

Hi Stephanie! Oops! I just realized I didn't leave you a comment on what a great post this is. I linked to it as a source of information for my greenwashing post because it is so informative. Thanks for creating such informational posts and being so True to healthy environments~!

Jul 09, 2007 01:17 AM
David Green
RE/MAX at The Shore - Cape May, NJ

Great post Mary,

I will be attending a LEED class this Friday, I have a feeling it will be alot of info to keep flowing.


Dave Green

Jul 09, 2007 02:35 PM
Mary McGraw
GLREA - Rockford, MI
2015: Solar Energy Is Still A Simple Machine!
David - make sure you post a blog to share at least one new idea you learn!!! 
Jul 09, 2007 02:37 PM