“One of the most important investments a person will make is in their home, and the quality of these spaces can have a direct impact on an individual’s health and well-being,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC. “As an industry, we want to find ways to raise everyone’s living standard, so we need to prioritize the construction and remodeling of homes so that they are not only environmentally friendly, but they also have the power to improve the quality of life for all human beings.”
The report also outlines the top 10 states for LEED-certified homes in the U.S., with California coming in at number one. California is home to nearly 40,000 certified residential units, followed by Texas with more than 24,500. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. LEED certification is available for virtually all building types as well as single-family homes, neighborhoods, cities and communities.
On average, LEED-certified homes use 20 to 30 percent less energy than a traditional home, with some homeowners reporting up to 60 percent savings. In addition to minimizing energy, waste and water, certified homes are designed to support human health and comfort. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates Americans spend about 90 percent of their time indoors where pollutants can be two to five times more concentrated than outdoors. LEED encourages design that maximizes indoor fresh air and uses materials that help reduce exposure to toxins and pollutants connected to asthma, allergies and other respiratory issues. The top states for LEED green homes include:
|Top 10 States for LEED-certified Residential Units|
|Rank||State||Number of Certified Residential Units||Gross Square Footage of Space|
“It can be difficult to see why prioritizing a green home is important, but the environmental and personal health outcomes are very real,” added Ramanujam. “Our own research tells us people understand reducing waste, conserving energy and water, and limiting our carbon footprint is important, but it can feel too daunting. By building and buying green homes we make those actions easier to do, while also creating a healthier, more sustainable environment for ourselves and future generations.”
Looking ahead, construction of green multifamily and single-family homes will continue to grow through 2022 and LEED plays an important role in verifying that progress and activity. To help keep pace with changing trends and technologies, in April, USGBC opened registration for LEED v4.1 Residential, the latest version of the rating system. Builders can learn more about LEED and review the certification resources online to get started.