Cincinnati LEED and Green Home Builders
A home is more than just shelter: homes are the most important buildings in our lives. We think that every building should be a green building – but especially homes. Why? LEED homes are built to be healthy, providing clean indoor air and incorporating safe building materials to ensure a comfortable home.
Using less energy and water means lower utility bills each month. And in many markets, certiﬁed green homes are now selling quicker and for more money than comparable non-green homes. Some of the most important buildings in the world use LEED. Shouldn’t the most important building in everyone’s world use LEED, too?
Take the LEED with Green Homes
To encourage environmentally friendly construction, the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) developed the LEED program. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a green building rating system used world-wide. Buyers can look to LEED for guidance in creating a healthy, energy-efficient and cost-saving home.
The LEED program provides a point system that allows homes to achieve one of four levels: Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum. Homes with higher earned points rank at higher levels. The process is designed to inspire project teams to look for innovative ways to support health and our environment, while saving homeowners money over a project’s life cycle.
All projects applying for LEED certification must meet a set of minimum program requirements that are prerequisites. We can discuss these minimum requirements with you at the very start of your building project. Then we can work together to pick and choose the credits you want to achieve in your LEED home.
The LEED program awards points to homes built in areas that are already developed and densely populated. The program favors homes in areas that are pedestrian-friendly. Look for existing sidewalks and locations close to grocery stores or other retail shops. Homes could also be within walking distance of services or facilities such as schools, day care centers, a public library, park or place of worship.
Homes built close to public transportation earn points. It also counts to build in bike-friendly communities and include bicycle storage in your home.
During construction of a LEED home, following certain precautions helps you gain points. The program’s mandatory erosion controls during construction keep dirty, polluted water out of nearby waterways. Site work that minimizes storm-water runoff is preferred. A goal could be to preserve shading plants on the site and reduce heat islands as much as possible.
At Hensley Custom Building Group, our understanding of these procedures makes this part of the certification easy for our clients.
LEED Homes Breathe Easy
We spend most of our time indoors, yet the quality of air indoors is often two to five times worse than outdoor air. To improve indoor air quality, LEED encourages the use of efficient HVAC systems that bring filtered outdoor air inside. You can also earn LEED points choosing non-toxic carpets, paints and finishes wherever possible.
The clean-air advantage of LEED homes means a healthier environment for residents every day.
LEED Homes Conserve Water
To preserve the precious resource of water, LEED homes can earn points for using water efficiently. Faucets, showers, baths and toilets typically account for two-thirds of every home’s daily indoor water use. And outdoors, homes use 30 percent of the daily consumption of potable water in the U.S.
LEED homes do their part through high-efficiency fixtures and fittings. The use of rainwater or recycled graywater is rewarded in the certification process. These practices reduce unnecessary consumption of drinkable water.
An added bonus for homes with built-in water conservation is lower water bills month after month, year after year.
As you plan your new custom home, you’ll make hundreds of choices on materials. To achieve LEED points, homeowners can select recycled, reclaimed or locally produced materials whenever possible. If local materials aren’t an option, those that are responsibly obtained are preferable. Builders play a role here, too. LEED requires builders to minimize waste during construction. Waste that’s unavoidable should be diverted into recycling and reuse programs. It all adds up to a smart, sustainable use of resources.
While solar panels might immediately come to mind when you think of “green” homes, renewable energy is not required for LEED certification. Still, the program does reward renewable energy systems. A LEED home can include solar power or geothermal heating and cooling. These kinds of systems lower a home’s electricity demand, which reduces the amount of greenhouse gases generated over the home’s lifespan.
Let us know if you’d like more information on renewable energy for your custom home.
The Big Picture
Sustainable LEED buildings save energy, water, resources, generate less waste and support human health.LEED homes cost less to operate and attract buyers. LEED for homes doesn’t stop when construction is complete. To make the most of a green home, it should be used and maintained in an eco-friendly way throughout its lifecycle.
From native landscaping to high-efficiency light bulbs, choices you make as the homeowner going forward are important. Understanding the systems, technologies and features of your LEED home will help you get the most out of it. Your LEED home will continue to be safe for your family and pets, easier on your wallet and better for the planet for the long run.
Are you ready to start your dream home conversation?
We develop special long-lasting relationships with our clients built on trust, mutual respect and personal attention. We get to know our clients by listening to their expectations and providing individual attention to those desires. Our relationships go beyond business and last long after the house is complete. Our reliability and continued commitment to the houses we have built is unsurpassed.