The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced the introduction of its new LEED for Homes Affiliate Program, allowing regional green home building programs to promote the growing green residential market by partnering with USGBC as a LEED for Homes Affiliate. This new program is designed to work flexibly and smoothly with other third-party green home providers.
The objective of this new program is to increase the availability of the green homes stock through collaborations with local green home building programs across the country by further promoting sustainable design and energy-and-resource efficiency in all dwellings.
“This is an important step forward as we advocate for full marketplace adoption of green home building. One of the greatest benefits of the LEED green home certification program is its continual progress and flexibility,” said Nate Kredich, Vice President, Residential Market Development, USGBC. “Through the LEED for Homes Affiliate Program, green residential programs can partner with us to further promote green homes.”
According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration, households account for 20 percent of energy consumed in the U.S. and 21 percent of carbon emissions. Furthermore, the DOE reports U.S. residential energy use has grown by 34 percent since 1985. Though green home building programs are growing in popularity, the task of market transformation is an ongoing process, as some 120 million homes need energy efficiency improvements and retrofits. To address the need for knowledgeable green home building professionals, the Green Building Certification Institute implemented specializations for its LEED professional credentialing. The LEED Accredited Professional + Homes specialty allows LEED AP candidates to specialize as a green building expert in the residential field, advancing the construction of green homes by employing green building professionals.
The first two green home building programs that have signed-on to be LEED for Homes Affiliates are the Home Builders Association of Greater Dallas and Minnesota GreenStar. USGBC and HBA Greater Dallas have previously teamed up through Green Built North Texas, a voluntary partnership of local home builders, industry supporters and sponsors committed to green homes in North Central Texas. Minnesota GreenStar, a third-party green home building certification system, recognizes that its challenging climates require residential energy efficiency. These collaborations illustrate how smoothly LEED works with other third-party green home building programs. USGBC will further support its LEED for Homes Affiliates by helping these programs educate and advocate on behalf of its members.
“Our association is committed to creating awareness and interest in green, high-performance and efficient homes through our Green Built Texas program. By becoming a LEED for Homes Affiliate, we are providing our members with another tool to remain competitive in a soft market,” said Phil Crone, Director of Government Affairs and Green Building Programs, Home Builders Association of Greater Dallas. “Working with one of the nation’s premier programs furthers our mission of advancing sustainability throughout the region and educating homebuyers on the benefits of green homes.”