LEED Green Certified Products Worth Considering
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design) was founded in 1994 by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and is a private non-profit organization which promotes awareness about the benefits of green building and environmental friendly materials. In early 2000, LEED Green Building Rating System was established and became the benchmark certification for the construction industry.
LEED Certification measures 8 categories: site selection, water efficiency, materials and resources, energy and atmosphere, indoor environmental quality, location and linkages, awareness and education, and innovation. For our discussion, we will focus on 4 categories: air quality, water, building materials and energy efficiency. Whether we seek LEED Certification or not, all energy efficient items can apply to homes or businesses. Upfront, green building can be costly. Knowing that, why exactly are we considering green building? If we carefully answer this question, the answer will help us weigh which green technology is worth the expense.
You will find builders who are 'green friendly' and builders who really are not. True 'green builders' continually educate themselves on new green products and collect feedback from homeowners about the performance of green products. Look for a green builder who has compiled this information for your review. Green building makes our home more self sufficient and less dependent on outside resources. I encourage you to visit the US Department of Energy’s website:energysavers.gov/tips/ to find more green energy saving tips. Let us know if you would like the recommendation of a Green Certified Builder we know and trust.
Good luck with your search!
Live well, live green, Margie Casey Founder
1. AIR QUALITY – It is estimated the majority of American’s spend more than 80% of their day indoors. Systems are now available to remove toxins and pollutants from the air. Air quality effects our energy level, well being and long term health. Systems worth considering:
Energy Star Air Purifier
Energy Wise Dehumidifier
2. BUILDING MATERIALS – Reclaimed materials, naturally harvested and recycled products are earth friendly and reduce waste in our landfills. Landfills or what we call ‘Mount Trashmore's’ continue to grow across the country. Garbage reduction is of paramount importance for our health and well being. Buy recycled materials whenever you can and encourage others to do the same. Building Materials worth considering:
Asphalt Replacement - Bomanite Grasscrete System
Insulated Concrete Panels - Thermomass Wall Systems
Toxin Free Paint - eliminates VOC gases emitted through paint, consider Miller Paint Acro Pure- lowest VOC gases
Recycled Outdoor Decking - look for composite or HDPE Plastic Decking
Glass Kitchen Counters/Sinks - a variety of recycled materials available
Skylights - strategically placed to heat your home
3. WATER: – There is no question clean water is one of our most valuable resources around the world. The conservation of water through efficiency devices and fixtures, water capture systems, filters and re-processing systems helps a home become more self sustaining and saves you money. More importantly, water purification systems improve our wellness and health. Water conservation systems worth considering:
Drinking Water Filters
Dual Flush Option Toilets
Water Sense Faucets
4. ENERGY EFFICIENCY – Consumer awareness continues to expand as we seek alternative sources of energy. Energy efficient fixtures, appliances, monitoring devices, solar and sources of renewable energy help us achieve energy independence. Search for Energy Star ratings when comparing appliances and light fixtures which could save you hundreds of dollars per year in energy consumption. Systems worth considering:
Insulation - increase from R-30 to R-60 in the ceiling Foam - insulate the walls
Energy Usage Monitoring Systems/Programmable Thermostats
Heat Pumps - save up to 40% in electricity
Landscaping - strategically placed landscaping can increase or decrease the heat in your home
Tankless Water Heaters - instant hot water, older homes may require electrical panel upgrades
EPS Insulated Exterior Siding
Double Panel or Solar Windows
Energy Star Appliances and Light Fixtures
Water Sense Rated Faucets, Showerheads and Toilets
Honeywell Windtronics Roof Turbine - cuts outsourced electricity up to 18%
Gutter Protection - captures non-potable water from the roof
Outdoor Solar Lighting - landscaping and exterior lighting
Solar Water Heating - for your home and pool
Solar Roof Shingles - easier to install than traditional solar panels
Geothermal Energy - alternative energy source to heat or cool your home
Hydrogen Energy - alternative energy source to heat or cool your home
Hydro Power if you have flowing water on your property, you may be able to generate your own electricity
Small Solar Electric Systems - additional power source from direct and scattered sunlight
P.S. We encourage you to share your favorite green building products with us at [email protected]. We'll be sure to spread the word about quality green products.