Tuesday, November 5, 2013

LEED Facilitates Affordable Green Housing

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) helps guarantee that buildings are both cost-efficient and environmentally-friendly. While some government officials seek to ban LEED, such as Mississippi Senator Wicker, the General Services Administration (GSA) has officially recommended LEED as the premier rating system for federal building projects. LEED continues to be the most successful third-party green building rating system and is beginning to impact low-cost, affordable housing.

According to USGBC, LEED was virtually nonexistent in the state of Georgia in 2008. Throughout the next few years, housing developers began to implement the LEED rating system for affordable homes. The Georgia Department of Community allows low income housing tax credits for developers seeking to use a third-party green building rating system, giving incentive to home developers and spurring growth in the affordable housing market. By 2012, 100% of all projects using low income housing tax credits were seeking certification under LEED for Homes and EarthCraft House.

LEED also provides numerous health benefits for its residents. LEED-certified affordable housing was implemented in the South Bronx in New York, and the study demonstrated that children and adults suffering with asthma experienced significant decreases in symptoms, attacks, and hospital visits once living in LEED-certified affordable housing.

Nearly half of states in the US currently allow Quality Allocation Plan points for housing developers seeking to build green. Almost one-third of states provide monetary incentive for developers to do so. LEED continues to make a significant impact nationwide, lowering costs and improving the health and wellbeing of the communities that use it.

Other industries have also started to use LEED standards in developing their buildings. Studies have shown that green buildings lower energy costs, increase consumer sales, and increase ROI in hospitality and retail industries. Hotels, for example, on average, decreased their energy consumption by 15% and increased their return on investment by 14% by implementing LEED standards for their green buildings.

Do you want to become LEED certified? Visit GreenEDU and register for a course in your area or for an online-anytime course to be taken at your convenience. Sign up for a LEED Exam Preparation course or for a LEED Continuing Education course today!