The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) reached a milestone this week for its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, as it announced that it has certified 20,000 homes in the United States since 2008.
The statement, which was released July 12, said that more than 79,000 additional energy-efficient home projects have applied to be LEED certified, with almost half of them considered affordable housing.
The certification is part of a rigorous effort by the USGBC to combat the negative environmental impact homeowners can have by providing them with a framework for energy efficient construction and home maintenance.
A study conducted in by (date / time missing) McGraw Hill Construction states that 17 percent of homes in the country were considered environmentally neutral. By 2016, it is anticipated that energy-efficient housing will account for 29 to 38 percent of all residences nationwide.
Developed by the USGBC in 2000, LEED certification was originally designed to provide guidelines for commercial and industrial spaces seeking to lower their negative impact on the environment. The program expanded to include home certification in 2008, measuring standards such as material selection, sustainable site development and energy savings. LEED buildings are rated either platinum, gold, silver or certified.
According to the MCGraw Hill survey, 35 percent of home remodelers anticipate that by 2016 most of their work will be making homes more energy efficient. The study attributes the figures to a decrease in the cost and difficulty of environmentally positive construction and a wider public knowledge of its benefits.