April 2006

FSEC Administers Pilot Demonstration of LEED® Green Building Rating System

FSEC has been chosen to administer the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for Homes program in Florida as part of the council’s nationwide pilot of the residential green building program in 11 markets across the U.S.

LEED for homes logoThe new LEED for Homes program is a voluntary initiative to actively promote more sustainable building practices in the home building industry. The rating system is targeting the top 25 percent of homes, inclusive of all price points, with the best practice environmental features.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a nationally recognized set of standards designed to emphasize the environmental features of buildings and their associated economic benefits. LEED for New Construction (LEED-NC) has already been  recognized as the premier rating system for green commercial buildings.   LEED for Homes will provide similar national consistency in defining the features of a green home.  Homes achieving the LEED for Homes designation are designed to be energy efficient, resource friendly, and healthy places for their occupants to live. More than 80 builders around the country, including 12 affordable housing developers, have already registered projects in the LEED for Homes pilot.

In administering the pilot program in Florida, FSEC is providing technical, marketing, and verification support services to local builders as they construct homes that achieve the LEED for Homes pilot standard. “We have a strong interest in fostering green building in Florida, and we have the unique capabilities to provide what is required,” says Eric Martin, researcher and LEED Pilot Program coordinator at FSEC. “Our experience includes supporting statewide energy code and rating systems, as well as developing software tools and providing technical assistance to assist builders with compliance,” added Martin.

FSEC was also instrumental in the development of Florida’s statewide green building program, led by the Florida Green Building Coalition, Inc. Since the inception of the statewide residential green standard in 2001, FSEC has played an integral part by providing both training and technical assistance.

“Now that Florida has access to both statewide and national residential green rating systems, we want to help coordinate the activities between them to minimize confusion in the marketplace,” says Martin.

The pilot version of the LEED for Homes Rating System is scheduled to be updated late this year, based on lessons learned in the pilot.  After a public review period and a membership ballot, the final LEED for Homes Rating System will be launched in early 2007.

The USGBC is a nonprofit, consensus-based coalition representing the entire building industry. For more general information on LEED and the U.S. Green Building Council, visit www.usgbc.org.

A complete list of the LEED for Homes Pilot Providers can be found on the USGBC Web site at: www.usgbc.org/leed/homes.

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