Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a rating system that measures the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings, homes and neighborhoods. LEED was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to guide the building industry and provide standards for sustainability for a variety of building projects.
In LEED certification scoring, there are 136 possible base points distributed across five major credit categories: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, plus an additional 6 points for Innovation in Design and an additional 4 points for Regional Priority. Buildings can qualify for four levels of certification:
Certified: 40–49 points
Silver: 50–59 points
Gold: 60–79 points
Platinum: 80 points and above
LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a home was designed and built to achieve high performance in key areas of human and environmental health.
Make It Right is committed to building only LEED Platinum certified homes and buildings. Throughout our history, we have worked to determine the best methods in achieving this certification. To see a sample Make It Right LEED Submission Form, click here.
There are several items that we learned along the way throughout the construction of our homes:
Sustainable Sites: We originally put a lot of effort into building a very sustainable landscape, with a good amount of native and drought tolerant plants. However, we discovered it to be a costly expense, and that the homeowners would still change it out to suit what they desired. We decided to limit the landscaping that we did, to only installing drought tolerant turfgrass and native trees (which also provide shade when grown), and allow the homeowner to install whatever additional landscape they desire.
Water Efficiency: On our first 25 homes, we installed concrete cisterns under our homes to collect rainwater. Homeowners used the water collected in their cisterns to wash cars and water the lawn. Unfortunately, we also had to stop installing cisterns at the request of the city. We are hopeful that New Orleans will change legislation on these water conservation issues in the future.
Energy & Atmosphere: Energy efficiency is the biggest area that we learned and made improvements throughout our process, to continually lower our HERS Index score. This was done through improvements to our insulation and Building EnvelopeThe Building Envelope (also Thermal Envelope) is the “skin” of a home. A major factor in the energy efficiency of the home, the building envelope is responsible of proper<br /> ventilation, protection from the outside elements and moisture control. It consists<br /> of the structural materials and finishes that separate the inside of the home from the<br /> outside, including windows, walls, doors roofs and floor surfaces. (Yudelson)., HVAC, and Solar PV.