LEED® Residential Certification
Understanding LEED for Homes
The LEED Rating System is the nationally recognized standard for green building. LEED certification recognizes and rewards builders for meeting the highest performance standards, and gives homeowners confidence that their home is durable, healthy, and environmentally friendly. The LEED for Homes program was developed for builders seeking to build certified high performance green homes that go beyond energy efficiency to incorporate a high level of sustainability features. Building a project that is LEED for Homes certified offers a distinct mark of excellence that can serve to highlight the builder’s experience. For the homebuyer, LEED is like the highly recognized nutrition label that demonstrates in measurable terms that a home incorporates efficient techniques and features, and that the final product has been third party-verified and performance tested.
The U.S. Green Building Council created the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) program as a national third-party certification rating system that recognizes leadership in green building. LEED was introduced in 2000 and incorporates commercial, neighborhood and residential construction certification rating systems. The LEED for Homes program started as a pilot in 2005 and was launched as a fully chartered program in 2008.
LEED for Homes Raters and Providers
Each LEED for Homes registered project is inspected by a LEED for Homes Green Rater under the guidance of a LEED for Homes Provider. Providers and Green Raters are local organizations and individuals with demonstrated experience with green building. A LEED for Homes Provider has four primary roles in a given market:
- Marketing LEED to builders
- Providing green home rating support services to builders
- Coordinating a team of LEED for Homes Green Raters
- Submitting and certification of the project with USGBC
- Earth Advantage is the sixth largest LEED for Homes program provider in the country, helping builders and designers to achieve certification for high performance home projects all over the Western United States and its territories. Earth Advantage has assisted project teams in achieving certification in Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho, Alaska, Hawaii, Minnesota, New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana and Tennessee.
Our Role With LEED and USGBC
Earth Advantage Institute provides verification services related to the LEED for Homes program. As a LEED for Homes Provider, we posses the experience and expertise to assist project teams in the construction of high performance, sustainable homes. A LEED provider has several roles in the community they serve:
- Helping builders to register their projects with USGBC
- Performing the preliminary review of a project’s LEED documentation
- Conducting field verification inspections and performance tests
- Assisting in assembly of project documentation
- Training, coordinating, and overseeing green raters and builder support staff
- Submitting documents necessary for LEED certification Providing green home rating support services (Home Energy Rating System [HERS] ratings and program inspections) to builders
Is My Project Eligible?
LEED for Homes addresses more than just single family residences. Eligible project types include low-rise multifamily (1-3 stories), mid-rise multifamily (4-6 stories), mixed use projects, production building and townhome projects, dormitories, and gut-rehab. Look here for further details about eligibility guidelines.
LEED for Homes is accessible to affordable projects as well! 40% of all LEED certified homes are considered affordable projects.
LEED for Homes has two fee structures. A Provider fee is paid to Earth Advantage for verification and program support by the project team. A separate set of fees is paid directly to the USGBC for registration and certification services. For a schedule of USGBC fees, please click here.
In Oregon and SW Washington: Please contact your local representative for fees and services specific to your project and location.
Single-family, custom, production, town homes, and multifamily projects are priced uniquely per unit or building. Please contact your local representative for details.
For projects outside of Oregon and SW Washington: please contact a Remote Rater in your region for a quote.
What Is A Green Rater?
LEED® for Homes is structured differently from the other LEED rating systems. Homes relies on third party on-site verification and performance testing to ensure successful completion of measures. Because of this, the USGBC has developed the role of the green rater to help project teams achieve certification.
A green rater is an individual who has completed rigorous training to become qualified to inspect and verify LEED for Homes projects. This individual has extensive knowledge or the green residential building industry, is usually trained as an Energy Star rater, and may also be a trained HERS rater. A rater may be an employee of a Provider organization or they may freelance with multiple providers depending on project type and location. A rater works directly with architects, builders, and homeowners to ensure the successful implementation of LEED measures to enrolled projects.
For qualifications and information on how to become a green rater, please visit the USGBC.
We Can Help You Find a Rater in Your Area
Earth Advantage Institute (EAI) is a LEED for Homes program provider working with raters around the country. Raters work with builders, designers, and homeowners throughout the LEED process to ensure certification. As a LEED for Homes provider, EAI possess experience and expertise to assist project teams.
Beyond Efficiency, Inc.
View one of our projects.
Home Energy Services
Strategic Green LLC
|North California Coast
Vital SPEC Inc.
View one of our projects.
View one of our projects.
Southern Oregon Green Rating Services LLC
Jay Hall & Associates
Please download the following documents to learn more about the program. Unless otherwise indicated documents are in PDF format which requires the Adobe Reader to view. You can download Adobe Reader »
Checklists and Rating Guides
California Checklists and Rating Guides