I am building a new home and I want it to be as energy-efficient as possible. Where do I start?
Ask your Liz Moore Green-designated Realtor about how to get started . For the highest energy efficiency possible (and the most costly), you may consider contacting a LEED-certified builder. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a certification for “green” buildings and builders U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) that provides environmental standards for construction and design of high-performance green homes. Green homes use less energy, water and natural resources, create less waste, and are more durable, healthy and comfortable for occupants. There are several levels of LEED certification and only builders whose projects pass strict inspections are LEED-certified. For builders and other information on LEED, explore the U.S. Green Building Council’s website at www.usgbc.org . The U.S. Department of Energy’s Building America program is a great resource at www.eere.energy.gov/buildings.
To be energy-efficient, new home construction does NOT require LEED certification. Efficiencies can be affected by using the required systems and features of LEED-certified homes. Check out Energy Star (www.energystar.com) and EarthCraft (www.earthcrafthouse.com) websites for more information.
From a resale standpoint, homes with verifiable “green” features sell more quickly, for more money, and are becoming more and more desirable to buyers as awareness and value increases. Work is underway to identify through Multiple Listing Services “green” features and certifications in new construction and resale homes.

Posted By: Carol Davanay on Friday, March 05, 2010