The Case of the Mysterious Missing LEED for Homes Guidelines

We waited and we watched … we heard progress reports about the pilot program and whisperings that a final set of guidelines would be announced in fall … and finally, our LEED for Homes wish was supposed to be granted last Friday when the U.S. Green Building Council was set to unveil the official LEED for Homes program at the Greenbuild conference.

But did they?

The USGBC has launched a new LEED for Homes Web site — that I can confirm.

And while it appears the site still needs a bit of work — I had problems downloading the program guidelines (my Mac is still trying to convert the metafile as I write this, not sure why the USGBC didn’t put it in a PDF format) and the link back to the USGBC site for more information is pretty outdated (both sites just have an old FAQ), we can answer a few questions about what the LEED for Homes program might entail for you:

  • Who is LEED for Homes designed for?

New home types such as affordable housing, mass-production homes, custom designs, stand-alone
single-family homes, duplexes and townhouses, suburban low-rise
apartments, urban high-rise apartments and condominiums and lofts in
historic buildings (so pretty much everybody).

  • What benefits can designing a home with LEED for Homes provide?

According to the USGBC, "lower energy and water bills, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and fewer problems with mold, mildew and other indoor toxins." Plus, the USGBC is touting the LEED for Homes rating as a sign of quality planning and construction.

  • OK, so how the heck do I get a LEED home?

Check out the list of LEED for Homes providers in your area.

(Note they aren’t everywhere yet — current states with LEED providers include Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Canada and areas of the Northeast including Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.)

  • What if I’m not building a new house? Can I make my current home green?

LEED also offers retrofit guidelines to green up your living space if it isn’t new.

But as I can’t download the guidelines, and the site’s press releases and news updates don’t include anything about the new LEED for Homes release, I’m not sure if it was launched or not.

I had hoped to include links to the plethora of articles the media wrote about LEED for Homes — but I have, as of yet, been unable to find any of those, either. That’s likely due in part to the fact the USGBC doesn’t have a press release up on its site yet — which to be honest, seems odd that the site would launch without it. Has LEED for Homes been delayed?

I’m checking in with LEED; we’ll keep you updated as the story unfolds…