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Guide to Sustainable Building Certifications



Sustainable living has become an increasingly important focus in today’s world, with individuals and communities alike seeking ways to reduce their carbon footprints. When it comes to building or renovating homes, sustainable practices and energy-efficient design have taken center stage. In response to this growth, several organizations offer certification programs to measure sustainability and push people to achieve more. But with numerous certifications and standards available, navigating the realm of sustainable building can be overwhelming.

Luckily, this Redfin article has everything you need to know. Learn what these programs are all about, and which one is right for your home. Whether you live in a house in Wilmington, NC, or are building a new home in Tampa, FL, read on to learn about the different certifications and requirements, so you can make informed decisions and choose the right path towards a greener home. 

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)

  • Focus areas: Whole building efficiency, including water, energy, materials, and air quality.
  • Property types: Commercial, residential, and public properties, and communities and cities. 
  • Benefits for homeowners: Pairs well with other certification programs and has a wide range of certification levels. 
  • Downsides: May not go far enough to reduce your carbon footprint.
  • Cost: $225 + additional fees. Pricing is reduced for members.

Established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in 1993, LEED is arguably the most widely recognized green building certification system. LEED provides a framework for healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green buildings. It offers certification across a spectrum of building types and focuses on several key areas: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, innovation, and regional priority. 

The four LEED certification levels include Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum,…




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