Green Homes Web Site Launched

On Nov. 13, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced the launch of a new Web site that will give homeowners, homebuyers, renters, landlords and others the tools they need to ensure their homes are as healthy and environmentally friendly as possible.

"As Americans learn more about the importance of their actions on the health of their families and future generations, living a greener life becomes more vital," said Rick Fedrizzi, USGBC president and CEO. "Where better to start than in the home?"

The Green Home Guide, http://www.greenhomeguide.org, details the ways green homes can benefit people's health and pocketbooks, as well as reduce negative impacts on the community and the world. Green homes use, on average, 40 percent less energy and 50 percent less water than conventional homes, according to the USGBC. Green homes also make use of safe materials, such as paints and cleaning products that don't emit harmful chemicals into the air. They are built with a focus on carefully selected materials -- materials that are recycled, locally produced and created from sustainably grown, renewable resources.

The Green Home Guide was developed by USGBC with the support of Newland Communities, a planned community developer. "Our alliance with USGBC is a perfect fit for us," said LaDonna Monsees, president and CEO, Newland Communities. "We are attempting to incorporate sustainability into everything we do and educating consumers is a top priority. If consumers are educated and have access to all of the information they need, they will be able to make smart, healthy and sustainable decisions."

The newly launched Web site illustrates how families have gone green with profiles of homes that have been certified under the USGBC's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design® (LEED) for Homes rating system. It offers details on the LEED for Homes system, including help in finding LEED builders and providers nearby. It includes checklists not only for new homes but also for renovating an existing home and retrofitting the home you live in now.

Increasingly, green homes are becoming a key part of the U.S. homebuilding market. They are present in all 50 states, according to the USGBC. Of the 15 million homes that have been built in the last 10 years, USGBC estimates that only about 15,000 of those homes are certified through a green home program. There are currently 350 LEED-certified homes and more than 10,000 in the LEED process.

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