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LEED Certified vs. Well, Not So Much

December 23rd, 2008 · 3 Comments · Green Houston Topics

I’ll start off by saying this is not really just about building LEED.  This is really just about the power of a Certification, which ever it may be.  NAHB Green, Energy Star, LEED, Environments for Living….any of them.

As people, we are funny sometimes.  We are skeptical about things, and rightfully so.  Let’s take for example you were looking at Energy Efficient products.  If we placed two Electrical Products side by side that had labels on them showing how much electricity they used per year and they were about the same.  However, one had an Energy Star label, and the other didn’t.  Which one would you choose?

Most people in the market for an Energy Efficient product would likely take the Energy Star one.  Even if it cost a little bit more.  Why?  It’s that skepticism.  It’s knowing the meaning behind Energy Star.  It’s …. Real!  Or atleast that is the perception.

There has been quite a bit of discussion lately about whether or not Builders and Homeowners choosing to build Green should pay the cost to get a LEED Certification, or any other Certification for that matter.  After all, we can realistically build a home to the Greenest of Green and not have any Certification what so ever.  That is very true.

However, the one thing that my clients in the past have asked when looking at a home that is “Built Green’ according to any advertisement is:

“What makes it Green?”

Well, sometimes the builder doesn’t know…sometimes the home is just Energy Efficient…Every once in a while the home is pretty Darn Green once you sit down and visit with the builder!

So, let’s take a look at that Energy Star example again.  If we were looking at homes on the MLS that are stated as being Green, yet one home has no Reasons WHY it is GREEN-  But the other one is projected to be or is LEED Certified- Has an Environments for Living label, or what have you..

Do you feel that home would be set apart from the rest?

Absolutely! In just a Year and a Half we have gone from a Very small percentage of people even hearing the term Green Building, to a rather large percentage of people being curious and wanting to do the right thing…but maybe not knowing how.

Along with this has brought out a lot of ‘Greenwashing’ or ‘Hopping on the Green Train’

Now more than ever as we start to filter through what REALLY is Green, we need these Certifications.  Just as Builders and other Contractors are looking for Greenseal or Energy Star rated products- Consumers NEED to see a Certification on their Home.  There is that skepticism of ‘Is it really green?’

Builders, if there is an opportunity for a Certification or 3rd Party Verification on the Home- I say take it.  Spend the money and Pump UP the marketing behind it.  As Green gets Washed and Diluted, Certifications will be worth their weight in Gold when it comes down to separating one home from another.

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