23 simple tips to earn up to 71 points on any LEED project

Getting to LEED certification can seem like a daunting task.  However, according to GBA adviser Carl Seville, it does not h22 Tips for LEEDave to be.  Seville gives homeowners 23 simple tips that can get up to 71 points on any project.

New Step added

23.)    Report & monitor utility bills

Sign up with the USGBC Building Performance Partnership through MyEnergy.org and report your utility bills to MyEnergy who will give rewards to homeowners for reducing.

1.)   Build a smaller home/call everything a bedroom

Keeping your house below 1900 SF with three bedrooms lowers the total amount of points needed.  If your home is larger than this, classify numerous rooms as bedrooms.  The more bedrooms a house has, the more you can offset the point penalty for having a larger house.

2.)   Build near transits, stores, schools, etc
Up to ten points can be given for location credits, so consider building your house on previously developed land, near open spaces or pre-existing water and sewer services.

3.)   Use less wood
Using energy efficient framing costs less and could gain you up to three points.

4.)   Build a duplex
Building on a 1/7 acre or smaller will get you two points, and having 20 units or more per acre will get you four points.

5.)   Model your building
Have your rater do an energy model early in the project and experiment with different options to see what will be most efficient and ultimately gain you the most points.

6.)   Leave off the fireplace
It’ll get you two points.

7.)   Put the garage in back
A detached garage will get you three points, and a breezeway can be added to provide shelter when walking to and from the garage.  No garage is also a good idea and worth 3 points.

8.)   Get LEED AP Homes certified
It’ll get you one point.

9.)   Use your Green Rater
Have your rater independently verify your durability management checklist and get three points.

10.)  Don’t Poison Bugs
Build the house so pesticides won’t be needed and earn up to two points.

11.)  Be stingy with outside water use
Up to three points can be earned if you use energy efficient measures when installing irrigation.

12.)   Be stingy with inside water use
Six points can be earned by installing one efficient showerhead per stall, and using high efficiency toilets in all of the bathrooms.

13.)   Insulate hot water pipes
An easy way to get a point.

14.)   Use green products and materials
Using certified products like low VOC paint and not installing carpet in the project could earn you up to eight points.

15.)   Recycle
Hire a company in the area that recycles construction materials and get up to three points.

16.)   Install automatic bath fans
Get a point for installing bath fans that include a timer, motion sensor or an automatic on/off switch.

17.)   Upgrade HVAC filters
Upgrade to a MERV 10 or 13 from the mandatory 8 and get up to two points with barely any extra cost.

18.)   Take off your shoes
Building shelves or benches for shoes in the entryway will get you one point.

19.)   Make vacuuming easy
Get a point for simply installing a central vacuuming system.

20.)  Air out the house
One point can be earned just by airing out the house 48 house before occupancy.

21.)  Vent the soil gasses
Install a soil gas vent system and earn a point.

22.)  Brag about your green-ness
A point can be earned simply by doing three of these four things: put up a LEED for Homes sign, hold at least four open houses, get an article published or place a few pages about LEED on your website.

Learn why more people are building LEED, and see the value of high-performance homes.  Ready to build your next project to LEED certification levels? Get a free quote.

Download this as a 1-page PDF

Post based on: http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/green-building-curmudgeon/how-cheat-leed-homes

4 Comments on "23 simple tips to earn up to 71 points on any LEED project"

  1. Green Curmudgeon June 20, 2011 at 9:36 pm ·

    Thanks for the credit on what is essentially a re-post of my recent blog on the subject. It would be generous to include a link to the original article. FYI – the 2nd in this series was just posted on green building advisor.

  2. Brett Little June 21, 2011 at 11:58 am ·

    I will get the link in there. Great post. It will certainly be useful to pass around at LEED education seminars. I did see the update.

  3. Green Curmudgeon July 4, 2011 at 7:06 pm ·

    Any luck on that link back?

  4. Brett Little July 5, 2011 at 10:17 am ·

    Got it!

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