Today, the U.S. Green Building Council has announced the creation of the LEED for Homes affiliate program. The USGBC will partner with green home building programs across the country to promote residential green building practices. With residential buildings accounting for approximately 20% of the overall national energy usage, there is room for a significant reduction in overall energy use by building more green homes.

“This is an important step forward as we advocate for full marketplace adoption of green home building. One of the greatest benefits of the LEED green home certification program is its continual progress and flexibility,” said Nate Kredich, Vice President, Residential Market Development, USGBC. “Through the LEED for Homes Affiliate Program, green residential programs can partner with us to further promote green homes.” Source: USGBC (PDF)

Although the affiliate program was just announced today, it already has two members: the Home Builders Association of Greater Dallas and Minnesota GreenStar.

The Home Builders Association of Greater Dallas (HBA) is a 501 (c)(6) trade organization that was founded in 1944. The HBA is not focused solely on green building but instead has members that represent all segments of the building industry. The organization’s wide reach will help bring the green home building message to many builders in the Dallas area.

Unlike the HBA, Minnesota GreenStar is an organization that is dedicated to sustainable residential building in the state. Like the USGBC, Minnesota GreenStar is also has a green building certification system. Both new residential builds as well as retrofits of existing homes are eligible for Minnesota GreenStar certification.

The LEED for Homes Rating System was launched in January 2008. Although the majority of the USGBC’s LEED Rating Systems were upgraded to version 3 earlier this year, the LEED for Homes system was not changed. An upgraded version of the LEED for Homes checklist is under development.

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