Yesterday it was announced that the United States Green Building Council has teamed up with Christmas light-recycling and personal wind turbine-selling home improvement mega-retailer Home Depot to launch an online product database geared towards homeowners and builders attempting to rack up LEED points for green building projects. Sporting more than 2,500 products available at Home Depot in more than 20 categories, the database, complete with nifty “product wheel," made its official debut at the latest TED chat-fest in Long Beach, Calif., and was tied in with the launch of prefab builder LivingHomes' new and cheap-ish LEED Platinum modular home, LivingHome C6.
Of course, achieving LEED for Homes-dom — 45 points for basic certification, 60 points for Silver, 75 points for Gold, and 90 points for the green home building holy grail, LEED Platinum certification — involves a whole lot more than filling a home with materials and products that contribute towards LEED points and prerequisites. A lot more. That said, a Delta Porter 4-inch 2-handle High-Arc Bathroom Faucet in oil rubbed bronze (2 points), Owens Corning Foamular F-250 2 in. x 48 in. x 8 ft. Tongue & Groove foam insulation (3 points), and a 2-pack of Feit Electric Accent 1-Watt LED Night Light Bulbs (3 points) will get you somewhere, and for those perplexed by the LEED point system, the new collaboration is a welcome addition that's sure to eliminate some legwork.
Says Nate Kredich, vice president of residential development at USGBC in an official release:
The LEED green building program helps homeowners measure green home performance across a range of categories, and products play an important role in achieving certification. This database represents just one of the many ways in which The Home Depot is advancing sustainable, efficient and healthy homes by supporting green building and green products.
As hinted at by Kredich, the USGBC-Home Depot partnership revolves around much more than just reducing the headaches of bewildered homeowners on the hunt for LEED-qualifying products. The underlying goal is to not-so-gently push the rapidly expanding $17 billion green home building market even further into the mainstream. As I mentioned in a post last month, green building represented 17 percent of the overall American residential construction market in 2011 — a massive jump from just 2 percent in 2005 and 8 percent in 2008; the number is expected to rise to as high as 38 percent within the next four years. And as noted by the USGBC, a sizable amount (around 50 percent) of LEED for Homes projects fall under the affordable housing banner.
Click here to check out the new LEED Home Depot database and let me know what you think. Is this a resource that you think you'll be using in the future?
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