Rewards responsible resource selection and waste management.
Indoor Environmental Quality 16 points. Rewards good mechanical ventilation practices, with a small number of points for low-emitting products.
Innovation 6 points. This category allows pilot projects and/or those with exemplary performance to gain extra point credits.
Regional Priority 4 points. This category allows a project to earn points that directly respond to regional priorities (water scarcity, for example).
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LEED for Homes is a widely referenced standard, and some municipal jurisdictions have adopted many LEED provisions, or offer incentives for projects that meet LEED criteria.
As can be seen from the point distribution, energy efficiency accounts for 35% of the possible points and is at the heart of this program. While LEED encourages many excellent practices, it also allows projects that make just a few good choices in a criteria area to score some or even the maximum number of points, and there is no incentive within the system to go further. An example of this is in the Indoor Environmental Quality section, where low-emitting materials are worth 3 of the 16 possible points, which can be achieved while still including a lot of products in the building that are high-emitting materials.
LEED has had an important impact on the construction industry, and the language of LEED is familiar to architects, consultants, and builders alike; the existence of the program has done much to bring attention to the need for greener buildings. A LEED Platinum distinction does represent a fairly high overall environmental performance, one which only 80 homes in Canada have achieved to date.15
The guideline materials for LEED for Homes are available for free. Project teams must register, work with a certified rater, and pay a fee to qualify for certification.