by Barbara Summers
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and Home Depot announced a partnership and launched a new website this past week. The partnership is a result of the booming green housing market, which has tripled over the past four years. The USGBC estimates by 2016 that up to 38% of the market will be composed of new green homes. The website, which is a microsite on homedepot.com, is an online product database geared towards homeowners and builders attempting to rack up LEED points for green building projects.
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is a "green" building certification process created by the USGBC in 1998, and there are over 7,000 buildings in the U.S. that have been certified under the program. LEED was designed to provide a framework for architects, engineers, builders, and building owners to identify and implement sustainable practices into the construction and operation of new and renovated buildings. Various aspects of the design, structure, and grounds are awarded points; the more points earned, the higher the certification level; in ascending order these are Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.
The website helps simplify the complicated LEED certification process by identifying Home Depot products that meet LEED standards. The site contains over 2,500 products that are broken down into more than 20 product categories and the number of LEED points. Although building a LEED certified home requires a lot more that picking out eco-friendly products, this partnership is a great step toward making the process just a bit little easier!