LEED for Homes Frequently Asked Questions

How much does LEED certification cost?

It depends, each project has different starting points and goals.

Items to take into consideration:

  1. Registration and certification fees that are payable directly to the USGBC (see LEED for Homes pricing chart)
  2. Provider and Green Rater verification costs
  3. Consulting and/or training requested by the project team

Our experience is that the biggest impact on cost involves three primary factors:

  1. The experience level of the project team: Have you participated in a green building program before? Have you built to Energy Star standards? Have you had your buildings performance tested?
  2. The complexity of the design
  3. The level of certification being sought: Certified, Silver, Gold, Platinum.  As you achieve higher levels of performance there are usually additional performance verifications. Your project may also require additional assistance from industry professionals

We are pleased to have been a part of certified LEED projects with Habitat for Humanity as well as for luxury custom homes. We have also worked with market rate production home builders and affordable multi-family developers.  We recognize every project has a budget and we can help you work within your budget to build a LEED certified home.

Are we required to use FSC-Certified wood?

This requirement only applies to the use of tropical wood products.  A species of wood is considered tropical for the purpose of this prerequisite if it is grown in a country that lies between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. The use of FSC-Certified wood that is NOT a tropical wood is your choice and will earn you points toward certification, but is NOT required.

Is there a lot of paperwork?

Not really.  The LEED for Homes program has packaged the critical documentation into one spreadsheet that serves not only to document the requirement of certification but also as a project management tool that you could incorporate into all of your projects.

The documentation includes:

  1. The LEED for Homes Checklist: A 3-page spreadsheet, which helps project teams track their credits against requirements for certification.
  2. The Accountability Form:  This form is for those measures that cannot be fully verified by a Green Rater. An Accountability Form is signed by the responsible party (e.g. HVAC engineer, landscape professional, PV installer) to indicate that all elements of the prerequisite or credit have been met. Fewer than one-third of the prerequisites and credits in LEED for Homes require an Accountability Form.
  3. The Durability Risk Evaluation Form and Inspection Checklist: This form and checklist is developed by the project team based on a basic project risk evaluation and the development of strategies to mitigate those risks.
  4. Supporting Verification Materials: This refers to the additional information that the Green Rater may need in order to verify that the home has met the criteria for LEED certification (e.g. product specifications, contractor calculations, etc.). Supporting verification materials are not formal submittals, and no outside consultant should be needed to assist with the compilation of these materials.

The forms and checklists are all part of the the LEED for Homes Checklist spreadsheet which is available as a free download here: LEED for Homes Project Checklist