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LEED PLATINUM CERTIFICATION

What is LEED?
LEED is a national certification system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to encourage the construction of energy and resource-efficient buildings that are healthy to live in. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. USGBC established LEED as a way to define and measure “green buildings.” This is a voluntary, market driven building rating system based on existing proven technology. After the pilot launch in 1998 for LEED New Construction, LEED Existing Buildings, LEED for Commercial Interiors and LEED for Core and Shell, the next step was to create LEED H, a rating system for Homes.

LEED H is designed to promote the transformation of mainstream home building toward more sustainable practices.

Why do we need one more certification program?
LEED H provides national consistency in defining green features, and all rating is done by a third party. All material selections and construction techniques are documented. Energy performance is tested to represent a consensus standard by third party experts.

Also the system provides a comprehensive evaluation of the building process from design phases through homeowner possession using consistent grading scale regardless of location.

By recognizing sustainable design, construction and operations, LEED H helps homebuilders differentiate their homes using a recognized national brand. Buyers can readily identify quality green homes by selecting LEED.

How does the rating system work?
LEED is about encouraging best practices--because a well built home is energy efficient and healthy.

LEED H breaks the certification process into eight components and offers points in each category (by using specific practices or certain materials) to measure overall performance. Builders are free to choose how to acquire points. Participating houses are awarded points based on materials, construction methods and energy efficiency.

A LEED rating of Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum is based on the number of points; a house accumulates in the 136 point system. Point total for each grade is for an average size house:

Certified—45 points          
Silver—60 points
Gold—75 points
Platinum—90 points

The point threshold is lowered for smaller houses and raised for larger houses.

The rating system is designed to guarantee minimum levels of sustainable practices through 18 mandatory measures in eight credit categories.

First step is to meet with the provider and get a preliminary LEED score based on the plans based on the path through the eight building categories before construction. USGBC encourages an integrated design approach and building process.

LEED Points Offered in Eight Categories
Points are offered in eight categories for adopting specified building practices, materials or products. All homes must adopt 18 mandatory measures, and 16 points must be achieved to meet minimum requirements in four categories. Builders may choose how to acquire additional points depending on site, climate, house design and budget. (Click button icons for illustrated pathways to achieve points for each category)

LEEDS ID button

ID—Innovation and Design 11 points

Includes such innovative measures as design methods, regional credits, and exemplary performance Innovations that would integrate best practices of everyone on the team.

LL Button

LL—Location and Linkages  10 points
Placement of homes in socially and environmentally responsible ways in relation to the larger community.

SS Button

SS—Sustainable Sites  22 points
Uses the entire property to minimize project’s impact on the site.

WE Button

WE—Water Efficiency—15 points
Water conservation practices, indoor and outdoor, that are built into the home.

EA Button

EA—Energy and Atmosphere—38 points
Optimization of energy efficiency in well insulated, tight building envelope with efficient heating and cooling systems.

MR Button

MR—Materials and Resources—16 points
Reduction of material waste during construction and selection of green products.

IEQ Button

IEQ—Indoor Air Quality—21 points
Improvement of indoor air quality by reducing air pollution with Energy Star appliances, installation methods and ventilation measures.

AE Button

AE—Awareness and Education—3 points
Create a homeowner’s manual covering the operation and maintenance of the green features of the home.

TOTAL POINTS—136

LEED Evaluation and Testing
Each LEED house is evaluated with a blower door test to assess building envelope, a duct blaster test to evaluate the duct sealing, and additional testing and modeling to generate a HERS Index score (Home Energy Rating Standards.) Using the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code as a baseline of 100, the HERS Index is a scoring system where each point below the baseline represents a 1% improvement in efficiency over the code’s requirements.

Blueberry Lane's Preliminary LEED Score

To qualify for the Pilot program, Blueberry achieved a HERS Index of 10. This means the index of 90% energy savings is close to zero net. Extra points are awarded for exceeding guidelines for building envelope, advanced framing techniques and super insulation. Blueberry  achieved a preliminary TOTAL  of 112 points when only 90 points are required for LEED Platinum. Maximum is136 points.

LEED encourages High Density Development, such as Blueberry Lane

High density infill construction such as the Blueberry Lane project is given additional points for the social and environmental impact of the building.. This type of building practice limits sprawl, uses existing infrastructure, and let’s people live closer to work. Blueberry Lane is an example of high performance, high density development within Portland’s inner city. Because of being close in, close knit and close to zero, Blueberry Lane is a candidate to become Our Nations First LEED Platinum inner city subdivision of single family homes.

LEED is encouraging early adopters to put their money where their social consciousness is. Blueberry's developers are stepping up to this responsibility as innovators in green building practices. Blueberry Lane 's High Performance homes are all on track to achieve an optimum LEED Platinum rating.

 

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