Look Before You LEED! Online Tool Offers Preliminary LEED for Homes Scores
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A new LEED for Homes tool can help designers get the jump on certification--and is great for homeowners too. A new online scoring tool should make the complex LEED for Homes rating system more accessible for both builders and homeowners. The... "Quick" scores for the new tool break results down by categories and allow the user to view a list of required actions to meet the predicted certification level. Click on the screen shot to enlarge. After signing up and starting a project, users can choose one of two options: a "quick score" or a credit-by-credit analysis. The quick-score tool asks approximately 20 non-technical questions, alerting the user along the way if a design choice might disqualify a project from LEED for Homes certification, and produces a rough estimate of the project's likely certification level along with a jargon-free list of actions the user would have to take to earn the predicted LEED certification. The quick score might give less experienced users a sense of green design options, and could also help a design team decide on a realistic certification target very early in the process. The more concrete credit-by-credit score allows users to choose which credits they expect to receive for the project, resulting in a more detailed prediction of certification level. This feature, according to USGBC, can help designers manage multiple projects or try out different scenarios regarding the same project. "The credit-by-credit path encompasses the entire LEED for Homes program, showing you that you may be closer to achieving LEED certification than you think," said Nate Kredich, USGBC's vice president of market development. The tool is available at www.leedforhomes.org . The tool does not accept LEED documentation or provide a final score for certification. While LEED Online fills those functions for nonresidential LEED rating systems, LEED for Homes is documented through a provider network that includes field inspections.