The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), with support from Newland Communities, commits to launch the first program in a comprehensive yearlong campaign to educate consumers about the benefits of green homes. The first product of this joint effort will be an online consumer education resource at usgbc.org, which will leverage USGBC's 300,000+ website users per month. Using online educational tools, the resource will be the cornerstone of USGBC's 2006-2007 campaign, and provide current and potential homeowners with credible information on how they can make their homes better, more efficient, healthier places to live.
USGBC's consumer-oriented efforts augment our extensive commitment to building professionals. In order to make green homes an integral part of how we live, USGBC has already established a national network of residential green homes providers who provide educational programs to residential builders and subcontractors and provide rating and certification services to the community as a part of the LEED for Homes program. Additional program components include:
- USGBC's partnership with The Enterprise Foundation's Green Communities effort to green affordable housing.
- The launch of USGBC's LEED for Homes program in spring 2007. Building upon the success of the LEED rating system in the commercial marketplace - which today includes more than 650 million square feet of real estate - the first home under the pilot system to receive LEED Platinum was certified in August 2006. More than 650 homes are currently registered under the pilot rating system in every region of the country.
- The pilot debut of LEED for Neighborhoods - a collaboration between USGBC, the Congress for the New Urbanism, and the National Resource Defense Council - which combines pairs both residential and commercial construction and addresses them at the community scale.
Green homes are energy efficient, offer healthier indoor environments to their residents, and have a smaller environmental footprint on the communities in which they're located. Green homes are from 30-50% more energy efficient than traditional homes. When multiplied by the millions of homes USGBC plans to serve with the LEED for Homes Rating System, green homebuilding will lead to significant reductions in energy use and can be a major tool in efforts to address climate change.
According to a 2006 McGraw-Hill Smart Market Report, the green homes marketplace is at a 'tipping point.' By mid-2007, 64% of all homebuilders surveyed reported that they anticipated to be moderately or heavily involved in green building practices. Driven by core values and consumer demand, interest and adoption is advancing rapidly among professionals in the community.
In parallel, rising energy costs and rising concerns about climate change are driving consumer interest in green homes, and health and indoor environmental quality is keeping them engaged.
In order to support this rapidly expanding marketplace and to drive the kind of change needed to reduce energy consumption and global CO2 emissions, the residential building marketplace must quickly build capacity: both to deliver products and services and to educate consumers about what they need and where to get it.
The U.S. Green Building Council was founded in 1993 with the aim of transforming the built environment to sustainability. Its core purpose is to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life.
Newland Communities is the nation's largest land developer, and understand that open space, vegetation, water management and the responsible use of resources are important to the long-term health of their communities and the happiness of their residents. As a result, they are actively incorporating the principles of greener development in the way new communities are being defined and constructed.