Following LEED guidelines and checklists helps to ensure that the home being built is indeed a green home. For this reason, the Damgaards chose to build a LEED-certified home along the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania. LEED for homes allocates credit for new or renovated homes in eight categories. The innovation and design category requires buy-in and cooperation among all of the project team members. The location and linkages category considers the impact of the building on the local environment and community. Landscaping and plant selection is considered under the sustainable site category. Water efficiency encompasses indoor fixtures, rain storage, and irrigation systems. The energy and atmosphere category requires efficient heating, cooling, lighting, and appliances, as well as minimizing the impact of construction. Materials and resources refer to using low-impact materials such as recycled or locally sourced resources, and minimizing waste. Indoor environmental quality requires avoiding toxic materials and indoor pollutants. The awareness and education category encourages using the home to promote the awareness of the importance of LEED. Although the list of categories and requirements is long, and involves all of the members of the building team, “the process holds you accountable,” Jens Damgaard says. “It’s verified. Anyone can say they are building green. This is documented.” | Read More