Why not LEED with a green home?

After some discussion, my husband and I were wondering about LEED certification through the U.S. Green Building Council. Yes, our “green” home will be Energy Star certified under the Environments for Living program, however, why not go for LEED certification? Both programs are very similar, one just has more intense paperwork and extra point requirements. We asked our builder and he is open to the idea. If all goes well, our house will be first in Loris, SC that is LEED certified. I think we will have to create a display wall just for all these certifications.

According to the U.S. Green Building Council’s website, there are only 15 LEED certified homes in Horry County, all of which are in Myrtle Beach. One is platinum certified by Maritime Builders and the others are by AmeriBuilt Homes in the Southbury neighborhood off Hwy 707. LEED for Homes is relatively new, since it only just started in 2008. LEED certification goes beyond energy efficiency and takes the following into account: indoor air quality, material use, water conservation, and green landscaping – all of which we are already thinking about.

These are just some of the ideas…..For allergies and sickness, we are concerned with indoor air quality, which means an air return in every room. In material use, I’m already thinking about alternatives for the kitchen, such as wheatboard cabinets and bamboo flooring. Water conservation will be handled through rainwater harvesting as well as low-flow showerheads and toilets. Green landscaping will be best suited with drought-tolerant and low maintenance plants, since I don’t have a green thumb.

So our journey begins!

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