LEED Gold, baby!

2011 February 12
by Otto

LEED GoldWe recently got the call: our house has been officially certified as a LEED Gold house. That’s pretty exciting.

Looking back on the process, what was interesting was how many of our points we had before we even started: the location counted for a lot. The key is urban infill and proximity to amenities such as shopping, restaurants, and recreation. We also got a lot of points for the miserly energy usage of the house.

Our weakest point was probably landscaping. Going with a traditional grass lawn in need of irrigation, even if we kept it small, didn’t score us a lot of points. The other place we missed some points was in using recycled products.

Then there were a few places where we didn’t get points for things we thought deserved them. We found both of our bathtubs, for example, on the side of nearby streets, discarded by renovating homeowners. With a little cleaning we thought their 1950s design fit our new house perfectly. The USGBC’s LEED rating system, however, was not impressed.

But overall we’re pretty proud and excited about the LEED Gold status! We’re one of the first (maybe the first?) in Montana, and across the country I think fewer than 1,000 houses have reached LEED Gold certification. Of course, if we want a plaque for the wall, we still have to pay for it.

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