USGBC certifies 20,000 eco-friendly homes

The benefits of green technology have become increasingly important for property developers in recent years. More and more structures, including shopping malls, offices and private homes, are being built with eco-friendliness and sustainability in mind. And as proof of that trend, earlier this week the U.S. Green Building Council (USBGC) announced that 20,000 homes have received their eco-friendly LEED certification.

The USBGC is a non-profit organization that promotes green living by building sustainable homes that use energy efficiently. The USBGC does this through Its prestigious LEED certification program, which helps business, federal agencies and private property owners take full advantage of green technology resources.

By advising organizations and communities on how to equip their schools, offices and other buildings with green energy sources and streamline their waste removal practices, the LEED program is meant to produce buildings that conserve energy and emit less greenhouse gases. The end goal of the certification process is to make these structures safer and healthier for inhabitants, while reducing energy costs and, in some cases, qualifying the organizations involved for tax rebates.

Launched in 2008, the LEED for Homes project focuses on making single and multi-family homes mores sustainable. To achieve certification, these homes had to follow strict standards regarding water-efficiency, energy consumption, waster production and general environmental quality indoors.

In a USGBC press release, Nate Kredich, vice president of residential market development, said that the 20,000 milestone boded well for the housing market and the environment, and that LEED certified homes were "moving the residential market … toward high-performing, healthy homes that save residents money." The source included the prediction that the number of green homes would continue to rise, and could take up between 29 and 38 percent of the housing market by 2016.

The success of the LEED program is a clear sign that sustainability is becoming a top priority for government agencies, corporations and private citizens alike.

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