The number of green homes is rising, with LEED-certified properties jumping 19% since 2017. Green homes have reached a record-high number of nearly 500,000 single-family, multifamily, and affordable housing units globally. More than 400,000 of those units are located in the U.S., according to a new report released by the U.S. Green Building Council, which created the LEED green building rating system.
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is the most widely used green building rating system globally. LEED-certified homes tend to use 20% to 30% less energy than a traditional home. Some owners of green homes report up to 60% in energy savings. California has the most LEED-certified units in the nation.
“One of the most important investments a person will make is in their home, and the quality of these spaces can have a direct impact on an individual’s health and well-being,” says Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council. “As an industry, we want to find ways to raise everyone’s living standard, so we need to prioritize the construction and remodeling of homes so that they are not only environmentally friendly but also have the power to improve the quality of life for all human beings.”
Green-certified homes may be worth more, too, new studies have shown. For example, a study from the University of Texas at Austin and USGBC reported that new homes in the Austin metro area built to green building standards, such as LEED, are worth, on average, $25,000 more in resale value than conventional homes. Also, between 2008 and 2016, LEED-certified homes saw an 8% uptick in value, and homes with several green standards saw a 6% increase in value, according to the report.