At the end of January, 2014, the USGBC announced the 50,000th LEED-certified housing unit. That’s an impressive milestone for a rating system that was launched as a pilot in 2007. According to Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO and Founding Chair of USGBC, “Despite its demanding technical aspects that set a high bar for green residential construction, LEED for Homes has also seen the broadest adoption among its peers — indicative of its position as the rating system of choice to guide the design and construction of healthier, high-performance homes.”
Of those 50,000 units, 74% are within multi-family buildings, and 44% are classified as affordable housing.
O’Brien & Company’s involvement with LEED for Homes goes back to the early days. First Kathleen O’Brien, then Alistair Jackson served on the LEED for Homes committee charged with developing the pilot rating system. O’Brien & Company became a LEED for Homes Provider in 2008. Also in 2008, we certified our first four LEED for Homes projects. In 2011, we certified the 10,000th unit as part of Tacoma Housing Authority’s Salishan 7 development. To date, O’Brien & Company has certified more than 1,500 units, 1,000 of which came in 2013 alone. We also have almost 3,000 units currently or soon to be registered .
For us, one of the best features of LEED for Homes is the focus it places on construction verification and quality assurance, which recognizes the critical role that the construction team plays in delivering building performance outcomes. With so many projects now enrolled in benchmarking programs, we look forward to seeing measurements in the occupancy phase that will illustrate the performance improvements of these LEED for Homes projects.