Home Improvement

LEED and GREEN: the path to sustainable homes

10/28/19  |  Ellie Botshon

Ellie incorporates her upbringing on an organic farm into all aspects of her life, including her career in real estate. What do LEED and GREEN mean? A lot.

I grew up on an organic farm with parents who were environmental activists, so I instinctively pay close attention to my own habits and lifestyle choices that affect my environment. Our natural world can be so fragile; with this understanding, I feel inspired when working on projects that make our world a better place. My attention and enthusiasm gravitate towards thoughtful reuse of natural resources, choosing sustainable products, and learning about energy-efficient homes. After all, humans spend about 90% of our time indoors! Naturally, I pursued certification in a high-profile designation called LEED, and have been a LEED Green Associate since 2015. My LEED training taught me that the built environment (such as a home) can play an important role in lowering emissions and energy consumption, and ultimately, combating climate change.
So what is LEED?
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. According to the US Green Building Council, over 2.4 million square feet of built environment are LEED-certified every day, with more than 94,000 projects using the guidelines set forth by this rating system. LEED provides a framework to create healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green buildings. LEED certified buildings are safer, greener, and they save owners on maintenance costs over a building’s life. If you’re into specifics, check out the complete range of benefits here.
What and who is LEED for?
LEED guidelines are adaptable to all building types and building projects, including new construction, interior fit-outs, operations and maintenance, as well as core and shell. The final certification is based on accumulating points across various sustainability categories, and there are four certification levels for a built space: Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.
People can also earn LEED credentials as either a LEED Green Associate (GA), LEED Accredited Professional (AP) or LEED FELLOW. I am certified as a LEED Green Associate, which taught me basic knowledge of green building principles, green design, construction, and operations.
How does real estate fit in with LEED?
Now, it gets even more specialized! In the real estate world, I have earned a similar designation, called GREEN. GREEN is an abbreviated version of LEED GA and focuses specifically on residential homes. The GREEN Designation empowers me to incorporate issues of energy efficiency and sustainability in real estate.
I am proud to hold both LEED GA and GREEN designations. Because of my training, I have the knowledge to understand the potential for upgrading or designing a more sustainable home. Contact me with any questions; I love sharing my passion and expertise.

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With their complementary communication styles, responsiveness, competence, and ability to truly listen, Ellie and Liz enable their clients to feel at ease throughout any real estate transaction. They would welcome the opportunity to be your next real estate advisors.

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