New LEED Ratings for Neighborhoods
The U.S. Green Building Council’s new rating system, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND), is the first to assign scores to entire neighborhoods based on eco-friendliness.
The new program aims to create compact, walkable, and energy-efficient communities. LEED-ND goes beyond the previous LEED rating systems that focus on individual buildings to take smart growth and urbanism into consideration.
LEED-ND developments could improve the health of both residents and the overall environment, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting that neighborhoods where stores, restaurants, and services are in close proximity to homes get people walking and could lower obesity, heart disease, and hypertension risks while improving air quality.
Since it was launched as a pilot program in 2007, 238 LEED-ND projects have been built, with 45 in California alone. Developers could obtain construction permits in a more timely manner, as well as attract buyers, with LEED-ND certification.
Source: USA Today (04/28/10)
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