Ask Andy – What is LEED

Ask Andy – What is LEED

Posted 03/30/2017

Energy efficiency is a hot topic that seems to be front and center any time of year. But, as Arizona temperatures start to climb, and summer utility bills loom, it’s an issue that’s especially timely for many homeowners.

We sat down with Maracay Homes President Andy Warren to discuss Maracay Homes’ approach to energy efficiency and to explore the concept of LEED®, a third-party rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council to verify compliance across a wide range of sustainability requirements.

Andy, what is LEED?
LEED® stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Available for virtually all building types, LEED® is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. It provides a framework that commercial and residential builders can apply to create healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green structures. LEED® certification is globally recognized as a mark of excellence and sustainable building practices.

What are the benefits of green building?
According to the USGBC, buildings consume an enormous amount of the world’s energy and resources and emit a large amount of greenhouse gas. As the demand for more sustainable building options increases, green construction is gaining favor, both internationally and here at home.

In the United States, alone, buildings are responsible for nearly 40 percent of CO2 emissions and consume more resources than both the industrial and transportation sectors. LEED®-certified buildings, on the other hand, emit 34 percent less CO2, consume 25 percent less energy and 11 percent less water, and have diverted more than 80 million tons of waste from landfills.

From a homeowner standpoint, LEED®-certified homes are built to be kind to their occupants and the environment. Not only are the homes built to be healthier and safer by providing cleaner indoor air, they also use less energy and water, leading to monthly savings on utilities. They also maintain their value over time.

How has Maracay Homes embraced LEED® principles and practices?
Maracay Homes has always been a leader in green building practices, starting with our LivingSmart® program, which expresses our commitment to constructing homes that are as healthful, comfortable and cost-efficient as possible.

This spring, we took this commitment a step further by opening two East Valley neighborhoods that will be registered with the USGBC with the goal of earning the LEED® Certified designation. Designed to use up to 50 percent less energy than typical homes, the homes at The Preserve at Adora Trails in Gilbert and Hawthorn Manor in Chandler will meet the EPA’s Indoor airPLUS specifications, and will feature water-efficient fixtures, LED lighting, energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, Energy Star® appliances, Wi-Fi enabled, programmable thermostats and more. Additionally, the homes are Energy Star® certified and include our LivingSmart® program for high performance and cost efficiency.

We believe that consumers, as a whole, are increasingly looking for ways to minimize their impact on the environment, which includes choosing a home that’s energy efficient and built with the environment in mind. Our intent is to answer this desire by continuing to offer new choices for a greener future.

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