In commercial construction projects, using concrete can help buildings earn points under LEED, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED is a voluntary standard for evaluating the environmental performance of a building. It also has become a driving force in accelerating the development and implementation of green building practices and raising consumer awareness of the benefits of green buildings. Of the 26 minimum points needed to obtain LEED certification, 21 can be earned through appropriate use of concrete, according to the Environmental Council of Concrete Organizations.

In 2008, a new LEED committee, LEED for Homes (LEED-H), launched a national certification program for green homes with the intent of bringing more environmentally responsible, healthy, and efficient homes into the market. LEED-H will reward homes that use energy and water resources efficiently, use construction materials and land resources wisely, and favor materials and practices that safeguard occupant health. LEED-H will also collaborate with local green home building programs to enhance the adoption of green practices by homebuilders.

For more information about LEED-H, visit the U.S. Green Building Council . The National Association of Home Builders also offers model guidelines for building green homes.

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