Type of Costs
The LEED for Homes certification process is affordable. However, it is not the same for every project. The additional cost of certification can have a large range but generally falls between -2% to 5% of the original (non-LEED) budget. Yes, you are right, at times the cost can be less than originally expected. There are three different costs associated with LEED certification.
Hard Costs are the costs of construction (work performed and materials). The decrease or increase in cost due to LEED certification can be difficult to estimate. There are many factors (seen below) that can affect the costs. To keep costs low it is best to start the certification process early. By starting the process early your integrated design team (Project Team) can decide which design elements will add the most value. One of the Project Team’s most effective tools during the early design phase is Energy Modeling. Energy Modeling during the design phase can also have a very large positive effect. While viewing the results of the energy modeling the Project Team can get the best bang-for-the-buck by picking design elements that add the most value. The Project Team may also get rid of elements that do not add value and make room in the budget.
Certification Fees (USGBC)
Registration fees and certification fees are due to the USGBC. Registration fees must be paid at the time of registration with the USGBC. (www.usgbc.org/homes) Certification fees are due upon submission of the submittal package.
* Contact us for volume pricing.
The basic Provider Fee is equal to Three Hundred Eighty Five Dollars ($385) for a single family home with no home size adjustment increase. (Provider fee increases for homes with increased Home Size Adjustments)
Green Rater/Energy Rater Fees
These fees are based on many variables and many times are project based. If you have a project in mind, contact us and we will get you a quote.
The obvious question when considering USGBC LEED for Homes certification is “How much does this cost?” Or said differently, “How much more money does it take to turn our traditional house design into a LEED certified house?” The answer is, it depends. The costs associated with LEED Homes certification is dependent on many factors. Factors such as:
Size of the home
Large homes consume larger amounts of resources. To compensate, the USGBC has adjusted the certification point threshold for home size. Larger homes generallyhave fewer bedrooms per SF and have high Home Size Adjustments (HSA). For example: A 1900 SF home with 3 bedrooms has no HSA, while a 2700 SF home with 3 bedrooms has a HSA of 10. In order for the larger home to become certified it must reach 55 pts (45 + 10). Therefore, larger homes with higher HSAs need more verification than smaller homes with lower HSAs. To find out the HSA for a potential project, download the LEED for Homes Checklist.
Project Teams can pick for their project to be certified with the following certification levels: Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Certified certification is the most attainable level, while Platinum certification is the most difficult to reach. A Platinum home must attain more LEED points and therefore will have higher verification and construction costs.
Some credits can have higher upfront costs than others. For instance, putting a vegetative roof on a home can cost much more than a solar hot water system.
The way you currently design and build your homes has a large effect on the additional costs of LEED certification. In many cases, the Project Team already builds a great home. In fact, some Project Teams may already be building Green Homes. In cases such as these, the additional hard costs are zero. Sometimes the total costs can be less than the original budget. Green Homes are by nature cost effective. Evidence of the affordability of Green Homes can be seen when reviewing the number of Affordable Homes that are certified as LEED homes. Thirty Seven Percent of all LEED Homes are Affordable Homes.