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Cut the Confusion Between LEED Building and Passive Homes

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LEED building certification and Passive home building techniques have dramatically changed residential home construction over the past decade. But what does this all mean to you? Which building plan do you choose? Do you need to select just one? How do these certifications and building techniques impact each other? If you’re confused, read on for more details.

Green building and LEED certification point the way toward more environmentally conscious homes, and the U.S. government’s minimum efficiency standards for appliances and building materials have spurred manufacturers to build more Energy Star–rated products.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a rating system devised by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) to evaluate the environmental performance of a building and encourage market transformation towards sustainable design.

You don’t have to sacrifice beauty and comfort to get the best in energy efficiency. Marvin Windows and Doors is committed to providing window and door options that will help control your long-term energy costs. And as a market leader in energy-efficient windows and doors, Marvin offers more than 150,000 energy-efficient options, including numerous high-performance products that qualify for ENERGY STAR® Most Efficient rating and meet Passive House criteria.

To receive LEED certification, building projects satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification. LEED building can be categorized as new construction (LEED-NC), existing buildings (LEED-EB) or homes (LEED-H). There are four levels of certification: Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. The number of points a project earns determines the level of LEED certification that the project will receive.

According to the Washington Post, a LEED certification can add 9% to the selling price of a home. Demand for green buildings can fluctuate between markets so do your research if resale price is a concern for you.

A passive home will positively impact the comfort of your day-to-day living more than any other eco-friendly solution. This fast-growing architectural technique lowers energy consumption and increases at-home comfort while taking it easy on the environment and your energy bills.

Living in a home that is comfortable year-round, despite the weather, is what passive housing—a relatively new approach to heating, cooling, and insulating your living space—is designed to facilitate. It relies on insulation, sunlight, and an airtight exterior as the only means of maintaining the temperature of a home.

Windows are a major part of the equation when building a passive home. Sunlight is considered a heat source in a passive home and the direction that windows face is integral to Passive home design. Combining high performing windows and options with good design and house orientation helps optimize passive solar gains when needed and limit cooling loads.

Marvin satisfies Passive House/Passive Building criteria and is leading the U.S. market in design solutions. Marvin’s custom manufacturing ability allows them to deliver fenestration solutions uniquely suited to specific climate zones and exposures.

A passive home circulates three fresh filtered air changes per hour which minimize and possibly eliminate the risk from indoor air pollution. This also creates a healthier environment for you to eat, live and sleep in.

In addition to the health benefits, passive building cuts energy consumption by 60 to 80 percent compared to standard-code buildings. This represents a deep monthly savings unmatched by any other home-building strategy.

As with LEED certified buildings, Passive homes values will only increase as consumer awareness goes up.

LEED certification and Passive home building can compliment each other but are considered stand-alone disciplines. Whichever eco-friendly building solution you choose, Marvin has options that will satisfy your needs.