LEED for Homes Postcard

Brings LEED Workshops to Wisconsin


The tide is rising and LEED Homes are now experiencing a tremendous growth rate.  To capitalize on this, is offering several workshops in Wisconsin, including a free introductory webinar:

  • April 4: Free Webinar!  Introduction to LEED for Homes  View Recording
  • April 19:  HOMES 252: Understanding the LEED for Homes Rating System (Milwaukee, WI)
  • May 8: HOMES 252: Understanding the LEED for Homes Rating System (Madison, WI)

Visit the pages above for details and pricing. Early bird pricing is available so Register Now!

LEED for Homes Postcard


Numbers, Know-how and navigating LEED in affordable housing

Join USGBC for a free 3-part webinar series exploring the green affordable housing movement.

– Examine market examples to discover factors driving green affordable housing, as well strategies for success and the benefits to going green when tackling affordable housing projects.
– Explore the synergies between keeping design and construction costs down and building in a responsible, sustainable fashion.
– Identify tools and strategies to finance retrofits of existing multifamily developments while taking an in-depth look at affordable housing and LEED.

All sessions will be held from 1:00 to 2:30 PM EDT.

Oct. 20, 2011

Driving Smart Decisions in Green Affordable Housing

Nov. 3, 2011

Financing Green Multifamily Retrofits

Dec. 8, 2011

LEED Certified Affordable Housing: It gets better every time

Register today »

Each session in this series will be registered for 1.5 hours of continuing education with AIA/CES SD/HSW, and GBCI CMP hours for LEED professionals.

New Appraisal Form details Green and Solar Features

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, has made it easier to identify attributes of green homes. Last week, they released a form intended to help analyze values of energy-efficient home features. It is the first of its kind intended for appraisers’ use.

The new form is intended to be used as an optional addendum to Fannie Mae Form 1004, the appraisal industry’s most widely used form for mortgage lending purposes. Used by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration, Form 1004 is completed by appraisers to uphold safe and sound lending. Currently, the contributory value of a home’s green features is rarely part of the equation.

“This addendum is another example of how the Appraisal Institute is at the forefront of real estate valuation,” said Appraisal Institute President Joseph C. Magdziarz, MAI, SRA. “It will help the industry standardize the way residential energy-efficient features are analyzed and reported.”

The Appraisal Institute’s addendum allows appraisers to identify and describe a home’s green features, from solar panels to energy-saving appliances. Form 1004 devotes limited attention to energy efficient features, so green data usually doesn’t appear in the appraisal report, or it is included in a lengthy narrative that often is ignored.

Magdziarz pointed out that the Appraisal Institute’s form also will make it easier for appraisers to determine whether recent home sales should be used as comparable sales. Sales that are truly comparable are key components in determining a property’s value.

While the addendum won’t guarantee that an appraiser will raise a property’s value by tens of thousands of dollars for energy-efficient upgrades, it should guarantee at a minimum that energy improvements will be taken into account based on value adjustments consistent with local market conditions. More importantly, appraisers using the new addendum should be better equipped to identify accurate, area-specific comparable sales.

One of the interesting aspects of the form is the emphasis given to describing renewable energy systems such as solar photovoltaic. The form has an area where data collected by the appraiser could easily be used to calculate the net present value (NPV) of the energy savings from a solar energy system.  Other aspects include identification for third-party certifications such as LEED for homes.

Green Homes Cost of Ownership Research

Research – LEED Homes Cost of Ownership

It’s worth noting that this is an optional addendum to a traditional 1004 appraisal form. Hopefully the lending community will embrace this and builders, architects, lenders, appraisers, and other real estate professionals all find value in encouraging the use of this form for green homes.

Download the Appraisal Institute’s two-page green addendum,  which is also listed as part of the Green Real Estate Toolkit.

Learn more about the Green Addendum and how it will be used at a free event on Oct 24, 2012 in Oak Brook, IL.

And don’t forget to review the Green Home Institute research report showing the total cost of ownership savings found from building healthy, efficient green homes.

Free Green Building Educational Offering from

Fall is an exciting time for and high-performance homes.  We will be offering several free LEED for Homes introductory classes that will introduce homeowners, builders, architects, developers, contractors and all interested in learning more about healthy, efficient, durable and affordable construction practices. Perfect for those who are looking to obtain their Green Associates or LEED AP Homes credential!

HOMES 252 – Full Day LEED for Homes Workshop

October 28, 2011 – Indianapolis, IN
Early bird pricing ends soon: Wed 10/19
November, 7th – Detroit, MI
Early bird pricing ends: Mon 10/31
November 11, 2011 – Chicago, IL
Early bird pricing ends: Tue 11/1

LEED 205 – Demystifying LEED for Homes. Free!

East Lansing – Oct 10th

Detroit – Oct 12th

Ann Arbor – Oct 19th

Flint – Oct 27th 

Kalamazoo – Nov 4th – Details TBA

In this 2-hour class, the LEED for Homes rating system will be explained, and then applied to case studies relevant to the local market. Common myths regarding level of documentation, cost, and credit requirements will be dispelled. The session will be followed by a catered networking lunch for attendees.


More details on the class(es) can be found here https://greenhomeinstitute.org/education-and-events/

USGBC Workshop:  Homes 252 Understanding the LEED for Homes Rating System

November, 7th, Monday 8:30 am – 5 PM. 

 71 Garfield LLC
71 Garfield
Detroit, MI 48210

Lunch will be provided

Faculty: Taught by USGBC-trained faculty with real-world expertise and LEED project knowledge to share.
Sign up today!

Can’t Make Detroit? This full-day workshop will also be offered in Chicago  and Indianapolis.

Congratulations Jimmie Sparks, Certified Green Rater in MN.

Jimmie Sparks of the neighborhood Energy Connection in St Paul MN has passed his Green Rater exam and is ready to service the state of Minnesota as a LEED for Homes Green Rater and HERS Rater.  If you have a new project or have program questions in that state please contact Jimmie below.


Jimmie Sparks
Residential Energy Program Manager
Neighborhood Energy Connection
624 Selby Ave, St Paul, MN 55104
651-221-4462 x123

Area served: Whole state of MN and the western edge of WI.
Other Services: HERS Rater


Midwest LEED for Homes Training Events – Sign up now!

In today’s business, LEED is the language of green. is now offering USGBC curriculum, with the following upcoming courses:

HOMES 252: Understanding the LEED for Homes Rating System
HOMES 301: Implementing the LEED for Homes Rating System

Learn how to apply the LEED for Homes rating system by walking through the phases and key decision points of a typical project. Engage with experienced LEED® Faculty™ and other participants to work hands- on with LEED implementation strategies and rating system tools.

Course Objectives

  • Communicate the unique aspects of LEED for Homes
  • Apply the LEED for Homes assessment and verification tools
  • Communicate the roles and responsibilities of various players in the LEED for Homes process
  • Identify key green decisions throughout the process of earning LEED for Homes certification


Taught by USGBC-trained faculty with real-world expertise and LEED project knowledge to share.


HOMES 301: Implementing LEED for Homes
ctober 21, 2011 – Detroit
8:30 am – 5:00 pm at 71 Garfield LLC

HOMES 301: Implementing LEED for Homes
October 28, 2011 – Indianapolis
8:30 am – 5:00 pm location TBD

HOMES 301: Implementing LEED for Homes
ovember 11, 2011 – Covington, KY
8:30 am – 5:00 pm at TBD

HOMES 301: Implementing LEED for Homes
November 11, 2011 – Chicago
8:30 am – 5:00 pm at Merchandise Mart

Reasonable sponsorship packages available. Inquire with for details.

EARLY BIRD RATE: $199 for registration before October 10.

STANDARD RATE: $249 for registration after October 10.

Pay via PayPal (PayPal account not necessary):

Choose City

Pay by Check:

947 Wealthy St Se
Grand Rapids, MI 49506

Pay by phone: 616 – 458 – 6733

Questions? Contact Us.

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Certified Green Homes Have Price Premium

In 2007, the Portland Regional Multiple Listing Service (“RMLS”) began tracking sales of homes with a green certification such as Energy Star, LEED for Homes, or Earth Advantage New Homes. The Earth Advantage Institute, an Oregon-based non-profit doing work in the green building sector, annually reviews this information in order to glean home valuation trends.

Specifically, Earth Advantage found that existing homes with a green certification sold for 30% more than homes without such a certification. Earth Advantage also found that new homes with a green certification sold for 8% more than new homes without a certification. The research is based on sales between May 1, 2010 and April 30, 2011.

In addition, Earth Advantage found that of 2,237 new homes sold in the last year in the Portland RMLS area, 408 of those homes were certified to some green standard.  Thus, the Portland area is seeing about 18-20% market share of certified new homes and these homes all have a sizable price premium.

Read the report summary by Earth Advantage Institute.

How does that impact Green homes located in the Midwest? Well first it provides support for general market trends. Furthermore, when you have appraisers calling for collaboration on green home values, and an increasing number of real estate boards adding Green MLS features, local research on cost of ownership, and lenders starting to offer green financing, it paints a pretty rosy picture for continued growth in the green homes market.

Senate Legislation Calls for Zero-Net-Energy Buildings by 2030

A Bi-Partisan Congressional Effort Lands the 2030 Challenge Targets Back on the Senate Floor The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2011 was introduced yesterday by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). The bill places meeting the 2030 Challenge target of zero-net-energy for new buildings by 2030 as the first item in a comprehensive strategy for U.S. energy reductions in the building and industrial sectors. Specifically, Sec. 101 of the legislation, Greater Energy Efficiency in Building Codes, directs the Secretary of Energy to “establish targets for specific years” with each target “higher than the preceding target” on a “path to achieving zero-net-energy” by the year 2030. The baselines for incremental updates of the codes are the 2009 IECC for residential buildings and ASHRAE Standard 90.1–2010 for commercial buildings. The first code update, the 2012 IECC, which will be released in about a month, meets the initial 50% reduction target of the 2030 Challenge. The 2030 Challenge has been included in numerous other federal, state, and local pieces of legislation. This most recent bill offers another opportunity for the U.S. to realize the energy reduction targets of the 2030 Challenge.

Released on behalf of Architecture 2030

USGBC and Passive House Alignment

The US Green Building Council (USGBC) and Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) have released the following letter of alignment:

USGBC’s LEED for Homes rating system and Passive House standard are complimentary green building systems. Both programs share the goal of making the US building stock more efficient, comfortable and sustainable places to live. While the Passive House standard focuses primarily on greatly reducing the heating and cooling loads of the home, LEED for Homes also promotes efficient material use, site selection and development, and rewards projects that improve their water efficiency and indoor air quality.

A Passive House is a very well‐insulated, virtually air‐tight building that is primarily heated by passive solar gain and by internal gains from people, electrical equipment, etc. Energy losses are minimized. Any remaining heat demand is provided by an extremely small source. Avoidance of heat gain through shading and window orientation also helps to limit any cooling load, which is similarly minimized. An energy recovery ventilator provides a constant, balanced fresh air supply. The result is an impressive system that not only saves up to 90% of space heating costs, but also provides terrific indoor air quality.

LEED for Homes is a national, voluntary certification system, developed by national experts and experienced builders, that promotes the design and construction of high‐performance green homes and encourages the adoption of sustainable practices by the homebuilding industry.

LEED certification is based on 18 prerequisites and 67 credits across 8 credit categories. Beyond energy and indoor air quality, LEED for Homes also takes into consideration material selection, water use, site selection/landscaping, location to local amenities/mass transit and homeowner education.

USGBC works regularly with Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) representatives to further green home building nationwide. USGBC and PHIUS agree that building and certifying a Passive House is a seamless compliance path for LEED for Homes Energy and Atmosphere section, and that homes are beginning to achieve dual certifications. In fact, USGBC is exploring the incorporation of the Passive House Standard into future iterations of the LEED for Homes program.

New Student Board Intern

All welcome Stephanie Krajnik

Stephanie is a junior at Aquinas College, studying Sustainable Business and Biology.  She plans to earn a degree in public health and use her knowledge of sustainability and biology to prevent chronic health issues through a restructuring business, consumer education, and governmental policy changes.
She is excited to be working at the Alliance for Environmental Sustainability this summer. One of  her projects will be to look at the effectiveness of post-occupancy LEED certified residential homes in comparison to the estimated energy use.
In her free time, she likes to travel and be outside. Last summer she canoed the first 500 miles of the Mississippi River and most of the Grand River. she also likes to read, play piano, and run.
In the 2011/2012 year she has been elected as the Students Striving for Sustainability President.