It's getting easier to be green.
The U.S. Green Building Council has been certifying new construction commercial buildings under its rigorous "Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design" criteria, a.k.a. LEED, since 2000. The next frontier: a national certification standard for houses, called LEED for Homes. While only a handful of houses have received certification so far, about 700 homes are now awaiting LEED review, and another 700 are applying. Typical considerations in an environmentally-sensitive home are energy efficiency, indoor air quality, durability, and site impact. As the trend mounts for individual custom homes, larger builders are taking notice. Who knows? Entire neighborhoods could be next.