News Brief

Online Tool Offers Preliminary Scoring for LEED Homes

U.S. Green Building Council

A new online scoring tool should make the complex LEED for Homes rating system more accessible for both builders and homeowners. The Web-based application allows users to explore and compare a variety of green building options starting very early in the design process. Designed by BuildingGreen (publisher of for the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the tool is intended to make the certification process easier for all team members regardless of their prior experience with LEED for Homes or other LEED rating systems.

After signing up and starting a project, users can choose one of two options: a “quick score” or a credit-by-credit analysis. The quick-score tool asks approximately 20 non-technical questions, alerting the user along the way if a design choice might disqualify a project from LEED for Homes certification, and produces a rough estimate of the project’s likely certification level along with a jargon-free list of actions the user would have to take to earn the predicted LEED certification. The quick score might give less experienced users a sense of green design options, and could also help a design team decide on a realistic certification target very early in the process.

The "quick-score" tool asks about 20 non-technical questions and results in a rough estimate of a project’s likely LEED for Homes certification level. As shown in this screen shot of the tool, users can choose to dig down into the results and view a list of required and suggested actions to help them meet the target certification level.

Screen shot from USGBC LEED for Homes Tool

The more concrete credit-by-credit score allows users to choose which credits they expect to receive for the project, resulting in a more detailed prediction of certification level. This feature, according to USGBC, can help designers manage multiple projects or try out different scenarios regarding the same project. “The credit-by-credit path encompasses the entire LEED for Homes program, showing you that you may be closer to achieving LEED certification than you think,” said Nate Kredich, USGBC’s vice president of market development. The tool is available at

The tool does not accept LEED documentation or provide a final score for certification. While LEED Online fills those functions for nonresidential LEED rating systems, LEED for Homes is documented through a provider network that includes field inspections.

For more information

U.S. Green Building Council


Published March 8, 2011

Melton, P. (2011, March 8). Online Tool Offers Preliminary Scoring for LEED Homes. Retrieved from

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