Southern Living Idea House Earns LEED Gold Rating

Southern Living Idea House Earns LEED Gold Rating

Sarah Coffey
Dec 4, 2008

Southern Living's 2008 Idea House in North Carolina is more than just a pretty face; it recently earned LEED Gold certification from the US Green Building Council. The USGBC cited a few key factors that helped the home earn its green cred, and many of them are ideas that could be implemented anywhere, from a rental apartment to a newly built home...

  • Native Landscaping: The yard is filled with native plants, which cut down on the amount of water needed to irrigate the yard by 80 percent. Even if you don't have a yard, containers filled with native plants can absorb CO2 and, if you have a deck, attract birds and butterflies.
  • Energy-Star Appliances and Lighting: Appliances that carry the government-certified Energy Star label use up to 50 percent less electricity than standard electronics. And we all know that LEDs and CFLs are big energy-savers as well.
  • Air Quality: The home regulates air quality with low-VOC paints and a HEPA air filter. Natural fiber textiles like linen and wool minimize off-gassing, as do reclaimed wood furnishings.
  • Other green building practices include a partial green roof, solar-powered water heater, dual-flush toilets, agri-based open-cell foam insulation, and a zoned heating and cooling system. For a virtual tour of the house, click here and here. For the US Green Building Council's project profile (including points given for various green initiatives), click here.

    >Photos: Laurey Glenn for Southern Living
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