10 LEED-Certified Homes For the Win

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By Jennifer Baum Lagdameo / Published by Jennifer Baum Lagdameo
With approximately 1.85 million square feet being certified daily, LEED certification has become the most widely-used third-party verification for green buildings—according to the United States Green Building Council.

Not only do LEED-certified homes use less energy and water, they're also cost-effective, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and use resources in smarter ways. No wonder we love it when the community shares them with us. Take a look at these 10 residences that proudly boast this coveted title. 

Selected homes were submitted by members of the Dwell community through our new feature, Add a Home. Add your home to Dwell.com/homes today.

Cover photo by Joe Fletcher; Caterpillar House by Feldman Architecture


1. Passive House Retreat

Architect: ZeroEnergy Design, Location: Little Compton, Rhode Island

Designed to Passive House standards, this vacation home on the New England coast features an extremely efficient use of space and energy. 

From the Architect: "A combination of exceptional insulation, air sealing, high-performance windows, and solar gain reduces the space conditioning requirements to a mere fraction of a typical home, and uses only a very small heating system. The generous amount of south-facing windows maximize solar heat gain in the winter, using the polished-concrete floor to absorb the heat and re-radiate it into the space. In addition to the small heating system, the house also incorporates a heat recovery ventilator to maintain excellent indoor air quality with minimal energy expense." 

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2. Hupomone Ranch

Architect: Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects, Location: Petaluma, California

This 160-acre homestead sits just three miles west of downtown Petaluma in the Chileno Valley.

From the Architect: "The ranch had been fallow for over 30 years and the owners—a young family with three children—wanted to build a barn house that would reflect their commitment to sustainable farming, draw on the natural serenity of the site, and build on the sense of place in western Petaluma where farming and ranching are still a part of people’s daily lives. The house is certified-LEED Platinum and features a number of energy saving features, exceeding title 24 by over 50 percent. Passive heating and cooling with thermal mass and insulation, Geothermal radiant cooling and heating, and solar and photovoltaic panels contribute to the house’s energy efficiency."

3. Emigration Canyon Residence

Architect: SM Architect, Location: Emigration Canyon, Utah

Designed to capture expansive canyon views, this home earned the first LEED-Silver green home certification in Utah. Equipped with energy-efficient and sustainable design features throughout, natural light is brought into the house with solatube skylights, and heat is provided through an energy-efficient in-floor radiant heating system. The design required minimum excavation of the site and allowed for the retention of many of the native oaks on-site. The project has earned multiple awards for design excellence.

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4. Concept DUB House

Architect: Design 89, Builder and Designer: Concept DUB, Location: Mirabel, Québec, Canada

When Concept Dub decided to move their home office to a new location outside of Montreal, they wanted a modern look—but also wanted to fit in with the rustic, farm-feel of the neighborhood. Another priority was building a "green" house—something hard to achieve in that part of the North. The result met all their criteria and the home is now Platinum LEED-certified. 

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5. Park City Modern Residence

Architect: SM Architect, Location: Park City, Utah

Located in a mountain setting with views of Park City Mountain Resort, the Utah Winter Olympic Park, and the Glenwild Golf Course, this home celebrates Utah’s natural beauty. 

From the Architect: "The siting maximizes its passive solar orientation, bringing light deep into the house in the winter and shading the living spaces through well-considered overhangs in the summer. The LEED-Gold home incorporates renewable energy with a ground-source heat pump and high-performance, energy-efficient building systems."

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6. Orleans Modern Green Home

Architect: ZeroEnergy Design, Location: Orleans, Massachusetts

This LEED Gold-certified residence was designed to replace an original family home. The result allows the family to maintain a modern artistic home, while giving the property comfortable and stable temperatures—thanks to the new radiant floors and exceptional energy performance with renewable energy systems. 

From the Architect: "Abutting the roof deck is a lush, living green roof built to fill the view with green vegetation at eye level while seated, and reduce roof run-off from storm water. The second-level rooftop reveals 2.5 kilowatts of solar electric panels, which provides about 30 percent of the home's electricity.  The project is ENERGY STAR-Certified, and has also been certified with the USGBC LEED for Homes program as LEED-Gold."

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7. Torres House

Architect: Studio Schicketanz, Location: Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

Upon relocating to Carmel-by-the-Sea, Austrian architect Mary Ann Schicketanz found a two-bedroom home built in 1972, and embarked on a massive renovation of the structure—resulting in this LEED Gold-certified urban hideaway.

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8. Caterpillar House

Architect: Feldman Architecture, Location: California's Central Coast

Located on the hills of the Santa Lucia Preserve, Caterpillar House was the first LEED-Platinum custom home on California's Central Coast. 

From the Architect: "Having lived in a Cliff May home, the client approached the project with a love of modern ranch houses, and was looking for an environmentally-conscious response to a beautiful site. The Caterpillar House implements sustainable elements, while exploring a contemporary version of the ranch ideals: massing that's low and horizontal, an open plan with a strong connection between indoor and outdoor spaces, and main living areas that center informally around the kitchen."

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9. Sustainable Urban Villa

Architect: Wolf Architects, Inc., Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

From the Architect: "This LEED-Silver residence on a small urban site maximizes the owners’ sense of living in a garden setting within the city—close to public transportation and local shops and restaurants. This 'green' renovation was designed so that the house’s height minimizes its footprint, while its irregular massing breaks up its volume for private decks, planters, green roofs, corner views, and openness to breezes. Outdoor decks at each story of the house place the occupants in the trees."

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10. The Clea House 

 Architect: Soheil Nakhshab, Location: San Diego, California

This midcentury home is perched on a steep slope with a rooftop deck that takes advantage of its peaceful canyon setting. It's LEED-certified with sustainable measures used throughout the home, including drought-tolerant landscaping, nontoxic pest control, water-efficient fixtures and fittings, high-efficiency LED lighting, energy star appliances, solar PV, and environmentally-preferable products. 

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If you're interested in learning more about the specifics of LEED-certification, take a look at USGBC's Guide to Certification.

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