Performance Evaluation of LEED-certified Affordable Homes: Case Study of LEED-certified Habitat for Humanity

  •  Eunsil Lee    


Despite the rapid growth in the number of LEED-certified homes, little data is currently available about the actual effects of LEED-certified affordable homes. The purpose of present study is to conduct a comprehensive performance evaluation for LEED-certified Habitat for Humanity residences in terms of (1) energy efficiency, (2) indoor environmental quality, (3) health impact, (4) residential satisfaction, (5) quality of life, and (6) environmental attitudes and behaviors. A case study was conducted with 15 households living in LEED-certified Habitat for Humanity homes in Kent County, Michigan using observation, in-depth interviews, and surveys. Findings revealed overall housing satisfaction was very high although some residents indicated lower satisfaction with their neighborhood. Most of case study homes had 30-50% lower electricity and natural gas bills. Most participants were satisfied with indoor environmental quality (IEQ) including thermal comfort, indoor air quality, amount daylight, quality of artificial lighting, and acoustical condition. Most participants agreed that since moving into their current homes they have experienced improved family relationships, better health conditions, more positive attitudes, and better performance of their children. The major findings of this case study support the positive effects of LEED-certified low-income homes on residents’ behavioral, social, and psychological aspects of well-being.

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