The U.S. Green Building Council and Home Depot have collaborated on a microsite on the retailer’s website that allows homeowners and homebuilders to search the store’s database for green products, many of which can contribute points or help meet prerequisites for LEED for Homes projects.The microsite lists more than 2,500 products sold at Home Depot that qualify as green and can be used to bring a project closer to LEED for Homes certification, according to a recent USGBC press release.Citing a McGraw-Hill Construction study that indicates the market share of green homes in residential construction is growing, USGBC and Home Depot point out that, beyond marketing their brands and services, the new website reinforces the idea that green building — or at least many of the products that go into it — is accessible to most consumers.A handy toolIf the website is promoted vigorously enough, it likely will increase awareness of LEED for Homes, although it’s not clear it will lead to more program certifications, Nadav Malin, president of BuildingGreen, told GBA. Malin added that USGBC and Home Depot apparently have focused extensively on training store employees to offer proper guidance on green products in the retailer’s inventory.He did point out, however, that the website — which includes a tool designed to allow users to search for products in more than 20 categories, and includes a LEED point rating for most of those products — doesn’t indicate which LEED for Homes scoring criteria the points apply to.“Without that piece of information,” he noted, “this whole presentation is much less useful than in might otherwise be. Someone could conceivably buy a product based on this label assuming that it will help them earn a certain point, only to find out that it has the label because of a different point entirely.”We’ve asked for clarification on this issue and will update this post as soon as we get a response.
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