The New Trophy Home, Small and Ecological

JUNE 22, 2008: According to a recent article in the New York Times, for the high-profile crowd that turned out to celebrate a new home in Venice, California, the attraction wasn’t just the company and the architectural detail. The house boasted the builders’ equivalent of a three-star Michelin rating: a LEED platinum certificate.

The article highlights that LEED — an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the hot designer label, and platinum is the badge of honor — the top classification given by the U.S. Green Building Council.

As energy prices rise, the long-range economic value and short-range social cachet of green building are converging.

The New York Times reports that more than 1,500 commercial buildings and 684 homes have been LEED certified but just 48 homes have received the platinum ranking, among them a four-bedroom home in Freeport, Maine., as well as homes in Minneapolis; Callaway, Florida.; Dexter, Michigan; and Paterson, New Jersey.