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Community and Q&A

LEED-H on historic homes

Aaron Lubeck GC | Posted in Green Building Techniques on

Does anyone know of LEED-H being attempted on a historic home (say, built before 1940)?

If not, has anyone seen LEED-H attempted on ANY existing home?


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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    The US Green Building Council (developer of the LEED for Homes rating system) has developed a separate program (Regreen) for renovation projects in existing homes.

    To find out more about Regreen, visit

  2. Aaron Lubeck GC | | #2

    Martin -

    Indeed. I'm aware of ReGreen, and found it a phenomenal resource. But to be clear, it's a resource and reference, not a scoring system. No one, as of yet, has created a usable tool for sustainably scoring remodels.

    We recently achieved Energy Star certification on a 1910 crafstman, ending a local HBA belief that Energy Star could not be achieved on an existing house (HERS rating 74).

    I'm hoping to find a case study of LEED-H being attempted on a similar home.

  3. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #3

    Here on our GBA Web site, we have a case study on a rehab project that achieved LEED Platinum. Read about it here:

  4. Expert Member
    CARL SEVILLE | | #4

    Aaron - I would like to know more about the Estar certification on an existing home. As I understand it, this used to be available, but is no longer an option unless the home is fully gutted to complete the thermal bypass checklist. As to LEED for Homes, USGBC policy is that the building must be gutted to the framing from the interior or the exterior, however I have heard that thermal imaging is an option to avoid these extreme measures. FYI - many other green building programs do have certification for existing homes including the National Green Building Standard, EarthCraft House, Minnesota Green Star, as well as certain other local and regional programs.

  5. Bryan Henson | | #5

    Hi Aaron,
    I am finalizing construction on a 1890's rebuild, LEED Platinum home. We had quite a few rules and regulations required by our local Historic Landmark Commission. Because the structure of the house was so degraded, our original idea to remodel was scrapped, and instead we rebuilt the structure back to the original details with a few minor, approved additions.

    The historic requirements did set some constraints that made achieving our LEED rating a little more challenging, however some of the requirements contributed to LEED. For example, we were required to strip the old redwood siding and reuse as much as possible.

    You can see a bit about he project at

  6. Jay Walsh | | #6

    Hi Aaron,

    Recently in California, Build It Green launched the GreenPoint Rated Existing Home, modeled after their GreenPoint Rated New Home program.
    The full program is at the link below for download. It may be something useful to review regarding your historic rehab project.

  7. Anonymous | | #7

    The Joseph Story House in Salem, MA, built in 1811 and listed on the National Register of Historic Landmarks, was awarded LEED Silver Certification in 2009 by the U.S. Green Building Council. The building (3 family) was completely renovated including a geothermal heat/cool system.

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