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According to the U.S Green Building Council (USGBC), “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Homes promotes the design and construction of high-performance homes – energy efficient, resource efficient, and healthy for occupants. A home that achieves LEED certification has been designed to maximize fresh air indoors, minimizing exposure to airborne toxins and pollutants. It also has the potential to use 20-30% less energy—and some up to 60% less—than a home built to code. And less energy use means lower utility bills every month.”

In order to cement their understanding of the process and design principles of a LEED certified home, students from the interior architecture graduate design 4 and sustainability classes visited FIU Architecture faculty member, David Rifkind’s, home in Miami. Building took David almost four years as a result of the bureaucratic and municipal setbacks. Students were surprised to discover that a LEED sustainable home can be achieved with style and warmth and does not have to be sterile. David made a point to share that LEED sustainable homes do not only impact the earth and environment, but also contribute to creating a sense of community. He and his neighbors for example now barter herbs, fruit and vegetables and it has brought them closer.

The students were given great insight through this real-life and authentic experience and were able to weigh the pros and cons of building according to the specifications of LEED.

To view pictures from the field trip, take a look at our Facebook page!

Check out David’s home blogspot!
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