LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally recognized rating system and framework for green building practices. They can be used on any type of building from schools to apartment homes.
Different LEED ratings are given once the building design, construction, as well as building operations and management are evaluated for energy efficiency. The ratings from highest to lowest are platinum, gold, silver, certified.
Here in Las Vegas, the Springs Preserve has been a leader in LEED building practices and community education. Working hand in hand with UNLV students and staff, a fully functioning solar home called DesertSol is now on display at The Springs Preserve.
Earthships are self-sufficient buildings made from earthen and recycled materials with sustainable power and water sources. They are often built into the existing landscape, utilizing old tires, bottles, cans and other discarded materials. These are stacked and covered in thick insulating walls of adobe or stucco. Earthships are built to naturally regulate indoor temperatures through “thermal mass construction.”
Earthships can be found throughout the world in many different environments. With its arid climate, the desert is particularly well-suited for building with earthen materials, and the largest community of earthships can be found in New Mexico.