The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), with support from Newland Communities, has launched a new Web site, The Green Home Guide, www.greenhomeguide.org, that details the ways green homes can benefit your health and your pocketbook, as well as reduce negative impacts on your community and the world.

Green homes use, on average, 40% less energy and 50% less water than conventional homes, cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions, protecting water resources and saving families money every month in utility bills. Green homes also make use of safe materials, such as paints and cleaning products that don’t emit harmful chemicals into the air. They are built with a focus on carefully selected materials that are recycled, locally produced and created from sustainably grown, renewable resources.

The newly launched Web site illustrates how families have gone green with profiles of homes that have been certified under the USGBC’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Homes rating system. It offers details on the LEED for Homes system, including help in finding LEED builders and providers nearby. It includes checklists not only for new homes but also for renovating and retrofitting an existing home.

In addition, USGBC has relaunched its Web site at www.usgbc.org. The new site is cleaner, smarter and more user friendly.

Highlights of the Web site include a resource section designed to make LEED project credit templates more accessible; easier access to online reference guides and LEED reference documents; more resources for members and chapters; a USGBC store to purchase workshop materials and publications; and a more comprehensive listing of educational offerings and workshops.