OXFORD – A local modular home builder has been asked to build the first LEED-certified modular home in Maine.

LEED stands for Leadership in Engineering and Environmental Design. The process uses nationally accepted benchmarks for design, construction and operation of high-performance environmental buildings. It is considered the gold standard for “green” building, said Josh Saunders, director of marketing and sales for Keiser Industries Inc.

“LEED is about saying I want to do something better for the environment,” Saunders said.

The house will be built at the 80,000-square-foot manufacturing facility on Route 121. It will be erected and finished by Coastline Homes on site in an eco-community in Kittery. The house is being built for Coastline, which spearheaded the project, bought the land and prepared the site, including a fully insulated foundation and drought-tolerant landscaping.

Construction is expected to be completed by Aug. 11, Saunders said.

As part of the building process, Keiser Homes follows Energy Star-approved construction methods including highly insulated walls and ceilings that decrease the energy required to heat and cool a home by as much as 20 percent. Doors, windows, roofs and shower heads must meet standards. Outside site development is part of the design process.

“Energy conservation is a big thing in it,” Saunders said.

LEED certification is based on a point system, but not every house is built to the top of the point scale. “You don’t want to build a ‘McMansion’ when you don’t need one,” he said..

The certification process requires mid-line and final design checks.

Saunders said the extras mean an increased cost at the retail end of perhaps several thousand dollars. Within three or four heating seasons, there is full payback, he said. The LEED certification also provides better resale value, he said.

Keiser officials said the house, a two-story Cape Cod, would set the stage for future LEED-certified homes, and lessons learned on the project would be incorporated into their construction.

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