A Bit of Background
LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system meaning (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).
Members of the US Green Building Council Developed the LEED rating system to utilize building resources effectively, which in turn helps the construction industry to be more environmentally responsible.
What Does LEED Certification Mean?
For most projects in Construction, there are four main areas of LEED Certification, which usually gets scored on how many points a particular project receives. These are: LEED Certified (40-49), LEED Silver (50-59), LEED Gold (60-79) and LEED Platinum 80+, which normally fall into nine key areas of assessment according to USGBC:
- Sustainable Sites
- Water Efficiency
- Energy and Atmosphere
- Materials and Resources
- Indoor Environmental Quality
- Location and Linkages
- Awareness and Education
- Innovation in Design
- Regional Priority
Other Rating Systems to Consider:
- LEED BD+ C (Building Design & Construction)
This rating is selected for buildings that are new construction or going through a large renovation including new construction, core and shell, schools, retail, hospitality, data centers, warehouses, distribution centers and healthcare
- LEED ID+C (Industrial Design & Construction)
This rating is selected when a full interior update is completed and includes commercial interior, retail and hospitality
- LEED O+M (Operations & Maintenance)
This rating is selected when little or no construction is taking place and the focus is on maintenance, repairs and operations. This includes existing buildings, schools, retail, hospitality, data centers, warehouses and distribution centers
- LEED Homes
This rating is selected for single family or one to six story multifamily residences, including homes and multifamily low-rise and mid-rise
- LEED ND (Neighborhood Development)
This rating is selected for new land development or redevelopment and includes plan and built projects
Construction professionals can also become LEED Accredited, which can give them an advantage when working on demanding projects needing to follow LEED guidelines as what might be proposed by the owner in accordance with local government legislation. There are currently around 160,000 LEED Accredited professionals worldwide and the number is growing.
Another point to mention should it be decided to take a LEED AP Exam, you must have prior ‘Project Experience’ working on a building that is presently in the process for, or already has a LEED Certification.
According to the USGBC, 28,582 buildings have already been certified in the United States with an average of 1.85 million square feet of building space being certified daily. Did you know that a green certified building sees on average a four percent increase in value, while consuming 25 percent less energy and 11 percent less water? So, if your clients haven’t asked for green products yet that fall within the LEED certification parameters, there is a good chance they will in the future as more and more companies are steadily promoting the fact they want to be carbon neutral.