Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or more commonly referred to as LEED, is the most recognized and widely used green building rating system in the world. Adopted by the U.S. Green Building Council, the certification is available for almost every building type and sets the provisions for both an energy efficient and cost saving green building design.
There are four levels of LEED-certification. Based on a point system, the number of credits achieved towards a healthier and more sustainable design, the more points you earn towards that certification. A CERTIFIED building meets the minimum prerequisites and requirements that make up a LEED-certified building and is between 40-49 points. A SILVER building is between 50-59 points. A GOLD building is between 60-79 points, and the highest level of PLATINUM is achieved with 80+ points.
There are many benefits to achieving a LEED-certified building. The most obvious being its environmental impact. Designing a LEED building is not only environmentally responsible but can reduce operating and maintenance costs over a building’s lifetime in the form of energy, water, and waste savings. Additionally, many jurisdictions offer tax breaks and incentives for a more sustainable and eco-friendly building design.
Financially speaking, a property owner’s return on investment is a major benefit to achieving a LEED-certified building. When compared to non-LEED buildings, LEED-certified buildings tend to draw in more revenue as today’s eco-conscious tenants are willing to pay higher rates for a more sustainable living unit.
LEED-certified buildings are also successful in bringing in clean air and daylight while omitting harmful chemicals, bacteria, and viruses. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, builders are looking for more ways to provide healthier and better ventilated spaces for their tenants and employees. A LEED-certified building can give its occupants the reassurance that they are in a healthy and safe environment.
Achieving a LEED certified building is a recognized symbol of sustainability achievement and leadership. There are many benefits to achieving certification that include financial, environmental, and health benefits. Industry leaders who are innovating and demonstrating responsible environmental design are standing out from the competition. When looking at the big picture, Why Not LEED?