Developed and administered by the US Green Building Council, a nonprofit coalition of building industry leaders based in Washington D.C., the LEED certification is the recognized standard for measuring building sustainability. It is widely adopted in the United States as well as in a number of other countries around the world.
What is the Purpose of LEED Certification?
The LEED Certification is a green building rating system. Its purpose is to promote certain practices in design and construction that increase profitability for the builder or the owner, but at the same time reduce the negative environmental impacts of buildings and improve the health and well-being of its occupants. When you have a LEED certification, it means to say that your building is truly “green.”
Why Should You Get A LEED Certification?
The LEED certification includes a rigorous third-party commissioning process. Achieving LEED certification indicates that you have met the minimum design and construction requirements and standards set by the US Green Building Council. To a potential client’s mind, this is a good thing because then they can be certain that you have achieved your environmental goals and your building is performing as designed.
In addition, a LEED certification opens a lot of doors for you, not only in terms of opportunities for expanding your client base but also in the government. A growing number of state and local governments are offering several incentives to LEED certified-constructors and builders.
A LEED certification can also aid in boosting press interest in your project. This then can have a boomerang effect on your career, increasing your opportunities as well as building up your reputation.
What does the LEED Certification Consist of?
The LEED rating system offers four certification levels for new construction. These are:
These levels correspond to the number of credits you have accrued in five green design categories, namely, sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources and indoor environmental quality.
What Coverage does LEED Certification Provide?
The standards under the LEED certification cover everything from new commercial construction to major renovation projects. You can also apply for a certificate if you are involved in interiors projects. In addition, existing building operations may also apply.
For commercial “core and shell” construction, new home construction and neighborhood developments, the US Green Building Council are currently developing standards that would apply.
How to Get Certified
The US Green Building Council’s LEED website (at USGBC.org/LEED/LEED_main.asp) provides tools for building professionals. First is that you have to go through the certification process. For more information on how the process goes, check out the website. From there, you can also access LEED documents, such as checklists and reference guides, as well as the standards for construction and design.