What is LEED Certification?
The United States Green Building (USGBC) has advocated for efficiency, sustainability, and cost-effectivity in community development since 1993. The USGBC’s certification program, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), recognizes green building practice success.
Achieving LEED Certification requires compliance for a project to various requirements specific to receive points, which add up to the certification level your project has met. LEED Certification is available in four levels including: Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Additionally, there are eight categories of prerequisites including materials and resources, innovation, and sustainable sites.
LEED Certification provides an outline of your facility’s sustainability performance for design, construction, maintenance, and operation of high-performance green buildings. LEED Certification can be applied to new or existing structures looking to reach sustainable goals with green building.
Per the USGBC, green building is the practice of designing, constructing, and operating buildings to maximize occupant health and productivity, using fewer resources, reducing waste and negative environmental impacts, and decreasing overall life cycle costs.
LEED Certification is verified through Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), an independent third party that holds participants accountable to meet clearly defined goals that optimize building performance. LEED guides projects to save money, conserve energy, reduce water consumption and drive innovation. Through a rigorous, documented process that relies on performance and measurement, LEED rewards and validates best-in-class building strategies and practices.
Investing in LEED is Good Business
LEED-certified buildings cost less to operate, on average reducing energy and water bills by as much as 40 percent. Using LEED to increase the efficiency of buildings frees up valuable resources that can be used to create new jobs, attract and retain top talent, or to expand operations.
LEED-certified buildings are advantageous to owners. Studies show that buildings that employ LEED have higher occupancy rates, lower tenant turn-over, and lease more quickly and for more dollars per square foot than non LEED-certified buildings. There are also incentives like tax rebates and density bonuses, as well as utility programs, available to many LEED-certified buildings.
LEED Buildings are Better for the Environment and for Occupants
LEED-certified buildings typically use fewer resources and consume less energy and water than conventional buildings. LEED rewards buildings that take important strides to reduce impacts across multiple areas, including: building site management, materials used, water and energy consumption, transportation options, occupant health and comfort, and more.
Assurance: Third-party certification means transparency. Approximately 4.5 billion square feet of space has been certified using LEED, with over 1.8 million square feet certifying every day across more than 150 countries and territories globally. Careful validation ensures that LEED projects are among the most efficient, high- performing buildings throughout the world.
Performance: The LEED: Building Operations & Maintenance rating system focuses on performance. More than 65 percent of all possible LEED points in this system focus on tangible outcomes and benchmarks for optimal operations and improvements that can be measured so that buildings continue to save energy, water, and money year after year.
Unrivaled Visibility: LEED is recognized as the premier mark of achievement for green building leadership across the U.S. and around the globe. The unmatched set of tools, resources, and marketing potential has helped steadily grow the demand for LEED around the world.
Excellent Customer Service: Users can overcome any obstacle with the help of regular interaction with project reviewers, an award- winning customer service team, and subject matter experts from USGBC and GBCI.
Behind LEED is a substantial infrastructure developed by leaders in the industry to support Harbour as we work to innovate and build high-performance buildings, homes, and communities. USGBC invests more than $30 million a year to maintain, operate and improve LEED and its customer delivery. For more information on LEED and how to get started, visit www.usgbc.org/leed.
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Our team of construction professionals are ready to discuss sustainable building options for your current or future project needs. With decades of dedication to proven LEED Certified Design Services, you are in good hands with achieving sustainability goals with Harbour Contractors.