How your personal and investment properties can benefit from a LEED certification
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification is a universal ranking which recognizes the environmentally friendly building practices utilized by residential and commercial buildings. The LEED certification will look at all aspects of your properties and rate each component for its energy efficiency and sustainability. Each component is awarded points and the total scored gives you a LEED rating which gives an accurate indication of just how environmentally friendly your building is.
Benefits of LEED certification
A LEED certification enables property owners to qualify for government incentives and programs designed to encourage green building techniques. Buyers are increasingly attracted to LEED certified buildings and obtaining a certification can increase resale and rental value. The rigorous third-party certification tells your customers and investors that you have achieved stated environmental goals and that you are committed to energy efficient building practices. Press interest in LEED certified buildings will increase the media exposure of new developments.
Although LEED certified buildings are more expensive to build, improved efficiency offers an excellent return on investment. Ballooning utility bills make can be reined in by reduced consumption. The cost of labour in the US averages $150 ft² annually. LEED certified buildings can reduce illnesses, improve productivity and job satisfaction and act as an attraction when recruiting staff members, thereby improving on personnel returns.
Getting LEED certified
The LEED certification system rates your building’s performance in the following fields:
- Materials and resources
- Location and linkages
- Energy and atmosphere
- Water efficiency
- Awareness and education
- Site selection and sustainable development
- Indoor environmental quality
Prospective candidates need to follow these steps in order to get LEED certified:
- Contact your local Green Building Council or visit the LEED website to find a LEED certified provider near you. Ask them to investigate your project to see if it is eligible.
- Get professional advice. Many companies specialize in LEED certification and can help you to set realistic green goals. The flexible nature of LEED certification allows you to select the locations, materials and techniques which best suit your budget.
- Register your project on the LEED website and pay the registration fee. Registration fees and overall costs vary according to the size of the project.
- Gather all the required documentation and verifications. The LEED verification team will work with you every step of the way to assess the environmental impact of your building and help you achieve the green goals you set out.
- Get Certification. Once verification is complete, your LEED professional will submit all the documentation to the LEED board for certification.
Once calculated, your total LEED points will earn you a Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum LEED status.