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What is a LEED Certification?

Updated on April 15, 2013
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What is a LEED Certification

LEED is an acronym that stands for leadership in energy and environmental design. It is a program by the United States Green Building Council that certifies the design, construction, and operation of green buildings. A LEED certification refers to a recognition that the practices involved in the construction or operation of a building is environmentally friendly. Buildings that have this certification are called green buildings or eco-friendly buildings.

Why is a LEED Certification important?

We need to take care of our environment. Many of our natural resources are damaged by pollution and it will continue unless we reduce our emission of these harmful things. A LEED certification helps businessmen reduce pollution and protect the environment for future generations.

Certified eco-friendly structures also have other benefits. LEED certified buildings are more economic and efficient than conventional buildings. These buildings use less electrical energy and water. They also provide a healthier environment, greater comfort and improved safety. This increases the productivity and efficiency of employees.

Eco-friendly buildings often attract tenants or buyers faster. This results to greater revenue. These buildings are also known to reach occupational stability faster, and there are also tax benefits and incentives.

How does LEED certification work?

To be able to get a LEED certification, your project or building must earn points per criteria in the program. There are six categories, and a project or building must satisfy requirements to earn points. These categories are: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation in design.

A LEED certification for commercial business-type eco-friendly buildings has four levels. Each level has an equivalent number of points a project or building earned. These points are the sum of the points from each category. The minimum required number of points for a certification is forty points. The next level is a silver certification. It requires fifty points. The gold certification needs sixty points. The highest is the platinum certificate, and the minimum number of points required to receive this is eighty.

For green homes, a different rating system is used. A Green home is a residential type of eco-friendly building. There are different point categories and levels. Each of these levels also has accompanying credits or rewards.

Tips for getting LEED certification

If you are aiming for a LEED certification, many things needs to be planned before you even begin with the design of an eco-friendly building or a green home. This plan includes what level of certification you are aiming for. This gives room and flexibility as the project proceeds.

The first you need to think of is your budget. The basic LEED certification for a green building does not necessarily require more expense but higher certification levels do. Once the budget is set, you need to stick with it throughout the project. Failure to do so may cause you to get a lower certification level.

Then you should value-engineer your project. This means that you need to determine if the eco-friendly investments you will make increase expenses over time. Energy-saving and co-friendly equipment that cost less lasts shorter than those that cost more. You should match the type of equipment that will be used to the expected life cycle of your building.

Hiring LEED accredited professionals can also help you get this certification. These include architects, engineers, consultants, environmentalists, and product marketers that have many experiences with green and eco-friendly buildings. They can help in achieving a LEED goal with little or no extra cost.

Conclusion

LEED certification is a government program that can help your business protect the environment and gain more profit. Learn about this program, and improve your business.

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