Green, energy-efficient buildings are topping the wish lists of investors, developers, and tenants alike. Green buildings promote improved tenant wellbeing, are operationally more efficient to run, and command higher rental premiums. Leadership in Energy or Environmental Design (LEED) is the gold standard in sustainable building certifications, and certification can help put your building on the map. Here’s what to know.
What is LEED Accreditation and Certification?
LEED is a certification system based on the performance of a building when compared with certain sustainability benchmarks. LEED certification can be applied to new builds, renovations, operations and management, neighborhood development, and even entire cities and communities.
LEED projects accrue “points” based on their building strategies across a variety of categories. Accreditation ranges from a basic Certified designation to Silver, Gold, and Platinum awards. How points are assigned depends on the building type and category and considers factors including energy and water efficiency, location and transportation, materials and resources, air quality, and overall sustainability.
Companies and contractors can be Accredited in LEED by undertaking LEED systems and practices training. When you work with a LEED Accredited company, you know that you’re working with a team that can help your project reach that key LEED Certification status.
Why Does LEED Certification Matter?
LEED Certification means good news for your bottom line. LEED buildings have lower operating costs, often saving as much as 40% on energy and water bills, making them desirable to landlords and tenants alike. They also boast higher occupancy rates and lower turnover and lease quickly and for more money. Some areas also offer incentives and rebates for projects pursuing LEED certification.
Tenants also benefit from LEED buildings. Staff work in a healthier and safer environment, are more engaged, are less likely to fall ill, and show lower levels of attrition, absenteeism, and “presenteeism.” LEED certification is also a selling point for B2C companies striving to reach an increasingly environmentally conscious population of consumers.
How to Become LEED Certified
There are four key steps to getting your project LEED Certified: registration, submission, review, and certification. To successfully pass all four steps, your project needs to meet a series of requirements, including complying with local environmental laws, meeting design requirements, and adhering to water and energy requirements. Your team members will also be called upon to contribute to the project and handle requests for information or feedback as needed.
Once your project has been LEED Certified, you can begin promoting your project to potential tenants or customers – driving interest and reducing leasing timelines.
An important thing to note is that LEED Certification isn’t “one and done.” LEED-certified buildings are required to track energy and water data in addition to other metrics and will need to renew certification regularly. Having a LEED Accredited contracting company in your corner can help you manage and reaffirm your certification.
Talk to Manders About LEED Certification
As a LEED Accredited firm, Manders has experience consulting on and managing LEED Certified and other green and sustainable building projects. Whether your project is a new build, a remodel, or an existing LEED project looking to recertify or move up the LEED scale, we can help. And with our experienced team, we can assist in maintaining or achieving the LEED status. For help with your LEED building project, get in touch today!