|Benefits of LEED Certification||What Is LEED Certification?||Certification Types||Certification Levels and Points||Certification Process|
As a recognized symbol of sustainability, obtaining LEED certification for your building is a signal of social and economic responsibility. Mike Payne Jr, a LEED Platinum Certified home builder, states that “Payne & Payne prides itself as an industry leader, and these projects further develop our knowledge and diverse abilities.”
"We've found that engaging in projects such as the LEED Platinum home makes us a better builder, while helping our client achieve their sustainability goals. The LEED process requires an examination of the materials and systems used to construct the home to meet the high standards of the program."
Mike Payne Jr. | Payne & Payne Builders
The triple bottom line of people, planet and profit is an important one to consider when creating your business plan for the new year. Participating in LEED can lower operational costs and presents a unique opportunity for community recognition. The United States Green Business Council estimates that the energy and water bill savings can hit 40% when compared to un-certified projects. There are also plenty of tax rebates available to certified buildings to save a little bit extra.
LEED is the acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It’s an overarching program that awards points and level certifications to communities and buildings that follow strict environmental and quality standards.
In the fields of green building and construction, LEED certification is a nationally-recognized stamp of approval for buildings that were constructed and will operate sustainably.
The United States Green Building Council developed LEED as a comprehensive program covering building construction, design, operations and maintenance. There are currently five defined offerings:
The USGBC offers four levels of certification based on awarded points. Points are earned for projects across nine categories:
|Category:||Points Awarded For:|
|Location & Transportation||
|Energy and Atmosphere||
|Material and Resources||
|Indoor Environmental Air Quality||
Projects are awarded LEED credits for each aspect of the nine criteria they meet, and certification is based on the number of points earned.
If you believe your project is a fit based on the point criteria, it’s time to start the application process.
Step 1. Register Your Project With the United States Green Business Council
This is the first step to getting certified for your businesses’ project and building. Select which standard you’ll pursue, either LEED 2009 or the more recent LEED v4. Please be aware that LEED v4 has extra criteria, including waste management plans and criteria on integrative processes and development location.
Once you’re clear on the certification types, choose the online portal relevant to your building, community or project. The two options are Arc and LEED Online.
Step 2. Apply for LEED Certification
The most important step in the process is your application. Identify which LEED credits you will pursue throughout the course of your project, and save any and all documentation to verify compliance. This work can be tedious, but the effort will pay off.
Step 3. Review Your Application and Project
Once your application has been submitted, Green Business Certification Inc. will conduct a preliminary review. This can take up to 20-25 business days.
You can accept the results of your preliminary review if you believe it’s correct, or you can submit additional information to obtain more LEED credits at a final review.
Step 4. Accept and Maintain Certification Level
Once your project has been awarded LEED Certification, set reminders for maintenance. In order to keep your designated level, you will need to report on energy and water use to show that you meet the minimum program requirements.
If you applied for and received a certification for an operations and management project, the certification will expire in five years and you’ll need to reapply. Other certifications do not expire.
For municipalities, expanding businesses and construction projects, earning LEED certification is a trust signal to consumers that you are committed to the overall health of the community.
Are you pursuing LEED Certification this year? If so, we’d love to hear about your project!