LEED or Leadership in Energy and Environment Design is a benchmark or verification process for green buildings that has been devised by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The certification process helps a building owner learn if the building is environment-friendly enough and whether it is sustainable.
Why is rating so important?
The existence and operation of any building has a massive negative impact on the environment. A LEED certified building is expected to produce much less greenhouse gases than an ordinary building. Thus, a LEED certified building is a major initiative that helps reduce the carbon footprint. More number of such Green Buildings in a neighborhood is the goal of all concerned citizens and environmentalists, which will go a long way in preventing pollution and help fight global warming.
While a Green Building strives to obtain LEED certification or even tries to improve the LEED score (earning more number of points even after Platinum Certification) it simultaneously starts saving more money in the long term perspective. Other than contributing towards protecting and preserving the environment a Green Building also helps save on costs, making the business more competitive. Adhering to and implementing LEED requirements helps attain optimum energy efficiency and water efficiency, the two most consumed commodities in a building. This in turn helps save on recurring monthly utility bills, which will add up to a substantial amount in the long run.
Statistics indicate that LEED certified (Platinum) buildings consume up to 30% less energy than regular buildings. They also consume up to 12% less water than the others. Moreover, an added incentive is that the operating costs keep reducing at almost 9% over a single year, and can average to 13% over the next 5 years according to USGBC. In some cases, LEED certification entitles a building to brownie points leading to certain tax credits from the government.
Creating a pollution-free healthy environment
Another important reason why going green is crucial is that certified and rated green buildings have healthy indoor environments. Employees working in a regular office building have more chances for falling ill frequently than those working in the protected and healthy environment created within a Green Building. The purer and healthier the indoor environment more comfortable the employees feel. Thus, it’s a strong concern and commitment for a greener tomorrow that urges concerned people to design and create Green Buildings from where they can work.
Certifications levels and corresponding points
- 40 – 49 points denotes certified
- 50 – 59 points denotes Silver Certification
- 60 – 79 points denotes Gold Certification
- 80 – 100 points denotes Platinum certification
In order to generate performance scores participants have to provide data covering five categories: Energy, Water, Waste, Transportation and Human Experience.