LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. This program evaluates the design of a building from concept to completion in terms of energy efficiency, air quality, water consumption and selection of building materials. It also deals with environmental factors, including access to public transport and responsible land use.
The program itself is sponsored by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). Projects participating in the program are certified on the basis of various certification criteria. Different points are awarded for each of the criteria – Certified (40 – 49 points), Silver (50 – 59 points), Gold (60 – 79 points) and Platinum (80+ points).
Why LEED certifications are beneficial
Obtaining LEED certification demonstrates environmental responsibility and responsible construction practices. Not only can this increase the reputation of the building owner and contractor, but it also provides a framework for creating healthy and highly efficient green buildings that save the owner money. The certificates are recognized worldwide and are the world’s most recognized standards for the evaluation of ecological buildings.
Benefits of cost savings
LEED-certified buildings are built to be energy efficient. With minimal energy consumption, these houses are designed to consume 30 to 60% less energy than comparable houses built according to the International Code of Energy Protection. Potential reductions include:
- Up to 30% for certified
- About 30% for silver
- About 48% for gold
- 50 to 60% for platinum
Creates additional value for the building
Studies that have been done for green residential and green commercial buildings have found that these buildings will retain value longer than those that are not. Ecological houses are sold at higher prices and are shorter on the market than ordinary houses. Resale values for these types of houses are also much higher, almost 30% higher than for conventional houses.
Better air quality
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that indoor air is two to ten times more polluted than outdoor air. Buildings built to LEED standards are designed to maximize ventilation and minimize pollutants. On-site testing and inspections shall be carried out to ensure that the air quality meets the quality standards.
When it comes to obtaining certification, it must have a positive impact on the environment. Many green households go so far as to integrate additional fuel sources with wind, solar, geothermal and biomass energy sources. The aim is to take sustainable energy measures that have a minimal impact on the environment.
Builders can often get tax breaks for building LEED-certified homes. These types of homes can also help reduce premium rates and premiums. These houses are likely to increase in value compared to declining.
The total value of LEED certification
While most of the benefits associated with certification accrue to construction companies, these eco-friendly homes are more attractive to buyers than conventional homes and buildings in today’s marketplace.
The idea of a building that is energy efficient, reduces water and energy consumption, improves air quality and is environmentally sustainable is more attractive to buyers. Thanks to worldwide recognition, these houses and buildings that contain these certifications are immediately recognized as green construction.