Should My Building Be LEED-Certified?
If you’re a construction manager or developer in Maryland, you’ve definitely heard of LEED certification. If you’re about to begin a new project, or are considering renovations on an existing building, you may be wondering if your building should become LEED-certified. Read on to learn about the basics of LEED certification and the benefits it offers to help you decide if it might be a good solution for you.
What is LEED Certification?
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, offers a certification for buildings which meet certain sustainability and environmental friendliness requirements. Buildings are assigned up to 100 points based on how they measure up in each of the six categories listed below along with possible ways to earn points in each category:
*Location and transportation: choosing a location near public transportation, or installing electric vehicle charging stations
*Materials and resources: using sustainable and environmentally-friendly materials, and implementing a waste-reduction or composting program
*Water efficiency: Careful water metering, or implementation of a water reuse program
*Energy and atmosphere: use of energy-efficient lighting, or use of renewable energy sources
*Sustainable sites: choosing a location for your building that imposes little added impact on the natural environment, or lessening light pollution
*Indoor environmental quality: ample use of daylight, and careful attention to indoor air quality and ventilation
The more positive of a human benefit and the less negative of an environmental benefit a building choice has, the more points it will earn. Innovation in design and regional priority can earn the building additional points. There are three levels of LEED certification—Certified, Silver, and Platinum—awarded based on the number of points that the building earns.
What are the benefits to becoming LEED-Certified?
LEED Certification is not only better for the environment; it can also increase revenue for owners and tenants alike. A LEED certification can increase the resale value of the building. While LEED-certified buildings may cost more to construct, these additional expenses are often quickly recuperated through reduced operation costs. LEED-certified buildings also tend to have better tenant satisfaction. Higher-quality office environments often result in greater employee efficiency and satisfaction, and LEED-certified buildings have been shown to increase sales in retail environments by up to 40%. Additionally, tenants benefit from LEED-certified buildings’ energy efficiency and lower costs of maintenance.
For assistance with any questions surrounding LEED certification, contact Matthew S. Evans III, one of Maryland’s few attorneys who is also a LEED accredited professional, for a consultation at 410-626-6009, with offices conveniently located in Severna Park and Annapolis.