Going green with an office is cool. However, you cannot get any benefits out of your go green unless you are able to show others that you are going green. No, just good intentions won’t do. You need evidence to back it up. For examples, depending upon the country you live in, you can register your building with the government. The most popular amongst these ratings is the LEED certification, which is the primary green build rating everyone looks for in the US.
What is the LEED certification?
If you are looking for some environmentally friendly certifications for your building then you can think of the LEED certification. LEED is the acronym of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and it is a certification, which is sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council.
The LEED certification deals with the concept of sustainability. More than 140 nations in the world recognize LEED for their commercial and other buildings. As per reports, more than 10 billion square feet have been certified by this rating. The same report also suggests that there is more than 1.7 million of square feet space that is certified by LEED on a daily basis all across the world. Here’s how one can get this certification for commercial building:
Get LEED certification for commercial building – the basic criteria
There is a step by step guide for obtaining the LEED certification from the concerned group. There are five areas in which the commercial buildings are checked before getting LEED certification. Let’s check them out:
- The Energy use, which includes the energy efficient lighting of the building along with the HVAC systems
- The location of the commercial building and the strength of the surrounding environment
- The quality of indoor air and the daylight usage to slash down the lighting costs
- The ways the water is conserved and reduced-use mechanisms
- How sustainable materials are being used in the construction
- The LEED certifying body can give extra points to the commercial buildings. This includes points for its innovative designs. Furthermore, it also takes into account the way the compliances have been followed as set by the law of land.
The Benefits of becoming LEED-certified building
Once you get LEED certification for the commercial building, there are several benefits to reap. You get numerous environmental benefits to obtain. Such certified premises have less cost to operate and manage. Therefore, they give fewer burdens to both the commercial and residential owners. The building owners with LEED certifications for their commercial buildings enjoy tax rebates. In addition, they get perks too. Also, the certified buildings are energy-efficient premises with fewer amounts of bathroom fixtures. This means you get lower utility bills besides getting a healthy environment for the residents and other occupants.
Earning the LEED Certification
To become LEED certified, you have to follow certain steps, and it starts with the registration. You can register for the LEED online. It is recommended to begin the process of registration for the LEED certification before you start to build your building or carry out any renovation or construction. Since these things would need too much time for planning and networking with different professionals and groups.
In fact, the group certifying the commercial buildings lays too much stress on the integrated project delivery (IPD). This is a vital strategy for this certification (LEED). The IPD expedites in collaborating different groups and professionals like engineers, designers, and architects with the owner and make them involved from the start to the finish of the project.
This is also called the whole building design approach. It helps in making the building to be safe and energy-efficient along with conforming to other norms. These factors contribute to making the building become more sustainable as a whole. Also, the team behind the project of a commercial building is supposed to work together from the very start and find out the budget of the project along with getting the desired levels of certifications – gold, silver, and platinum that can be obtained after getting the basic certification of LEED.
Hence the very first step to get the LEED certification is to collect the project team and study the credits behind the building that it will achieve and then register the commercial building over the internet over the LEED website. This is how you approach to get LEED certification for the commercial building.
Certification for commercial buildings
To get LEED certification for the commercial building, you as an owner have to meet certain conditions. These are the stringent benchmark of quality and eco-friendly infrastructure as set by the governing body called the Green Building Certification Institute.
This deemed group carried out a third party inspection of your building keeping abreast with the ISO international certification standards. So depending upon the meeting the requirements as set by this group, you then obtain the certification and further get a higher level on maintaining and meeting other higher requirements. Before you follow the step by step guide of LEED certification, you need to check some vital points as discussed below:
- Your building should be able to score 40 + points out of 110 as total points. If your commercial building crosses 50 points you end up getting the certification with silver level.
- Similarly, if your commercial buildings are able to score more than 60 points then you get the Gold-certified level.
- Lastly, with 80 and above points, your commercial building would end up getting the highest level is Platinum certification.
The points to the building as given as per the criteria met by the commercial building in different categories as discussed before. One of the best ways to obtain the LEED certification makes your premises energy efficient, and incorporate HVAC and other eco-friendly elements to make the building plan robust and compliant.
Major Steps Involved in obtaining LEED certification
When it comes to getting LEED certification for your commercial building, there are four steps involved in the same:
- Register: First things first, register your project by filling all the important forms followed by submitting the payment.
- Apply: In the second step, you need to apply for LEED certification wherein you have to submit your complete application with paying the required certification review fee.
- Review: Once you have submitted for the LEED application for your commercial building it will be reviewed by the concerned company Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI).
- Certify: In this step, you get certification decision
If you are planning to build a commercial building then you should certainly aspire for LEED certification for it. This is a time taking process and you have to follow a number of things. Hopefully you get a decent picture with the steps discussed above. Good Luck!