Welcome to our latest series of posts covering sustainability in buildings. This week we look at LEED certification.
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a third-party certification scheme developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, a non-profit organization that aims at promoting sustainability in building design, construction and operation.
A LEED certification evaluates a building’s performance by dividing it into seven main categories: Integrative Process, Location and Transportation, Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere, Materials & resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality, and two bonus categories, Innovation in Design, and Regional Priority. Each category is allocated points, and the more points your building accomplishes, the better the level of certification your building achieves. The four levels of certification are:
40-49 points – Certified
50-59 points – Silver
60-79 points – Gold
80+ points – Platinum
“LEED helps building (owners/managers) to focus on efficiency and leadership to deliver the triple bottom line returns of people, planet and profit.” –LEED
Achieving a LEED certification provides international assurance of a building’s green credentials and can help reduce the environmental impact any building has on the environment. Whilst it is US based, LEED is relevant to international locations and US companies will sometimes require LEED accreditation in any location to homogenise their approach.
According to the International Energy Agency, buildings and the construction sector are responsible for 27% of the total energy sector emissions, making it clear that they are critical in tackling climate change and sustainability. By building to LEED standards, buildings contribute up to 50% fewer GHGs than conventionally constructed buildings. LEED certification also applies to existing buildings and how well they are operated and maintained in the fight against climate change. Let’s reduce the construction industry’s emissions together!
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