LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a third party green building certification program that nationally recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices including the design, construction and operation of high performance buildings. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council in 2000 through a consensus based process, LEED serves as a tool for buildings of all types and sizes.
WHY DO I WANT TO BECOME LEED CERTIFIED?
LEED certified projects blend environmental, economic, and occupant-oriented performance. They cost less to operate and maintain; are energy- and water-efficient; have higher lease-up rates than conventional buildings in their markets; are healthier and safer for occupants; and are a physical demonstration of the values of the organizations that own and occupy them.
If you don’t seek LEED certification for your buildings, you could soon face tough competition. More and more customers are becoming green savvy, and they expect businesses to show proof of environmental concern. Statistics also show increased worker satisfaction, improved morale, reduced absenteeism, and increased productivity. Healthier employees mean happier employees.
HOW CAN I BECOME A LEED CERTIFIED BUILDING?
A green building cannot be classified as sustainable unless it follows the process throughout a building’s life-cycle: from planning to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition. This practice expands and complements the classical building design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort.
To receive LEED certification, building projects satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification based on different categories. According to the USGBC, LEED-EB O&M focuses on seven major areas, each with their own certification standards and best practices.
- Facility Cleaning & Maintenance, including Chemicals
- Indoor Air Quality
- Energy Efficiency
- Water Efficiency
- Recycling Programs
- Exterior Maintenance Programs
- Systems Upgrades
There are four levels of certification – prerequisites and credits differ for each rating system (certified, silver, gold, platinum), and teams choose the best fit for their project.
HOW CAN KMB HELP?
Sustainable, high-performing buildings are more than just environmentally “friendly”; KMB takes into consideration the economics and social effects in all of our designs and constructions.
The LEED Certification process keeps evolving and with the continuing developments to the social consciousness and depth of positive examples of implementing sustainable design practices now allows for a higher level of involvement of all parties in the design and construction process. With that being said, KMB takes a prominent role in every project to maximize the benefits to the client.
LEED or not, KMB therefore incorporates numerous “green” elements in every project we do. While we value the benefits to the community and environment this brings, the ultimate reason we do is because these may be the best lifecycle choices for our clients, learned from previous experiences.