LEED is a government initiative to reward businesses that pursue an environmentally responsible impact in the community around them. The testing measures different categories of environmental friendliness and four different grades can be achieved. Each level results in different benefits in zoning and tax benefits.
New and existing buildings can have the appropriate amount of changes to be LEED Certified. A new building can begin with the goal in mind and achieve the desired level with careful planning. Existing buildings have an additional obstacle that is the demo work, prior to being able to add environmentally friendly elements. A low flow shower head could be an easy addition with minimum expense. Solar panels on a roof, to conserve energy used at the meter, require a higher commitment.
The Federal Government is developing construction methods to later share with other developers, to help reduce the cost of entry on environmentally conscience buildings. Developers can then take these methods and use them for different projects and develop the methods further. In fact, 30% of Government Buildings were certified by 2010. That percentage continues to grow each and every year.
LEED is still relatively in its infancy, but can be very rewarding not only to the environment but a companys long term bottom line. Certification starts with a Certified LEED Professional to evaluate the different categories of grading. The scale is based on 100 points and local municipality focuses can result in an additional 10 points, for 110 total possible points. The Professional can help recommend solutions for how to further achieve higher ratings and further boost scores.
The process starts by contacting a LEED Certified Professional in your area by clicking here. The Professional will walk you through the different steps to expect during the evaluation period. The evaluation can take place during the construction and after the building has been completed to monitor different aspects of each possible point category. Final scoring will be given after the evaluation has taken place. The building will be rated as Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum. The different levels can vary the benefits of achieving that certification based on the region. Different regions have different focuses based on what the area would like to see most improved. The benefits have residual benefits that last year after year, which help offset any initial additional cost incurred during the building phase. The lasting benefit to the community and environment is a win for all parties involved.