About LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a widely used environment conscious building certification programs which is utilized across the globe. This set of rating systems for designing, constructing, operating, and maintaining green homes, neighborhoods and other buildings was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. The rating system was developed to assist building operators and owners in becoming more responsible for the environment by using resources more efficiently.
From their beginning in 1994, LEED has grown from a universally applied standard to a more comprehensive structure of interconnected criteria, which go over multiple facets of a project; from design and construction to maintenance and operating practices. These standards have been met by over 83,452 certified and registered projects worldwide that cover approximately 13.8 billion sq ft.
LEED certified buildings were designed to use their resources more efficiently than conventional buildings. Although costs of initial design and constructing a LEED rated building are higher due to the limited amount of building supplies manufactured to LEED standards, the savings that occurs as time passes as a result of lower operation costs diminishes these high starting costs. This is referred to as “life cycle costing” and is a method used for assessing the entire cost of owning a building, taking into consideration the costs in obtaining, owning and operating, and the subsequent removal of a building. Additional payback is achieved in the elevation of employee productivity, which occurs when there is a more eco-friendly environment.
Each level of government as well as municipalities and school districts are utilizing several types of initiatives and incentive programs for LEED projects. These programs include tax breaks, tax credit, density bonuses, fee reduction, high priority/expedited permitting, free/reduced-cost tech assistance, low-interest loans and grants.
Although it is not the only green building standard currently being utilized in the US, LEED is one of many programs that are promoting a more efficient way of utilizing resources. This practice has become increasingly important in recent years, as its priority has risen in the eyes of both consumers and potential employees. Even implementing a few changes to improve efficiency can impact your bottom line. Contact Contemporary Energy Solutions to discuss how we can assist you in your energy efficiency endeavors. Please visit our website or call us at 630-768-3743.