LEED Green Building Certification Consulting Service
The current certification of LEED (v2009 aka v3), short for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is divided into the following project specific rating systems:
- LEED for New Construction & Major Renovations
- LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance
- LEED for Commercial Interiors
- LEED for Core & Shell
- LEED for Schools
- LEED for Retail
- LEED for Healthcare
- LEED for Homes
- LEED for Neighborhood Development
While each rating system focuses on a particular field or structure, the contents work cooperatively to form a cohesive certification system that promotes green buildings in design and construction. The rating systems evaluate the project's potential environmental impacts and human benefits based on credit allocations of the following categories:
3.Energy and Atmosphere
4.Materials and Resources
5.Indoor Environmental Quality
6.Innovation in Design
Projects with sufficient credits are awarded with different levels of certification - Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum - based on the number of credits earned.
LEED aims to provide a measurable and traceable certification system that is reliable in its quantitative guidelines. The project certification process has been refined through multiple versions, and a step-by-step guideline must be followed throughout design and construction prior submitting and referencing data online. The rating systems, based on fields crucial to the environment, usually present clear descriptions on how and what results should be achieved. The environmental intent, quantifiable measurement systems and reference of other accountable regulations or standards, e.g., ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA, etc. help to deliver a firm framework. On the other hand, while promoting sustainability in design and construction, LEED has also established a professional credential and education system to encourage professionals to not only gain knowledge on but also participate in the certification.
LEED v3, also known as LEED 2009, addresses some of the widely criticized aspects of the previous versions, namely, the lack of differentiations in rewarding levels of environmental improvements and in accounting regional environmental emphases. As a result, credit weightings and regionalization are integrated into the rating systems. Having a bicycle rack on site no longer implies the same amount of environmental contribution as a 30% energy saving in the building, and water use reduction in one region with frequent water shortage now reflects more significance than in a region where rainwater is abundant.
The popularity of LEED, besides its sophisticated rating systems and resources, lies in its marketing approach. LEED has become a symbol of supporting the environment and driving good causes. The certification of LEED to a building project often comes with media focus, followed by fame and status. The spontaneous advertising creates exposures for the product, and elevates the branding image for all participating parties - from owners, architects, builders, to even clients and occupants. Consumers and patrons are attracted to the idea of contributing to the environment all while an efficient advertising campaign carries along. The mindset at the end of the market motivates owners and builders to design and build LEED-certified projects more promptly, perceiving LEED as an added value to their works. The momentum therefore runs toward mutual benefits, and lifts the popularity of the certification.
LEED certification speaks for sophistication in design-and-build qualities, and stands as an alternative requirement to top-notch commercial or residential buildings.