EnviroCitizen.org has found many individuals who feel that getting their homes LEED-certified makes a lot of sense. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and it’s the United States Green Building Council’s rating system for buildings that are energy-efficient. It’s the best standard for green building since it’s an independent, thirty-party system. LEED-certified buildings have lower operating costs because they’re more energy-efficient and the certification increases your asset values.
LEED-certified buildings reduce the amount of waste generated and sent to landfills and conserve energy and water. LEED-certified buildings are also healthier environments for their occupants, since indoor air quality is drastically better. There are several tax rebates available to building owners wishing to obtain LEED certification. Being LEED-certified is also a great way to demonstrate your commitment to environmental stewardship and social responsibility.
There are several different categories of LEED certification:
- New Construction
- Existing Buildings
- Commercial Interiors
- Core and Shell.
If you own an office, a retail or service store, an institutional building (like a school, library, museum or religious establishment), hotel or a residential building with more than four inhabitable stories, you can get LEED-certified.
The first step to getting your building LEED-certified is to pay the registration fee. If you are a member of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), the fee is $450. If you’re not a member, the fee is $600. Once you’ve paid your registration fee, you’ll need to pay the certification fee. That fee is based on the rating system and size of your project. Once you’ve paid the fees, you will need to submit an application and take a few courses.
The courses are designed to help you prepare for LEED-certification and expand your knowledge of green building. You can take a course online or take an in-person workshop. There are also podcasts, webcasts, articles and videos available so that you can educate yourself about LEED whenever and however it fits into your schedule best. They also offer live and archived webinars and study guides.
Your building and application are then reviewed by LEED experts and as long as your building possesses the features that are required by LEED, you’ll receive a certification that you can show to your vendors and customers that attests to the fact that you are committed to environmental stewardship and social responsibility. A LEED-certification is a great marketing tool to give your business an edge over your competitors. It also saves you money over time, since the energy efficient changes that you make will reduce your energy use. EnviroCitizen.org has found that it’s a great tool to take advantage of for many reasons, both environmental and business-related.