Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)

What is LEED? LEED is defined by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) as follows:
The Green Building Rating System is a voluntary, consensus-based standard to support and certify successful green building design, construction and operations. LEED is transforming the marketplace by providing a nationally recognized certification system to promote integrated, whole-building design practices in the building industry.
There are five rating systems that address multiple project types:

  • Building Design and Construction (BD+C)
  • Interior Design and Construction (ID+C)
  • Building Operation and Maintenance (O+M)
  • Neighborhood Development (ND)
  • Homes (Homes)

Designing buildings to protect the environment and reduce the impact on natural resources should be the goal of all designers, and most importantly, their Clients. Harnessing power from the sun and wind, harvesting rainwater, or using recycled materials such as wood, concrete, metals, etc. are some of the ways that one can design and build in a sustainable manner that lessens the impact on the environment.

One of the first questions asked of my Clients is how sustainable (green) do you want to make your building? Should my Client want to achieve a certain level of LEED certification, I can assemble the right team of LEED certified consultants to ensure that the project meets, or exceeds, all of the Clients goals. On the other, if LEED certification is not desired by a particular Client, then I will still ensure that all avenues are explored to incorporate some sustainable concepts that meet that Client’s goals.

Achieving a LEED certification for a building project does have some extra costs and tasks associated with it that one must become aware of prior to making the decision whether to pursue the certification. I can work, with the help of certified consultants, with a Client early on to outline what those extra costs and tasks will be to allow for the Client to make an informed decision on which way to proceed.