LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a system of evaluating buildings according to a series of energy and environmental standards that translate to a numerical rating or LEED credits.
LEED certified buildings offer specific advantages for those who wish to conserve resources. These include:
-Leading the transformation of the built environment.
-built as designed and perform as expected.
-have lower operating costs and increased asset value.
-healthy and comfortable for their occupants.
-reduce waste sent to landfills.
-conserve energy and water.
-Reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
-qualify for tax rebates, zoning allowances, and other incentives in hundreds of cities.
-demonstrate an owner’s commitment to environmental stewardship and social responsibility.
The financial benefits accruing to obtaining LEED certification come readily to mind, but for the record it seem necessary to enumerate them at this point. These benefits may include any/all of the following:
-Lower operating costs attending reduced resource use (electricity, gas, water, septic).
-Enhanced user comfort + healthier work environment = higher employee retention and plus increased productivity rates.
-LEED is the “gold card” in terms of environmental standards. Just like any personal credential, assigning the LEED credential to one’s building is value-added to the building as an asset.
From the standpoint of environmental stewardship, LEED certification seems to be the most appropriate response the human species has yet come up with to address the challenges posed by our species upon our planet. From the standpoint of any corporation or business owner the decision, of course, comes down to brass tacks: how much will obtaining LEED certification cost, and what are the benefits accruing to our project?
For companies and corporations who have weighed in in support of LEED, the answer is obviously and decidedly, “yes”. For those firms still on the fence, the position is obviously to take a “wait and see” approach, or bury their corporate heads in the sands entirely. Either of these latter positions may be entirely supportable looking up from the position of the bottom line.
The more fulsome and global approach for any company or corporation might be to look at LEED and the global environment from a top down business-sense standpoint, obtain complete clarity as to the financial costs/benefits accruing to LEED certification, and then decide.