LEED, an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, was developed in 2000 by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED is an internationally accepted benchmark for design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings, with projects in 135 countries and international projects accounting for more than half of total LEED registered square footage. The voluntary, consensus-based, market-driven program provides third-party verification of green buildings while furnishing building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.
LEED certified buildings offer many benefits to building owners. They offer financial benefits by lowering operating costs, increasing the building’s value, and qualifying for tax rebates, zoning allowances and other financial incentives in hundreds of cities. The environmental benefits LEED certified buildings offer include conserving water and energy, lowering dangerous greenhouse gas emissions, reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills, while providing a healthier and safer environment for occupants. Moreover, an organization’s participation in the voluntary and technically rigorous LEED process demonstrates leadership, innovation, environmental stewardship, and social responsibility.
LEED certification in Florida has proven to be very beneficial for business. While green building is essential for the health of the planet and the good of the environment, it also provides multiple benefits to business owners by:
- Setting businesses apart as being environmentally responsible
- Commanding higher rental prices
- Reducing risk in health, exposure to energy and water prices and obsolescence
- Lowering operating costs
- Offering “green magic” that translates to higher occupancy, higher sale prices and rental rates
How does LEED work?
LEED has special rating systems that apply to all kinds of structures, with different requirements for each category. The rating systems, developed through an open, consensus-based process led by LEED committees, are available for new construction & major renovations, and existing buildings, in several credit categories:
- Core & Shell
- Commercial Interiors
- Regional Priority Credits
Within each of the LEED credit categories, projects must satisfy prerequisites and earn points. The number of points the project earns determines its level of LEED certification. LEED points are awarded with credits weighted to reflect their potential environmental impacts. Bonus credits are available. To be certified, a project must satisfy all prerequisites and earn a minimum number of points.
There are four LEED certification levels, each with their own point requirements: LEED Certified, LEED Certified Silver, LEED Certified Gold, and the highest certification, LEED Certified Platinum. For commercial buildings and neighborhoods to earn LEED certification, they must satisfy all LEED prerequisites and earn a minimum 40 points on a 110-point LEED rating system scale. Homes seeking certification must earn a minimum of 45 points on a 136-point scale.
LEED employs a whole-building approach to sustainability, recognizing performance in key areas. The main credit categories are:
- Sustainable sites – encourages strategies that minimize the impact on ecosystems and water resources
- Water efficiency – promotes smarter use of water
- Energy & atmosphere – promotes better building energy performance through innovative strategies
- Materials & resources – encourages using sustainable building materials and reducing waste
- Indoor environmental quality – promotes better indoor air quality and access to daylight and views.
Are you ready to become LEED certified?
Advanced Control Corp can help you achieve your LEED certification! A proud member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for many years, Advanced Control Corp has been at the forefront of green building in South Florida and the energy conservation movement for over twenty years. Our specialists’ extensive experience providing building automation, access control, CCTV systems and energy management systems makes them the perfect partners to assist your organization in improving its environmental, energy and financial performance. Contact Advanced Control today at 954-491-6660 to get started toward a greener tomorrow!