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LEED Certification

Discover the globally recognized LEED certification and how organizations can benefit from advancing sustainability efforts with green building practices.

Jonathan Haney headhsot
Jonathan Haney

Senior Director, Marketplaces

Modified on

June 6, 2024

Bring your company’s sustainability initiatives into the future with energy and environmental design (LEED) certified buildings and landscape projects. Learn why LEED certification is gaining momentum in construction and planning efforts around the world.

What is LEED Certification?

LEED (leadership in energy and environmental design) certification is the most widely used rating system in the world for verifying green buildings and other construction projects. A LEED-certified project indicates that it meets certain environmental and energy-efficiency standards, marking the construction, operations, and maintenance practices as having a higher level of environmental efficiency. LEED certification means a structure leaves a reduced carbon footprint and provides healthier spaces for occupants.

Purpose of LEED Certification

The ultimate purpose of LEED certification is to create a renovation or building project that reduces the environmental impact on the surrounding community. Most LEED certification efforts include these common characteristics.

  • Sustainability Benchmark: LEED provides a framework for constructing a structure that’s healthy, energy-efficient, and reduces the organization’s carbon footprint.
  • Performance-Oriented: LEED certification evaluates a project’s performance across key metrics such as water usage, air quality, and construction material selection.
  • Level Achievement: The LEED rating system enables a project to attain a silver, gold, or platinum LEED Certification level based on points earned in various sustainability categories.

Objectives in Achieving LEED Certification

Organizations seek LEED certification for building projects and major renovations to meet certain sustainability goals to provide greater environmental quality to the surrounding area and demonstrate social responsibility. Federal, state, and local governments also often provide tax incentives for incorporating the sustainable measures that come along with certified structures. The primary goals of LEED-certified efforts include:

  • Reducing the impact on climate change
  • Improving quality of life for the community
  • Protecting water supplies
  • Enhancing indoor air quality
  • Reducing energy consumption and increasing energy efficiency

LEED Certification Process Requirements

According to the Green Building Council, requirements to achieve LEED certification differ by project size and intent. Neighborhood renovation projects and industrial construction projects have much different requirements. However, in general, the LEED certification framework consists of the following requirement types.

  • Location: All LEED projects must be on permanent land.
  • Differentiation: A LEED project must promote itself as such to distinguish it from non-certified projects.
  • Size: LEED projects must comply with building or location size requirements for the specific project type.

What LEED Certification Says About a Company

LEED certification holds special meaning across industries and communities. Obtaining a certification communicates a level of commitment to the public and holds significant weight among many groups. When your building or construction project receives a LEED rating, you’re telling the public these things.

  • A Pledge to Environmental Stewardship: LEED certification tells the community your organization is committed to a healthier environment and social responsibility.
  • A Commitment to Healthier Workspaces: A LEED rating expresses to employment prospects that your organization values a safe and healthy work environment.
  • A Desire for Operational Efficiency: A LEED-certified structure signals that your buildings operate at lower utility costs and higher efficiency while leaving a smaller environmental footprint.

What LEED Certification Includes for Facilities Management

LEED certification significantly informs eco-friendly facilities management, operations, and maintenance. Some of the impacts LEED has on facilities duties include implementing these measures to help effect sustainable facilities management processes:

  1. Energy Optimization: Implement strategies that reduce energy consumption and increase the usage of renewable energy sources, leading to significant energy savings for organizations. 
  2. Water Efficiency: Install water-saving systems and fixtures such as low-flow toilets to reduce overall water usage and waste.
  3. Sustainable Landscaping: Incorporate region-specific landscapes and employ xeriscaping when possible to optimize water usage.
  4. Water Conservation Measures: Consider rain catchers to supplement or replace non-potable water use.
  5. Green Building Materials: Use sustainable and recycled building materials wherever possible.
  6. Waste Management Sustainability: Employ waste-reduction measures and work with a waste management provider to maximize sustainable waste-disposal practices.
  7. Indoor Environmental Quality: Provide access to natural light and employ indoor air-quality measures such as HEPA filters.

LEED Certification Benefits for Companies

Whether implementing a LEED initiative for a large industrial complex or renovating commercial interiors of existing buildings for sustainability, a LEED certification provides a number of benefits for facilities managers, project teams, and organizational leadership.  

Public Perception

LEED certification impacts community recognition. Reducing the environmental impact of a facility on the community helps place organizations in a good public light, branding them as leaders in sustainability and environmental consciousness. 

Budgetary Advantages

Being LEED-certified has financial benefits as well. Just having a LEED-certified status can increase a building’s property value. Energy saving and water consumption reduction measures contribute to lower operating costs.

Implementing LEED Certified Projects

Consider these crucial steps when seeking LEED certification for a new construction project.

  1. Engage Experts: At the conception stage, employ architects, engineers, and project teams who are experienced in sustainable building design and construction.
  2. Initial Assessment: In a project’s planning stage, perform an evaluation to determine the feasibility of attaining certification and assess the potential LEED-certification level achievable.
  3. Collaborate: From a project’s beginning, engage in a collaborative building design process that empowers communication among all project team members and project leaders.
  4. Document: Document all aspects of the building’s design and progress at all stages to ensure the project meets LEED requirements. 
  5. Verify: Confirm with the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) that your project fulfills all necessary LEED-certification requirements.
  6. Monitor Performance: Once the building is open for occupation, continue to track energy efficiency and water utilization, and perform necessary preventive maintenance to ensure the building continues to meet LEED standards during operation.
  7. Promote Awareness: Educate managers and occupants on sustainable practices to ensure the building continues to operate as designed.

In summary, LEED certification is a tool for increasing a company’s environmental benefit to the community and planet at large. Certification is a prestigious achievement in the field of green building that reflects a commitment to sustainability practices and the wellbeing of occupants. LEED certification offers a structured approach to operations and implementing maintenance strategies for facilities managers.

A reliable facilities maintenance management platform like ServiceChannel can dramatically streamline facilities management and maintenance scheduling duties for facility managers. Look into ServiceChannel today and learn how we can enhance your organization’s sustainability efforts.

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