The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification is an internationally recognized certification system for sustainable buildings created by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). Some of the benefits provided by this evaluation are:
- Spaces with better conditions for health and productivity.
- Reduction of emission of greenhouse gases.
- Access to tax incentives.
- Decrease in operating and waste costs.
- Increase the value of your assets.
- Energy and resource saving
WHO CAN GET BENEFIT FROM LEED CERTIFICATION?
This certification is used by developers, builders and governments around the world to reach benefits in their buildings.
LEED has established itself as the world’s biggest sustainable building assessment system with nearly 80,000 participating projects in 162 countries, including more than 32,500 certified commercial projects.
From the origin until today, this system, which seeks energy efficiency, has been constantly evolving keeping in mind contemporary trends in the construction industry, real estate and environmental studies.
HOW LEED CERTIFICATION IS EARNED?
To achieve LEED certification, there are some guidelines that must be met. These will achieve solutions of high performance and environmental efficiency, based on the requirements of the LEED standard.
A summatory of points system, where mandatory prerequisites (do not give points) and credits (are optional) allow to reach one of the four levels of certification available:
- Certificate, when reaching from 40 to 49 points
- Silver, reaching 50 to 59 points
- Gold, achieving 60 to 79 points
- Platinum, achieving 80 points or more
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE LEED SYSTEMS?
There are several systems under which a building can be LEED certified, depending on its own characteristics, from new constructions, major renovations, to existing buildings in operative stage.
While the credits are optional and eligible according to each project, the prerequisites are mandatory and must be met to obtain any level of certification.
At the global level, sustainable projects with certification demonstrate leadership, innovation and social responsibility.
WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE THAT LEED CERTIFICATION HAVE?
These 7 steps are a quick guide to the LEED process. However, the process is broader and gathers more details.
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- It establishes leadership in the sustainable construction industry and real estate market.
- It Validates achievements through an external and impartial review process.
- It contributes to the growing knowledge base of sustainable development.
- It Obtains certification plate for LEED buildings and official certificate.
- International exhibition of the project through the USGBC website, as a case study and media advertising.
- Qualify for private and public incentives, investment funds and prizes.
HOW ARE THE CREDIT FAMILIES CLASSIFIED?
The LEED Certification has a total of 110 credits: the first 100 are for proper compliance of categories and 10 are bonuses for innovation in execution. The credits are classified into seven families and each one collects credits related to its category.
The families are:
HOW IS THE PROCCESS?
The certification process for a sustainable project contains the next steps:
- Validation of the Minimum Program Requirements. To ensure that the participating building apply to LEED certification and comply with the minimum indispensable conditions established by the LEED system.
- LEED System Selection. Each construction is different, so you must specify in which LEED system it is feasible to register the project. That is, the requirements change according to the rating system to which the construction is submitted. The needs and areas of use of a hospital will be different than a retail or an office area.
- Project Registration. Once the LEED system that will govern the construction is determined, it will be registered. This is possible through the LEED Online website. In addition, during this step, the team members will feed this website with calculations, information and/or photos to inform the progress of the project.
- Application. When the project is completed, all pending evidence is collected and displayed to the online platform. When all the evidence has been collected, the project leader applies for a primary review of the entire project.
- Preliminary review. This review has as purpose a feedback by the approval board, where they will express possible doubts about the credits applied.
- Final review. After the preliminary review, all information is collected to clarify the doubts that the approval board may have had about the sustainability strategies applied during the project.
- LEED Project Certification. After the second review, the review board corroborates the new evidence presented and deliberates the credits that were pending, determining if the implemented strategy achieved the approving performance on the applied credit. In this last step, the final score and level of certification achieved by the project is shown.