Green buildings with LEED certification
What is LEED?
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a rating system devised by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) to evaluate the environmental performance of a building and encourage market transformation towards sustainable design. The system is credit-based, allowing projects to earn points for environmentally friendly actions taken during construction and use of a building. LEED was launched in an effort to develop a “consensus-based, market-driven rating system to accelerate the development and implementation of green building practices.” The program is not rigidly structured; not every project must meet identical requirements to qualify.
Why Use LEED?
LEED is a voluntary program; however, obtaining a LEED certification projects a positive environmental image to the community. Additionally, using many green building practices can result in energy and cost savings over the life of the structure. Other advantages include better indoor air quality and plenty of daylight. Studies have shown that workers in these environments have increased labor productivity, job retention, and days worked. These benefits contribute directly to a company’s profits because salaries—which are about ten times higher than rent, utilities, and maintenance combined—are the largest expense for most companies occupying office space. In addition, students in these environments have higher test scores and lower absenteeism. Retail sales are higher in daylit buildings.