Everything You Need To Know About LEED Certification
As described in a previous blog post, green building is all the rage in today’s construction world. Sustainability is on the minds of everyone from developers, project managers, corporations to even your average tenant.
In today’s blog post, we explore what LEED certifications are, why they matter to project managers, and how Hamdon Submetering systems can play a key role in getting your building LEED certified.
Disclaimer: Although this is not an entirely all-encompassing blog about LEED certification, it is a concise summary of important details, and options to consider.
What is LEED and Why is it Important for the Project Manager?
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design®, and is an internationally recognized rating system for green building in over 165 countries. According to the US Green Building Council, more than 2.2 million square feet in over 165 countries and territories, is LEED certified every day with more than 92,000 projects using LEED.
Meanwhile, as per the Canada Green Building Council (CAGBC), since 2002 LEED® Canada has led to:
Energy savings of 6,503,647 eMWh which is enough to power 220,702 homes in Canada for a full year.
Water savings totalling over 12.8 billion litres, the equivalent of 5,131Olympic sized swimming pools.
Recycling over 1.6 million tonnes of construction/ demolition waste recycled, which represents 491,174 garbage trucks.
A 1,261,016 CO2e tonne reduction in greenhouse gas emissions which equates to taking 238,377 cars off the roads for a year.
231,608 sq. metres of green roofs, or an area equivalent to 153 NHL hockey rinks, to reduce the urban heat island effect and mitigate stormwater flows in urban areas.
Because a LEED certification is an internationally recognized third party certification, with sustainability at its core, certifying your building puts you on the green building map immediately. With a LEED score, your building not only saves on resources, but it also attracts the kind of tenants willing to pay more for CSR-friendly leases.
Tenants know that LEED certified buildings are a generally healthier alternative to their non-certified counterparts because they offer improved indoor air quality, less harmful building materials, and more natural light. Since 2004, the CaGBC has certified over 3,300 LEED buildings in Canada and registered over 7,800 – with the second highest number of LEED projects anywhere in the world.
How does LEED work?
Projects pursuing LEED certification earn credits across several categories, including energy use and air quality. Based on the number of credits achieved, a project earns one of four LEED rating levels:
- Certified: 40-49 points earned
- Silver: 50-59 points earned
- Gold: 60-79 points earned
- Platinum: 80+ points earned
LEED credits add up to form your building’s “LEED Score”. A complete list of potential credits can be found in the LEED Credit Library.
Submetering is a Requirement of LEED V4 Certification
With LEED 2009 being replaced by the LEED V4 version – the latter placing increased importance on the long-term operational efficiency of a building – utility submetering as discussed in a previous blog post, is more important than ever.
Submetering allows the project manager to record accurate energy efficiency – information enabling you to score credits towards your building’s LEED certification. This is vital because in LEED V4, the number of credits directly and indirectly requiring submetering systems has increased.
Our team at Hamdon can help you score those credits, with a turn-key LEED Metering System, including:
- Meters for Electricity water, gas and thermal energy
- Communications equipment
- Reporting software or integration to existing software
- All related services, such as contractor coordination and verification
First, Make Sure You Are Eligible
Determine whether you meet the minimum requirements by visiting the LEED v4 Minimum Program Requirements.
A LEED For Every Construction Project
Whether you’re building a school, a home, or a complex apartment building, know which LEED is appropriate for your project:
Building Design and Construction
|Applies to buildings that are being newly constructed or going through a major renovation. Learn more.|
Interior Design and Construction
|Applies to projects that are a complete interior fit-out. Learn more.|
Building Operations and Maintenance
|Applies to existing buildings that are undergoing improvement work or little to no construction. Learn more.|
|Applies to new land development projects or redevelopment projects containing residential uses, nonresidential uses, or a mix. Projects can be at any stage of the development process, from conceptual planning to construction. Learn more.|
|Homes||Applies to single family homes, low-rise multi-family (one to three stories), or mid-rise multi-family (four to six stories). Learn more.|
Registration for Canadian projects begins by signing up through the CaGBC’s website and selecting the LEED v4 rating system that applies. For additional information on the many rating systems available, please see the LEED v4 Rating System Selection Guidance. Then, you’re all set to follow these steps to certification.
LEED buildings help developers and project managers thrive, by giving them an immediate competitive advantage, unbiased recognition and strong visibility.
Let Hamdon Submetering systems get you closer to a LEED certification.