Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a point based certification system developed by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) that recognizes high performance sustainable buildings. LEED has a variety of rating systems dependent on the type of project:
The objectives addressed in LEED include things such as reducing negative impact to the environment, efficiently using resources, and protecting occupant health. The performance of a building is evaluated in the following key areas:
Bonus points can be obtained in Innovation in Design and Regional Priority categories. A number of base points must be achieved for certification in addition to the completion of pre-requisites in the five key areas.
To obtain LEED certification, a facility must submit an application demonstrating compliance with the rating system. The application will be verified by a third party, the Green Building Certification Institute, and compared to a baseline building to determine the weight of points in each category. There are four different levels of LEED certification dependent on the total number of points attained: Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.
LEED certification is used by an assortment of members including architects, engineers, lenders, state and local governments, and federal agencies. The types of buildings that are eligible for certification include offices, institutional buildings, hotels, and residential buildings just to name a few. A project is a viable candidate for certification if it meets the prerequisites and can achieve the minimum number of points necessary to earn the Certified level.
LEED certification provides many benefits for your new or existing facility. LEED buildings have lower operating costs, reduced environmental impact, and provide a healthier work environment which leads to higher employee productivity. Additionally, buildings may qualify for tax rebates, zoning allowance, and other incentivizes depending on the city.
For more information on LEED certification and how it may be possible for you are your facility to become LEED certified, sign up to attend the FREE August Mack Webinar, "Understanding LEED Certification," on September 20, 2012.
Zak Kabelen is a field scientist for August Mack Environmental, Inc. who has specialized experience with the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (EPCRA), and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), including the development and implementation of Spill Prevention Control & Countermeasure (SPCC) and Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans (SWP3). Zak provides support to clients in areas of regulatory compliance to help maintain an EH&S management system that ensures compliance with current and future environmental procedures and guidelines. Zak can be reached at 614.798.9922 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
Kristie Hatala is a Field Scientist with August Mack Environmental, Inc. in the Dublin, Ohio office. She has four years of experience providing environmental compliance assistance including completion of quarterly, semi-annual and annual air reports as required by the U.S. and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA), wastewater reports and SARA 312 (Tier II) reporting. Kristie can be reached at 614.798.9922 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.