Chances are, you see the words, "LEED Certified" fairly often. It can be plastered on the wall of a building or listed as a benefit for a new structure. But what exactly does a LEED certification mean, and how does a building become LEED Certified? Below we will take an in-depth look at what exactly it takes to qualify as a LEED-Certified building and the benefits associated with LEED.

What is LEED?

LEED is an acronym that stands for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design. Started in 2000, LEED is now a globally recognized program. The goal of LEED-certified buildings is to make the spaces we live, work, and play in more healthy by reducing carbon emissions and increasing electricity cost savings.

Four different levels of a LEED certification can be achieved. The various levels that can be earned are:

●        LEED Certified

●        LEED Silver

●        LEED Gold

●        LEED Platinum (the highest rating)

The different levels of LEED Certification are intended to reward buildings that put sustainability, green thinking, and innovative solutions at the forefront of design. A LEED Certificate can be awarded to a building at any phase in its life — from the initial design to a newly renovated building.

How does my building qualify as LEED?

In order to qualify for the different LEED certification levels, the building must earn credits. These credits are awarded to buildings that meet or exceed nine pre-established measurements for excellence. The building must utilize green-building elements and strategies throughout the design. Credits can also be earned through optional design strategies that help reduce the building's carbon footprint or energy usage. The established credits have been designed by a collaboration of community workers well versed in elements of building and construction in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council. Additional credits are awarded through a team of third-party reviewers.

What are the benefits of being a LEED-Certified building?

Aside from being better for the environment, there are many benefits to having a LEED-Certified building. These benefits extend to both the people working and living within the building daily and to the building managers and owners. These benefits include:

●        LEED buildings often demand higher-than-market-rate prices for commercial real estate in competitive markets.

●        LEED apartments and condos hold a better retention rate of tenants. Studies have shown a 20% higher tenant retention rate than traditional apartments and condos.

●        Lower operating costs from utility bills.

●        LEED office buildings regularly find higher employee retention and increased employee satisfaction.

At Gausman & Moore, we pride ourselves on being experts at designing LEED-Certified projects. Regardless of the phase your building is in, whether it is a brand new design yet to break ground or an existing building that is in need of some upgrades, we are here to help. Our professional team is eager to transform your building into a LEED-Certified space. To learn more about our projects, check out our portfolio of past projects.