If you’re currently a property owner or you’re considering a real estate investment of some kind, you have likely heard of LEED.

We are going to discuss what it is and why it matters for you, as a property owner.

 

What is LEED?

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It was a concept introduced in the 90s as a way to construct buildings more sustainably. Around the beginning of 2000, the LEED rating was formally introduced as a way to identify buildings constructed in this manner.

LEED certification is managed by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).

LEED encompasses two main components: certification and accreditation.

 

What is LEED certification?

LEED certification is earned based on construction in accordance to a set of specific guidelines designed to ensure sustainability and energy efficiency. There are 5 categories for certification depending on the type of construction being done. Let’s look at each category.

 

  1. Building Design and Construction, or BD+C: For buildings that are new construction or going through a large renovation including new construction, core and shell, schools, retail, hospitality, data centers, warehouses, distribution centers and healthcare.
  2. Interior Design and Construction, or ID+C: For buildings undergoing a full interior update including commercial interior, retail and hospitality.
  3. Building Operations and Maintenance, or O+M: For buildings where little or no construction is taking place and the focus is maintenance, repairs and operations. This includes existing properties, buildings, schools, retail, hospitality, data centers, warehouses and distribution centers. This encompasses all existing properties.
  4. Neighborhood Development, or ND: For new land development, redevelopment to include planning and built projects.
  5. Homes: For single family or one to six story multifamily residences, including homes and multifamily low-rise and mid-rise.

 

Each category listed above has a rubric of items that a construction manager can incorporate to earn points toward certification. Once you reach a certain threshold of points, your building can be LEED certified. Continuing to earn additional points raises the certification level.

 

What’s the cost?

There is no such thing as a free lunch. And that’s certainly true in this case. LEED certification fees vary based on which category your property falls into.

Flat fees for the registration can begin around $1,500 and the certification fee is $0.036, $0.042 or $0.046 per square foot of the building. If you’re a member of the USGBC, your fees might be lower. Depending on the size of your property, it could chip into your budget significantly.

 

What’s the benefit?

As many businesses look for ways to be more energy efficient, LEED is a blueprint to achieve this in all phases of construction. Generally, green certified buildings use less energy and water than non-certified businesses. If you’re constructing new, looking for ways to be more energy-efficient will help your business bottom-line overall.

Weaver Realty Group has extensive experience in construction of new properties that are energy-efficient, assessing current properties to provide energy savings and managing properties to protect your bottom line. Call us today to see how we can help you in all of your real estate investments at 904-733-0039.