Living the Life of LEED 
LEED is popping up all over. We see it more and more as more and more people and see the benefits of working in and/or constructing a LEED-certified building.

But just what is LEED certification? What is the LEED lowdown?

A very short LEED primer: The acronym stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) – a non-profit corporation which itself was created in 1993 – a LEED-certified building is one that conserves energy and is mindful within its design and construction of saving water, uses recycled materials whenever possible, provides a healthy indoor environment for the people who work within its walls and reduces the impact its construction has on the local environment, among a few other things, including innovation in sustainable design. A building must be in compliance with the requirements of the LEED Green Building Rating System to be LEED-certified.

Development and construction companies themselves cannot be LEED-certified, but a developer (or a provider of green office products such as – yes, shameless plug there) can help you build and furnish a building so that the structure will pass the LEED-certification process

For a builder to get her construction LEED-certified, she applies to the USGBC providing documentation that the building complies with LEED requirements.

LEED offers buildings four different levels of certification – Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum (in other words, a building need not pass all of the LEED prerequisites to receive certification). Structures that score 40-50 percent on the LEED checklist may receive a Certified designation. Those buildings that score 80 percent or more receive a Platinum certification.

Constructing a LEED-certified building adds to a structure’s initial cost. Just as purchasing a compact florescent light (CFL) bulb costs more at first but saves money in the long run, so will the challenge and expense of constructing a LEED-certified building pay off over time.

Your company’s bottom line and our environment both win.

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