LEED: The Green Building Construction Rating System
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED certification was initiated by the U.S. Green Building Council, or USGBC. There are multiple LEED rating systems for commercial properties. The most common rating levels are Silver, Gold and Platinum, and these ratings are periodically updated to ensure quality.
Obtaining LEED certification is valuable because it assures clients that their commercial facility was constructed, designed and maintained according to the highest standards. This is an exclusive credential, and it requires many different conditions in order to be applied to a building. However, there are also different certification levels available, so it is possible to work within an alternative planning model while maintaining LEED certification.
There are different standards available for new and used buildings as well. The purpose of all LEED certifications is to assure the public that the building is in compliance with current laws and regulations. These codes may specify certain standards relevant to the occupancy of the building as well as environmental concerns. After a period of five years, the building is required to report on the use of water and energy in order to maintain compliance.
Metal buildings in Houston can also achieve a LEED ranking by conforming to the designated building standards. In order to achieve the rating from the Green Building Certification Institute, the metal facility must adhere to design and construction specifications. This process may begin at the level of the initial architectural drawings, and the process will continue well after the construction is completed. Obtaining this credential assures the public that the structure adheres to the highest standards of energy efficiency in design, construction and maintenance.
The LEED rating system for concrete contractors ensures that the HVAC systems are sustainable and that the water systems are efficient. There are many long-term benefits possible when planning to work with a Houston LEED certified concrete contractor. The energy conservative nature of the certification will create an environment that maximizes every resource while minimizing wasteful processes. Since this is a part of the design of the building, many layers of benefit are possible.
The LEED for Building Design and Construction rating is also called the LEED BD+C, and it applies to new constructions. There are many different types of buildings that may fall under this category, and they include warehouses, hospitals, schools, data centers and retail stores. Research demonstrates significant improvements in occupant satisfaction, water and energy efficiency within LEED certified structures. Most improvements in the buildings will show up in the indoor environment and the energy systems, but foundational construction is also critical.
Houston foundation contractors are likely to pursue the New Construction LEED certification, which demonstrates that the foundation of the building complies with the highest standards in green building design and construction. This is a competitive certification when dealing with government contracts for commercial buildings and modern institutions. School LEED certifications are unique for these types of buildings, and foundation contractors may seek to acquire multiple credentials for certain types of construction projects in order to remain competitive.
There are many advantages to obtaining one or multiple LEED certifications, and the building's designers, engineers, architects, owners and construction personnel all have a stake in the outcome of the project. To compete effectively in a high-stakes area of contracting, various LEED certifications can provide an additional layer of assurance that the job will be performed according to the highest industry standards. The rating system allows each type of professional access to the credential without requiring more than is necessary. Various levels of certification provide a LEED rating for both new and established buildings.