So what's the next step? Like any journey, it depends on two things: Where you are right now and where you want to go. Are you a student or young professional seeking entry into the world of green design and construction? Perhaps you're an owner or developer thinking about LEED certification for your next project. Here are some ideas about what might be your next step in acheiving your goals.
People, Buildings and LEED - Certification vs. Accreditation
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a building rating system developed by the members of the U.S. Green Building Council designed to quantify the benefits of high-performance green construction. When a building meets all the requirements, it can then be certified as a LEED building. A person who has proven expertise with LEED can become a LEED Accredited Professional or LEED AP. Thus, when it comes to LEED, buildings can be certified and people are accredited. The independent, third-party Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) administers project certifications and professional credentials within the framework of the LEED Green Building Rating Systems.
The LEED Professional Credential is the mark of the most qualified, educated, and influential green building professionals in the marketplace. If you are thinking about becoming a LEED Accredited Professional, you'll want to determine which specialty is most appropriate for your area of interest.
We've created a LEED AP Study Group specifically for Nevadans who are interested in working together to reach similar goals.
When you are ready, you will contact GBCI to schedule and take your exam.
Green buildings earning LEED certification enhance the triple bottom line by reaping social, environmental and financial benefits. There's nothing like Green Building Research to help gain an understanding of how it all works.
The next step toward LEED certification for your building project really depends on the type of project and what phase of the design or building process you are in. LEED has several rating systems, including those for LEED for Neighborhood Development, New Construction, Schools, Health Care, Homes, Core and Shell, Commercial Interiors, Retail and Existing Buildings. LEED is a process that encourages integrated design and construction so, in terms of the entire project lifecycle, an early decision to adopt LEED can result in greater opportunities and optimal results, especially when seeking higher levels of certification.
If you have an idea but have not decided where it will be, your project can potentially gain the most benefit from LEED since location, proximity to transportation and the impacts of land use play a role in the rating system. In this case, getting the right advice early on could put you on track to maximize the benefits and minimize the cost of LEED certification since you have the maximum number of options to choose from.
Perhaps you have you have a location but have not gone far down the design path yet. This is the next best scenario due to the effective emphasis on interactive design. A design team with LEED experience is essential for success.
For partially completed projects, some opportunities to qualify for LEED certification may have been already lost. The best course is to obtain the services of a LEED AP to analyze the project's potential for certification and provide a list of options.
What if you already own one or more buildings? The LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance Rating System provides a path for owners and operators of existing buildings to measure and improve operations and maintenance, helping to maximize operational efficiency and minimize environmental impacts. Several Nevada businesses have obtained LEED-EB certification.