What is LEED? And Why are Architects and Designers getting Buildings Certified?

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and it is a world recognized certification that is represented with a plaque on a building that tells tenants, visitors and employees that the structure has achieved or surpassed the standards necessary to be designated as a “green building”.  LEED Certified buildings are becoming more commonplace and many employees and tenants that are environmentally aware are beginning to look for this certification before renting, doing business and applying for jobs.

Leaders in the architectural and design industry have made LEED the most widely used system for achieving sustainability standards in the world. Currently, approximately 1.85 million square feet is being certified every day!

LEED is an independent, certifying body so it is a neutral organization and certifies based only on meeting or exceeding their predetermined criteria. The benefits of meeting the LEED standards includes, having a resource-efficient structure and a high performing building.

According to the Canada Green Building Council LEED Certified buildings,

“…have eliminated 1,261,016 CO2e tonnes of GHG emissions annually, diverted over 1.5 million tonnes of waste from landfill, and saved 12.8 billion litres of water per year, benefiting all Canadians”

The Benefits of LEED Certified Buildings

Happier Employees and Occupants

LEED certified buildings are attracting and retaining tenants and employees, and environmental initiatives are attractive and at times even demanded by the individuals that live and work in these structures. 2.5 million employees around the world are currently working in LEED Certified buildings.

Landlords and building managers can also receive more rent for their environmentally friendly buildings and can charge up to 20% more for these spaces. LEED buildings also have lower vacancy rates so buildings with the designation are in demand. Tenants and businesses that rent these spaces will pay the higher price because they are also at an advantage when they save heating, cooling and associated costs with every billing cycle by operating or living in a more efficient and intelligently designed building.

Positive Public Relations

More businesses are trying to obtain environmental certifications for positive public relations. A LEED Certified building attracts great press. Receiving the certification can lead to attention that can result in more prospective employees applying for jobs, new and returning customers that become loyal to a brand, and partnerships with other “green” businesses.

LEED is Setting and Raising the Standard

LEED Certified Buildings are raising the bar when it comes to our expectations and hopes for a future where the environment is concerned. It is changing the way we think, the way we plan and build the structures in our community. Due to certified buildings being more efficient with water and energy, and reducing greenhouse gas, there is sustainability in mind and not only does it affect the people of today, it reduces our carbon footprint for the generations of tomorrow.

The Future of LEED

The process of obtaining certification is pushing designers and architects to develop innovative and leading edge solutions that are better for the environment and the community. The entire certification process helps the world as a whole to work together to achieve a more efficient and cost effective solution to the growing population and use of natural resources worldwide.

WDI Group is an office interior design Toronto based team that is familiar with LEED, SCS Indoor Advantage™ Certification, and other environmental standards. The firm works with products that meet BIFMA e3 Furniture Sustainability Standard, Level Certification, and Cradle to Cradle Certification wherever possible. WDI Group is focused on advancing to keep ahead of the constant development in this field and is committed to ongoing research and staff education. Contact 1-888-304-3114.