While various forms of energy conservation have existed in the construction industry for years, “green construction” has only recently come to the forefront of the building industry. Thus, the term Green Construction has come into our everyday language. It is the de facto standard in some communities, but for most of the country people don’t have a clear grasp on what exactly is green construction or how to go about remodeling or building a house to comply with current green standards.
Green Construction is not just a name, it is in fact a standard developed and maintained by the US Green Building Council. The standard, referred to as LEED, has several different rating levels from basic certification to Platinum certification. This is all determined on a points scale which is governed by the number of green components in a project.
The main advantages to getting LEED certified are:
- Lower operating costs and increased asset value from LEED Certification
- Conserve energy usage
- Conserve water usage
- Reduce landfill waste
- Healthier and safer environment for tenants
- Demonstrate an owner’s commitment to environmental stewardship and social responsibility
- Reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions
- Qualify for tax rebates, zoning allowances and other incentives in 100′s of cities
LEED certification is available for almost any green construction project. The application fees start at around $400 to become certified for a residential home.