Green Building: 4 Ways LEED Certification Affects Your Business
Written by CW Suter
Commercial Energy Efficiency Green Building LEED
What Can LEED Certification Do for You?
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification is the premier instrument for construction, design, maintenance, and operation of green buildings. LEED helps projects save money, reduce water consumption, conserve energy, and drive innovation.
#1 Attract Tenants and Buyers
A recent report by CoStar, the #1 real estate information company, revealed a substantial difference in the amount tenants are willing to pay for green living spaces. A sampling was taken from Los Angeles and showed that on average:
- Traditional buildings receive $2.16/ft2
- Energy Star certified buildings receive $2.69/ft2
- LEED certified buildings command $2.91/ft2
FACT More tenants are seeking out buildings that are certified, and buyers are purchasing properties and homes that contain high performing building features. People are more aware of the benefits that LEED certified buildings have to offer, and they are willing to pay extra for these cost saving features.
#2 Efficient Operations
LEED certified buildings reduce water and energy bills by up to 40%, sometimes more. The money that would previously be going towards costly utility bills can now be used to retain top talent, create new jobs, market your business — the opportunities are endless. Green buildings can save owners and operators millions of dollars, especially on an industrial scale.
With the help of a green building and sustainability consulting firm, the ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston plant in Delhi, Louisiana was able to achieve LEED platinum, the highest level of LEED certification. Their green achievements include:
- 44% reduction in energy use
- 89% of all construction waste diverted from landfills
- 60% reduction in domestic water usage through low flow plumbing.
There are many incentives and tax benefits available for green buildings. Tax credits, expedited building terms, grants, and reductions/waivers in fees are just some of the incentives available. The United States Green Building Council has more information on green building incentive strategies.
#3 Improve Health
Most Americans spend a vast majority of their time indoors, and the EPA estimates that indoor air is anywhere from 2 to 5 times more polluted than the air outside. A couple of the top causes of indoor air pollution include inadequate ventilation and toxins from building materials. Sick building syndrome, a syndrome that leaves its suffers with a variety of different ailments, can result from poor indoor air quality. LEED certification addresses sources of toxic indoor air. LEED certified buildings contain cleaner, healthier indoor air.
Green building retrofits have reported significant reductions the following:
- Allergies and asthma 18-25%
- Communicable respiratory diseases 9-20%
- Non-specific discomfort and health effects 20-50%
FACT Fewer doctor visits cut down on health insurance costs. Healthier employees are more productive and engaged in their work.
#4 Competitive Edge
According to a recent Nielsen global survey, 55% of people are willing to pay more for services and products produced or offered from company committed to achieving a positive environmental and social impact. Sustainably manufactured products are becoming more appealing to a growing number of consumers. People are cognizant of where their products come from, their environmental impact, and how they are processed.
Building green or retrofitting your current building to achieve LEED certification differentiates your brand in the best way.
FACT A common misconception is that green buildings cost substantially more to build. In reality, businesses pay a mere 2% increase on green materials compared to traditional materials. This expenditure will be recouped quickly.
Need more information?
Look no further. At CW Suter Services, we’re committed to providing our commercial clients with the same personalized service as we do our residential clients. Whether you’re in the planning stages for new construction or need to audit your building for potential renovation, we have the experience and know-how to make sure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck. Contact us to learn about LEED certification specific to your next commercial construction project.