LEED or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design buildings highlight the state-of-the-art green technologies and convey the distinction of being a legitimate beneficiary of our environment. While the cost and even the rents of LEED certified buildings are a bit on a higher side when compared to the conventional commercial properties, there are various advantages to picking one of such commercial spaces for your business. These include –
1. Hale and hearty (healthy) environ – Because of their inventive green HVAC systems together with allergy friendly, antimicrobial filters, spaces in LEED certified commercial properties have better in-door air quality as compared to ordinary business spaces, which means less of sick days for both employers and employees and an exponential increase in overall productivity. Owing to this benefit, many old spaces are retrofitting to fulfill LEED guidelines, since even achieving this will reduce air quality related illnesses by as much as 50%.
2. Better staffing and retention – Reports and analyses showcased a fact that LEED certified business spaces help organizations attract talented professionals. Furthermore, employee satisfaction in such spaces will in general be higher, diminishing worker turnover. This is particularly seen among Millennials who have great regard, as they like to work for companies that are green minded.
3. It boosts business’s public image –Communities all across the globe are both promoting and welcoming LEED certified properties. Having your business in a space that is contributing towards the environment will attain people’s attention and respect, which will benefit your brand image.
4. An Asset to Your Corporate Initiatives– In the event that your organization is trying hard to green your operations, having a LEED certified building can give a helping hand in achieving your goals. Since, energy efficiency is the chief motive of such spaces, taking a little help will add to your overall sustainability strategic planning.
5. Great reduction in utility costs – As mentioned in the above point, the chief motive of LEED certified properties is to consume less resources – water and electricity are the major ones saved under these programs. Such a reduction in utility bills and overall costs brings about a positive result on your bottom line. For space owners who invest with just one perspective – rental income achieves better rental rates when they offer a green space to their tenants.
6. Tax benefits (though it might not be for everyone) – Depending upon the line of business and your location, the organization might qualify for tax benefits provided you house your business in a LEED certified office space. At times, developers who are known to such certifications build their spaces in special economic growth zones, which might lead to greater tax breaks for your business.
7. Reduced waste management costs –LEED commercial spaces have their own recycling and composting programs, which means they put their waste to work. This can drastically lower the expenses of having waste removed from your business spaces. In some cases, businesses with their CSR initiatives distribute recycled materials to the needy and thus goes one step forward towards helping their society.
8. Better employee performance –With their natural bright lighting, spaces in LEED certified commercial properties offer satisfying, well-lit workplaces, which is the major factor that boosts employee performance. A recent study has proved this strategically as well, according to these – employees perform 25% more efficiently when they work in aLEED-certified space.
9. A positive ecological effect – Besides all that mentioned above, one and the most important thing about LEED spaces is – these spaces are good for our planet. Invest today and shrink the size of your carbon footprint right from the first day.
How to Achieve Certification for the Commercial Properties?
So as to achieve LEED certification, buildings must fulfill stringent guidelines, directed by the Green Building Certification Institute. The institute is an independent organization that oversees third party inspections of buildings as per ISO international certification standards. Developers and property owners can achieve various levels of LEED certifications, which depends upon how and to what extent the building complies with environmental standards. For instance –
1. Building must earn a minimum of 40 points out of 110 for the lowest level of LEED certification.
2. Silver certification – For building with 50 or more points
3. Gold certification – For building with 60 or more points
4. Platinum certification – For building with 80 or more points
The above-mentioned points are awarded under 5 major evaluation categories and are subjective towards categories with most environmental importance. For example – HVAC systems, energy efficient lighting, heating and cooling devices. The best way to achieve the best certification is by implementing eco-friendly construction methods, materials and energy efficient systems into the overall construction process.Settling on eco-friendly choices is the first step towards achieving LEED certification, which is a win-win situation for both building owners and business owners.