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LEED Certification Requirements – The Why and the How

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With environmental awareness on the rise, many building owners, operators and designers are looking to go green. By reducing overhead costs and showing an interest in the protection of the environment, companies are able to attract a wider client and occupant base. Among the best ways to gain recognition as a green project, is to have it LEED® certified. A LEED certification proves that a project has undergone thorough planning to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, solid waste products, and lower the consumption of water and energy being used. The first step to certification is registration with the Canada Green Building Council.
 
Why Register?
 
Registering your project serves as a declaration of intent to certify a building development under one, or several of the LEED Green Building and design Rating Systems. Once registered, you'll be provided with access to a diverse selection of tools and resources that will be required to apply for LEED certification. Registered and certified LEED projects can be listed on the LEED project database, should you choose it. Certification validates a project's green features and announces that it is operating in an environmentally sound manner. This information can be used to attract occupants as well as to advertise to potential investors.
 
LEED Certified
 
A LEED certified building is one that uses resources more efficiently than traditional buildings of similar size and function, benefiting owners, occupants, and society as a whole. Life cycle costing is used to show that while initial costs are sometimes higher, the payoff or reduction in utility costs year to year make the project financially feasible and beneficial. Other incentives for becoming LEED certified include government recognition, which may qualify your project for tax breaks. Before a project can be certified, a project first needs to be registered.
 
Requirements for Registration
 
The minimum program requirements on all newly registered projects list the basic characteristics that a project must have in order to be eligible for registration and subsequently, certification. Currently, the minimum program requirements for registration as a LEED certified building include:
  1. Must comply with environmental laws
  2. Must be a complete, permanent building or space
  3. Must use a reasonable site boundary
  4. Must comply with minimum floor area requirements
  5. Must comply with minimum occupancy rates
  6. Must commit to sharing whole building energy and water usage data
  7. Must comply with a minimum building area to area ratio
More information regarding each requirement can be found at the Canada Green Building Council website. Questions regarding the minimum program requirements can be submitted to customer service at the CaGBC.
 
How to Register
 
Registering your project is an easy task. Gather all of the information about your project and visit the Canada Green Building Council website. Create an account, and follow the on-screen instructions and your project will be registered in no time. You'll need to answer some questions about your project pertaining to the magnitude of the development and the number of buildings, so be sure to have relevant information at the ready. If you have any questions about LEED or the value of building green, contact the CaGBC directly. They are the experts!
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