What Does Being LEED Certified Mean?

If you do a little research online into Mechanical and Electrical Engineering or Sustainable Design in Ireland, you’re likely to come across the term ‘LEED Certified’, which sounds like a reassuring accreditation - but what does it actually mean?

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standard was created in the early 1990s by the non-profit US Green Building Council (USGBC). It was developed as a response to demands for the commercial construction industry to be ‘greener’ and has since become one of the most popular green certification programs used worldwide.

LEED Certification:
LEED is a rating systems for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of green buildings, homes and neighbourhoods. LEED awards points across six credit categories:
Sustainable sites
Water Efficiency
Energy and Atmosphere
Material and Resources
Indoor Environmental Quality
Innovation and Design

Certification level is based on how many points a building scores.
Certified: 40-49 points
Silver: 50-59 points
Gold: 60-79 points
Platinum: 80 points and above

Points are awarded "based on the potential environmental impacts and human benefits of each credit." Whilst some measures employed to achieve LEED status may require a higher amount of initial investment, this cost is retrieved over the life cycle of a building as LEED certified projects are highly efficient in the way they both consume and produce energy.

Benefits of LEED Certification:
A well maintained building with LEED certification not only reduces energy consumption, but also produces less waste. Green rating systems such as LEED are becoming increasingly popular with companies and individuals alike - driven by both a growing environmental consciousness and the significant cost savings that can be achieved over a lifetime.

At J.V. Tierney & Co. Consulting Engineers Ireland we believe that as designers, it is our responsibility to incorporate sustainable design and green technologies. If you would like to know more about this or any other sustainable approaches to building design and management, including BREEAM and LEED accreditation - give us a call on 01 421 4900 or visit our website www.jvtierney.ie