What is LEED Certification?
LEED certification, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally recognized standard that measures the sustainability of building projects, from single-family homes to multi-million dollar commercial projects. The standards to achieve LEED certification are rigorous, but there’s no better way to make it clear that a building project or remodel is dedicated to green building. At Paul Cataldo Architecture & Planning PC, our dedication to these principles and experience in sustainable design enables us to work very effectively with clients who wish to pursue LEED certification for their project.
Who is the USGBC?
The LEED certification program is administered by the U.S. Green Building Council, a nonprofit coalition of building industry leaders dedicated to environmentally-friendly buildings. In addition to managing the LEED program, the USGBC, as they are commonly known, also operates local chapters throughout the nation. Paul Cataldo was one of the founding members of the Long Island USGBC, and has the expertise and experience that follows a long history of promoting green building in the Long Island area.
LEED Certification Levels
A project must meet a certain number of prerequisites, or minimum green building requirements, in order to register as a project seeking LEED certification. Then, the building project can pursue additional sustainable elements of architecture and design to accumulate points. The number of points a project earns determines its final LEED rating. LEED offers four levels of recognition, awarded based on the number of criteria a green building project meets:
- LEED Certified (40 – 49 points)
- LEED Silver (50-59 points)
- LEED Gold (60 – 79 points)
- LEED Platinum (80+ points)
Of course, a large-scale commercial building is incredibly different than a single-family home, and it’s difficult to compare which is “greener” than the other. That’s why the USGBC uses separate categories to determine how to rate a building project. There are nine categories of projects:
- New Construction & Major Renovation
- Core & Shell
- Retail: New Construction & Major Renovations/Retail: Commercial Interiors
- Commercial Interiors
- Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance
- Neighborhood Development
Many categories have overlapping strategies for green building, such as the kinds of heating & cooling systems or water management techniques a building uses. Others are more specialized, such as the urban planning required for sustainable neighborhood development.
Working With an Architect to Achieve LEED Certification
Our team at Paul Cataldo Architecture & Planning PC is here to help if you decide to pursue LEED certification for your project. We can answer your questions, assist with preliminary goal-setting and paperwork, and will help track progress and record the applicable credits through the LEED online system as the project continues. LEED certification is a specific and exacting process, but we believe wholeheartedly in its goal of creating green buildings that will operate in a sustainable way for years to come.
Contact us today to request a proposal for your LEED-certified building project.