4 Tips for Getting LEED Certified

  1. Set a clear environmental target.  Before you begin the design phase of your project, decide what level of LEED® certification you’re aiming for and settle on a firm overall budget.  Also, consider including an optional higher certification target — a “stretch” goal — to stimulate creativity.
  2. Set a budget that is clear, concise and adequate.  If you’re reaching for a higher level of certification, such as Platinum, additional expenditure will be required.  Budget for these extra steps accordingly.
    Stick to your budget and your LEED® goal.  Throughout out the design and building process, be sure your entire project team is focused on meeting your LEED® goal on budget.  Maintain the environmental and economic integrity of your project at every turn.
  3. Engineer for Life Cycle Value.  As you value-engineer your project, examine your green investments in terms of how they’ll affect expenses over the entire life of the building.  Before you decide to cut a line item, look first at its relationship to other features to see if keeping it will help you achieve money-saving synergies, as well as LEED® credits.  Many energy-saving features allow for the resizing or elimination of other equipment or reduce total capital costs by paying for themselves immediately or within a few months of operation.  Prior to beginning, set your goals for “life cycle” value engineering rather than “first cost” value engineering.
  4. Only Hire LEED®-accredited professionals.  Thousands of architects, consultants, engineers, product marketers, environmentalists and other building industry professionals around the country have a demonstrated knowledge of green building and the LEED® rating system and process — and can assist you in meeting your goal.  These professionals can suggest ways to earn LEED® credits without extra cost, identify means of offsetting certain expenses with savings in other areas, and spot opportunities for synergies in your project.
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