With the recent passage to adopt LEED v4 (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design) by the U.S Green Building Council (USGBC) to the world’s premier green building rating system, it can be safe to assume that green building is here to stay. Once viewed as a passing fad by small- and mid-market companies, businesses of all sizes now recognize not only the environmental justification, but also the financial payoffs that going Green can have for their company. LEED, in its simplest form, is a rating system that is now used in 135 countries. After 10 years in the marketplace, LEED is now the leading standard for green building best practices worldwide.
LEED enables a company to provide immediate and measurable results, permits a project to benchmark resources, such as energy and water consumption and ultimately, saves companies millions of dollars each year simply by reducing the costs for its consumption. LEED v4 means we now have one standard for all industries that work with or plan to work with energy efficient buildings. Primarily focused on commercial building and construction, we have also seen more and more residential buildings incorporate new technology for energy efficiency and ultimately, the opportunity for LEED certification. With one rating agency, the potential to standardize commercial construction has gained traction.
LEED. Yes, you.
To understand LEED is to think of the camera in a cell phone. Pretty much everyone has a cell phone and each phone has a camera. Within that, the camera allows you to instantly either save or upload your pictures as you take them, whether that is to the Cloud, to a social media site or to a recipient in email. This allows anyone with a camera on their phone to shoot and send pictures. It’s a streamlined, clean and environmentally friendly approach to taking and sharing pictures. Gone are the days of buying film and bulbs, sending the film out for processing, using chemicals to process and develop pictures and tossing negatives, canisters and flashbulbs in the garbage which are disposed in the landfill.
With LEED in an everyday sense, our world is also becoming streamlined and efficient. Instead of incandescent light bulbs, we now have the Energy Star compact fluorescent light bulb on store shelves; in this switch, our homes have become more efficient, use less energy and create less waste due to their long life. The long term benefit is infinite; as LEED continues to gain momentum, the article “An Inconvenient Value” published in Awareness into Action, shows how the financial payoffs can be quite handsome.
The Federal government has utilized incentives such as tax credits and accelerated tax deductions for several years to reward procurers of sustainable practices. Thankfully, with innovation and proven energy policies, property owners can also save real dollars by going Green.
Are you ready for LEED? Download the LEED v4 user guide. To learn more about LEED, contact Paul Etzler, CPA, CGMA, GACR in our Real Estate and Construction group at 440-449-6800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.