Benefits of LEED
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Available for virtually all building, community and home project types, LEED provides a framework to create healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings. LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement. There are many benefits to pursing LEED certification and Dickinson's commitment to sustainability has led us to be LEEDer amongst higher education insitutions and sustainable residential spaces. With the first LEED Gold certified residence hall in Pennsylvania and the pursuit of LEED Platinum certification for our newest High Street Residence Hall (2018).
Why is LEED beneficial?
LEED-certified buildings are:
- Built to be energy-efficient, ensuring that the home can be comfortably heated and cooled with minimal energy usage; Designed to minimize indoor and outdoor water usage.
- Use an estimated 30 to 60% less energy than a comparable home built to International Energy Conservation Code. Potential reductions include:
- Up to 30% (for LEED Certified)
- Approximately 30% (for LEED Silver)
- Approximately 48% (for LEED Gold)
- 50-60% (for LEED Platinum)
LEED Creates Value
Researchers found that between 2007-2012, the value of homes in California with a green certification label was an average of 9% higher than comparable, non-certified homes. Consumers ranked green/energy efficiency as their top requirement for their dream homes.
- Green homes sell at higher prices and faster than comparable, conventional homes. In 2011, the Earth Advantage Study found that, on average, green-certified, new homes sold for 8 percent more than non-certified green homes. Additionally, resale prices of existing green homes were about 30 percent more than conventional homes.
- Today’s tenants understand and are looking for the benefits that LEED-certified spaces have to offer. The new Class A office space is green; lease-up rates for green buildings typically range from average to 20 percent above average.
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that indoor air is two to ten times more polluted than outdoor air. LEED-certified buildings are designed to maximize the quality of indoor air and minimize exposure to airborne toxins and pollutants. They require proper ventilation, high-efficiency air filters and measures to reduce mold and mildew. Each LEED-certified building undergoes onsite inspections, detailed documentation review and performance testing to ensure the health and safety of its residents.
The LEED certified buildings have an overall positive impact on the environment. Some green homes further reduce our dependence on conventional energy by using alternative sources such as solar, wind, geothermal and biomass. Similarly, there are other sustainable methods that can be adopted to ensure the positive effect on environment.
Standard building practices use and waste millions of tons of materials each year; green building uses fewer resources and minimizes waste. LEED projects are responsible for diverting more than 80 million tons of waste from landfills, and by 2030 that number is expected to grow to 540 million tons.
SOURCE: USGBC, About Green Homes: https://www.usgbc.org/articles/benefits-green-homebuilding