Since 2003, KBE has embraced the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, ensuring that many of the buildings that they design and/or construct are environmentally efficient. KBE has completed, or is in the process of completing, 12 LEED-Certified projects,including the LEED Gold Certified Patapsco Hall at University of Maryland-Baltimore County, shown at left.
What is LEED and LEED certification?
LEED was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in 2000 and provides verification that a building was designed and built using aspects of efficient environmental health conservation strategies. This certification, which is divided into four categories (LEED Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum), recognizes performance in areas including:
- sustainable site development;
- water savings;
- energy efficiency;
- materials selection; and
- indoor environmental quality.
What isn’t every building certified as LEED?
There is no doubt that designing and constructing environmentally efficient buildings, whether they are residential or commercial, is beneficial to the environment, the community, and the managing business. For most design/build or construction management businesses, however, there are several concerns about whether the rather detailed and expensive conditions required are worth earning the certification.
What are some benefits to earning LEED Certification?
- The public recognition for earning a certification in sustainability.
- The relief of earning verification from a third party, so future building owners or tenants will
know that the energy efficiency claim has not been falsified or embellished.
- The potential investment opportunity that can be made from increased property values.
What are some detriments to earning LEED Certification?
- LEED Certification is very expensive to attain.
- Because LEED Certification is scaled based on certain qualifications, simply earning a LEED
Certification, as opposed to a Platinum certification, can seem less legitimate.
- Earning the certification means following an extremely rigorous set of guidelines, which the
construction company may or may not be able to follow.