Not every new construction building meets the requirements to be eligible for LEED Certification. Prior to having the building evaluated, the building must meet several criteria to be eligible. The list of requirements helps define clear guidance to the customer, protects the integrity of LEED Certification, and reduces the misconceptions and complaints during the certification process. This article will focus on the requirements for a newly constructed building.
Not every new construction building meets the requirements to be eligible for LEED Certification. Prior to having the building evaluated, the building must meet several criteria to be eligible. The list of requirements helps define clear guidance to the customer, protects the integrity of LEED Certification, and reduces the misconceptions and complaints during the certification process. This article will focus on the requirements for a newly constructed building. The building structure must comply with all environmental laws that are applicable. Any environmental permits needed must be obtained by following the proper channels prior to LEED evaluation. A portion of the testing takes into account the way the new structure will interact with the surrounding environment. Any environmental permit would further define that relationship and ensure compliance would be met prior to a final certification. The method and measure of that interaction may also impact the final scores of different categories within the certification scoring. The new construction must be complete and a permanent building or space. LEED Certification takes into consideration the immediate environmental impact. The specific region that the building is located in may affect the scoring or bonus points assigned. Therefore the building must be permanently located and not able to be transported to a different location and retain certification. The building must also be the complete building and not merely sections or floors within the building. The building must use a reasonable site boundary. The environmentally conscience design must be evaluated on larger perspective when certifying the entire new construction project. All parts of the whole must be considered and evaluated towards the final score. This also ties in with the previous paragraph where all sections of the whole building are evaluated. The project should be 1000 square feet or larger to be considered for lead certification. A threshold had to be determined for what size buildings simply could not be a part of the LEED certification program to protect the integrity of the program. A 100 square foot building does make an environmental impact, however the motivation of this program is geared towards newly constructed buildings with over 1000 square feet. The building must also account for over 2% of the site area that is being certified. The building must server more than one full time equivalent occupant. Someone must be utilizing the space on a regular basis for indoor air quality to be evaluated and measured. It stands to reason that if points are being given for the interior conditions of the building, then someone should be reaping those benefits. The whole building energy and water usage must be shared to evaluate efficiencies and utilization. This ties significantly into the scoring process and is needed data for the evaluation. These thresholds are established to define clear guidelines for the LEED Certification program, protect the integrity of the program, and reduce complaints and manage expectations during the certification process. Many buildings will meet these initial criteria, while others may not make the cut. The message is not that unqualified buildings should not be environmentally friendly, but that a clear target is being defined for the initial buildings that are the focus of the program. Click here to contact a LEED Certified Professional in your area to have a new construction project evaluated for LEED.