Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a rating system used to evaluate buildings for their energy efficiency and their impact on the environment. Houston LEED construction projects offer significant benefits for owners and tenants. Understanding the certification process will allow you to make the most appropriate choices when planning your next building project.
The Basics of Houston LEED Construction
The LEED rating system comprises four certification levels and 21 different frameworks that are designed specifically for certain building types. LEED certification is available for new Houston office building construction projects, new industrial and commercial buildings and the renovation of existing buildings.
LEED construction projects require certain prerequisites that do not count toward certification but that must be in place to qualify for evaluation by LEED:
- An indoor environmental quality policy that protects indoor air and implements green-friendly cleaning procedures
- An environmentally responsible purchasing policy for materials and resources
- Energy-efficient lighting, heating and cooling and use of electricity
- Water efficiency policies that integrate low-flow and water-conserving fixtures
- A sustainable building site
Innovation in design is also considered when earning credits for LEED but is not a prerequisite for LEED certification.
LEED credits are used to determine the level at which a project can be certified. Points can be earned in a wide range of credit categories, which include reduction of heat and light pollution, rainwater management, site development, protection of habitats and many other areas.
Each credit has a set number of points that could be earned by effective green-friendly construction or innovation. For example, use of a water-conserving cooling tower could earn up to three points toward a LEED certification. Optimization of energy performance could potentially net 20 points toward LEED certification.
The four levels of LEED certification include the following:
- LEED Platinum certifications are reserved for building and renovation projects that earn 80 or more points.
- Projects earning between 60 and 79 points are qualified for LEED Gold certification.
- LEED Silver projects have earned between 50 and 59 points.
- To achieve LEED Certified status, projects must earn between 40 and 49 points.
The benefits of LEED certification include greater demand for the finished project, increased comfort and reduced energy costs for operation and a lower impact on the environment.
At GRA-Gulf Coast Construction, LLC, we offer Houston LEED construction options designed specifically to suit your needs and your budget. We work with you at every step of the process to ensure that your Houston design build requirements are met and that you are satisfied with the end result. Call our team today at 713-934-7797. Our turn-key construction experts are ready to serve you.