By Honey Stempka
What is LEED Certification?
Any type of building, from individual residences to municipal buildings, can choose to become LEED-certified. The number of LEED-certified buildings is on the rise in the Erie region. According to Honey Stempka, Former Director of the Northwest Region of the Green Building Alliance, there are six buildings that have obtained their LEED certification and a handful more in the process of garnering their LEED designation. In addition to reducing their impact on the environment, LEED-certified buildings also save their owners money over time, so it is expected that the number of certified buildings in the area will grow steadily.
Benefits of LEED Certification:
How Do You Become LEED Certified?
The U.S. Green Building Council's website's "Certification" page provides information on the certification process and applicable ratings systems in addition to the application and development of LEED. As mentioned above, LEED certification can be obtained by any type of building project, even making alterations to existing structures. LEED certification is awarded based upon a points system, with the points required to obtain certification dependent upon the type of project. The points are divided into five main categories:
There are also categories that apply to neighborhood development projects. They are:
Credit can also be obtained in the LEED for Homes category by providing awareness and education opportunities to homeowners, tenants, and building managers.
There are also two bonus credit categories:
The level of LEED certification that a building can obtain depends on the total number of project points achieved:
For more information, visit the USGBC's website to find the rating system specific to your project type. Here are a few example steps toward LEED certification:
LEED Buildings in the Erie Area:
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