The construction industry has become exceptionally environmentally conscious over the past couple of decades, and with good reason. Paying attention to environmental concerns helps construction companies to build stronger buildings, reduce costs, and create structures that are healthier for people to live in. A building that is environmentally friendly is going to have a higher retail value than one that is not, which inspires owners of older homes to invest in upgrades.
Over the past few years, terms such as “green building” and “LEED certified” have become very important throughout the construction industry. A quick examination of the terms might indicate that they are interchangeable. But a closer look reveals that, while they both deal with environmentally friendly construction, the two terms are not the same.
What Is LEED?
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a rating system developed to recognize contractors and buildings that are built to the highest possible environmental standards. The LEED system is broken down into several sets of standards that are identified as:
- Building Design and Construction
- Interior Design and Construction
- Building Operation and Maintenance
- Neighborhood Development
- City Development
The points system for each standard is based on getting positive marks for doing the necessary work, and then getting extra points for going above and beyond the measure. While each standard has its own criteria, some of the basic elements that are used for assigning points are:
- Water and energy conservation
- Use of site to preserve resources
- Use of materials and other resources
- The environmental quality of the indoor environment that is created
What Is Green Building?
The idea of green building is more of an abstract concept than any well-defined principle. Over the years, green building has evolved into the concept of maximizing every resource used in a project to get the best environmental results for the entire life of the structure. This includes reducing the fossil fuels used to build the structure and creating systems within the building that create the healthiest and most environmentally friendly environment possible. It also involves using materials that are designed to last longer and not give off harmful emissions as they deteriorate.
Are LEED And Green Building The Same?
Green building is the abstract idea on which LEED ratings were built. Without LEED ratings, there is no quantitative way to judge whether or not a project meets or exceeds environmental standards. Without green building, there are no ideas upon which the entire concept of environmentally conscious construction can be based.
Another big difference between LEED ratings and green building is that LEED ratings are constantly being refined and changed to reflect modern conservation ideas. The idea of green building has not been altered very much since it was first introduced, but it still remains a solid foundation on which the ideas of conservation in construction can be built.
If you want the latest information on LEED ratings and certifications, then check out PDH Contractors. You can browse courses by state and find the one that matches your needs, and you can also use the PDH Contractors resources to renew your construction licenses. All of the information found at PDH Contractors is updated regularly, and the blog is constantly growing with new information.