Is Your Green Building Silver, Gold or Platinum?

In recent years sustainability in design and construction has gone from a small and slowly expanding sub-market to a massive worldwide practice.  Some initially considered the green movement to be transient trend like any other, one that would slide in, blanket the field for a few years and slink back into the recesses from whence it came.  Thankfully, going green has not only displayed significant staying power, but has exponentially expanded in the past decade. Sustainable designs and environmentally conscious construction has transformed from an afterthought into a necessity that has all but redefined the industry.  An industry that is now rife with organizations that serve to award structures for their sustainability and environmentally friendly designs.  At the head of the pack is the LEED-certification awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council.

LEED-certification is based on a total score that encompasses six different categories including: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality and Innovation in Design. 

High scores in all, or a few of these categories can lead—no pun intended—to a LEED-certification.  Certifications range from the base LEED-certification, to LEED-Silver, LEED-Gold and then LEED-Platinum at the top.  Green  buildings like The Greenwich Lane in NYC was constructed entirely from non-toxic materials, features high-efficiency LED lighting and state of art heating and cooling systems that utilize storm-water runoff—all of which helped it became the first structure in NYC to be pre-certified LEED-gold.  Buildings that are LEED-certified are some of the most efficient and sustainable structures in existence, and the benefits of this type of design and construction are multifarious.

LEED-certified buildings cost significantly less to operate. 

The superior levels of energy efficiency in these structures immediately produce massive savings.  A study by the New Building Institute—completed in 2008—found that LEED-certified buildings use an average of 24% less energy than their non-certified counterparts.  A 24% difference leads to huge energy savings on a daily basis.  In addition to savings when the building is completed, sustainable materials have been consistently decreasing in price over the last few years which means the initial investment needed to construct a green building is far less than it used to be, and can be recouped quicker than ever before.   

Studies have shown that people who live and/or work in LEED-certified buildings are generally happier than those who don’t.  This is at least partially attributed to the large, open layouts of many of these structures, the substantial windows that frame them, and the overall look of the building.  Many of the green buildings constructed in the last decade happen to feature some of the most intriguing architectural designs around.  A large portion of LEED-certified buildings are vastly more aesthetically pleasing than their antiquated counterparts.  In addition, the air quality inside LEED buildings is much higher, which makes the inhabitants of the space more comfortable overall—and increased comfort leads to increased health and happiness. Indoor air quality is not often discussed, but it needs to be, as it has been linked to an array of respiratory disorders.

A LEED certification undoubtedly improves the public perception of a business or residential space. The steps during design and construction that serve to achieve the goal of a LEED-certification are, in many ways, a public display of commitment to the surrounding environment and its inhabitants.  In the past, construction would rarely—if ever—take the larger scope of its impact into account.  A LEED-certification exhibits a sense of community and forms a model of environmental awareness.  The certification itself exhibits a level of prestige that stems directly from the numerous steps that are taken to achieve it.

To live or to work in a LEED-certified building has been proven to be better for your physical health, better for your mental health, better for your bank account, and, most importantly, better for the planet as a whole. 

Want to live in a LEED-Certified Building? Check out the Lancaster, a brand new development with LEED energy efficiency.

In recent years sustainability in design and construction has gone from a small and slowly expanding sub-market to a massive worldwide practice. Some initially considered the green movement to be transient trend like any other, one that would slide in, blanket the field for a few years and slink back into the recesses from whence it came. Thankfully, going green has not only displayed significant staying power, but has exponentially expanded in the past decade. Sustainable designs and environmentally conscious construction has transformed from an afterthought into a necessity that has all but redefined the industry. An industry that is now rife with organizations that serve to award structures for their sustainability and environmentally friendly designs. At the head of the pack is the LEED-certification awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council.

LEED-certification is based on a total score that encompasses six different categories including: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality and Innovation in Design. High scores in all, or a few of these categories can lead—no pun intended—to a LEED-certification. Certifications range from the base LEED-certification, to LEED-Silver, LEED-Gold and then LEED-Platinum at the top. Green buildings like The Greenwich Lane in NYC was constructed entirely from non-toxic materials, features high-efficiency LED lighting and state of art heating and cooling systems that utilize storm-water runoff—all of which helped it became the first structure in NYC to be pre-certified LEED-gold. Buildings that are LEED-certified are some of the most efficient and sustainable structures in existence, and the benefits of this type of design and construction are multifarious.

LEED-certified buildings cost significantly less to operate. The superior levels of energy efficiency in these structures immediately produce massive savings. A study by the New Building Institute—completed in 2008—found that LEED-certified buildings use an average of 24% less energy than their non-certified counterparts. A 24% difference leads to huge energy savings on a daily basis. In addition to savings when the building is completed, sustainable materials have been consistently decreasing in price over the last few years which means the initial investment needed to construct a green building is far less than it used to be, and can be recouped quicker than ever before.

Studies have shown that people who live and/or work in LEED-certified buildings are generally happier than those who don’t. This is at least partially attributed to the large, open layouts of many of these structures, the substantial windows that frame them, and the overall look of the building. Many of the green buildings constructed in the last decade happen to feature some of the most intriguing architectural designs around. A large portion of LEED-certified buildings are vastly more aesthetically pleasing than their antiquated counterparts. In addition, the air quality inside LEED buildings is much higher, which makes the inhabitants of the space more comfortable overall—and increased comfort leads to increased health and happiness. Indoor air quality is not often discussed, but it needs to be, as it has been linked to an array of respiratory disorders.

A LEED certification undoubtedly improves the public perception of a business or residential space. The steps during design and construction that serve to achieve the goal of a LEED-certification are, in many ways, a public display of commitment to the surrounding environment and its inhabitants. In the past, construction would rarely—if ever—take the larger scope of its impact into account. A LEED-certification exhibits a sense of community and forms a model of environmental awareness. The certification itself exhibits a level of prestige that stems directly from the numerous steps that are taken to achieve it.

To live or to work in a LEED-certified building has been proven to be better for your physical health, better for your mental health, better for your bank account, and, most importantly, better for the planet as a whole.
In recent years sustainability in design and construction has gone from a small and slowly expanding sub-market to a massive worldwide practice. Some initially considered the green movement to be transient trend like any other, one that would slide in, blanket the field for a few years and slink back into the recesses from whence it came. Thankfully, going green has not only displayed significant staying power, but has exponentially expanded in the past decade. Sustainable designs and environmentally conscious construction has transformed from an afterthought into a necessity that has all but redefined the industry. An industry that is now rife with organizations that serve to award structures for their sustainability and environmentally friendly designs. At the head of the pack is the LEED-certification awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council.

2593733332_f280faaab6_zLEED-certification is based on a total score that encompasses six different categories including: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality and Innovation in Design. High scores in all, or a few of these categories can lead—no pun intended—to a LEED-certification. Certifications range from the base LEED-certification, to LEED-Silver, LEED-Gold and then LEED-Platinum at the top. Green buildings like The Greenwich Lane in NYC was constructed entirely from non-toxic materials, features high-efficiency LED lighting and state of art heating and cooling systems that utilize storm-water runoff—all of which helped it became the first structure in NYC to be pre-certified LEED-gold. Buildings that are LEED-certified are some of the most efficient and sustainable structures in existence, and the benefits of this type of design and construction are multifarious.

LEED-certified buildings cost significantly less to operate. The superior levels of energy efficiency in these structures immediately produce massive savings. A study by the New Building Institute—completed in 2008—found that LEED-certified buildings use an average of 24% less energy than their non-certified counterparts. A 24% difference leads to huge energy savings on a daily basis. In addition to savings when the building is completed, sustainable materials have been consistently decreasing in price over the last few years which means the initial investment needed to construct a green building is far less than it used to be, and can be recouped quicker than ever before.

Studies have shown that people who live and/or work in LEED-certified buildings are generally happier than those who don’t. This is at least partially attributed to the large, open layouts of many of these structures, the substantial windows that frame them, and the overall look of the building. Many of the green buildings constructed in the last decade happen to feature some of the most intriguing architectural designs around. A large portion of LEED-certified buildings are vastly more aesthetically pleasing than their antiquated counterparts. In addition, the air quality inside LEED buildings is much higher, which makes the inhabitants of the space more comfortable overall—and increased comfort leads to increased health and happiness. Indoor air quality is not often discussed, but it needs to be, as it has been linked to an array of respiratory disorders.

A LEED certification undoubtedly improves the public perception of a business or residential space. The steps during design and construction that serve to achieve the goal of a LEED-certification are, in many ways, a public display of commitment to the surrounding environment and its inhabitants. In the past, construction would rarely—if ever—take the larger scope of its impact into account. A LEED-certification exhibits a sense of community and forms a model of environmental awareness. The certification itself exhibits a level of prestige that stems directly from the numerous steps that are taken to achieve it.

To live or to work in a LEED-certified building has been proven to be better for your physical health, better for your mental health, better for your bank account, and, most importantly, better for the planet as a whole.






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