The Cost And Benefits Factor in Implementing Leed

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Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) issued by the US Green Building Council has been around for quite some time now. Ask any Minneapolis Construction Company about LEED and they are sure to recommend its implementation on a more vigorous scale. LEED program has been so far mostly voluntary but a few Government bodies are moving towards making its implementation a necessity, especially for publicly funded construction projects.

It is a common marketing practice by construction and architectural firms to tout LEED certification compliance during project proposals on their websites or brochures. Its soaring popularity is pushing more government agencies and Minneapolis Construction Company owners to implement it despite its voluntary status.

However, there is no doubt that reducing the impact of construction on environmental balance is the need of the hour. Effective and obligatory implementation of LEED can bring about a major change in the state of our environment.

The authorities are concerned that expanding the application of LEED to other areas of construction would add to the already escalating cost of construction projects, which would not balance out the potential benefits of obtaining LEED Certification.

Also, it would not be possible for minor construction projects or a small time Minneapolis building contractor to comply with the stringent qualifying requirements and meet the cost elements linked with obtaining a LEED certification.

Cost data associated with a LEED certification is highly inconsistent given the wide difference in building types, size, regions and other conditions involved in a commercial project. It is also possible that, while a LEED certified project may exhibit common external elements, the path followed for its implementation may differ from one Minneapolis building contractor to another.

LEED is in its infancy today and it is quite possible that with time, the process of obtaining certification and implementation will become easier. Some cost elements are also sure to reduce with time when compared with the total construction cost of a commercial project. In the present scenario however, any Minneapolis construction companies wanting to obtain LEED certification have to deal with soft costs apart from those associated with the construction process.

These costs include the cost of designing which involves contracting architects and design engineers who are specialists in the task. Soft costs also include the price of commissioning the project, energy modeling, document compliance and application fees.

If a comparison is made taking into account the costs of obtaining LEED certification and its implementation to its actual benefits, it is clear that LEED buildings do deliver the anticipated savings over time. They use key resources more efficiently as compared to conventional buildings. LEED helps create healthy working and living environment and can also even help companies achieve greater employee efficiency and higher productivity.

The US Green Building Council states that green building practices are on the rise in commercial as well as residential construction projects leading to greater health and higher levels of comforts to the occupants. A LEED building makes about 25 to 30% better use of energy as compared to the national average so it’s easy to see the benefits are great. In fact, USGBC is making a concerted effort to step up to convince those in the construction industry companies as well as their clients that LEED certification is a worth the additional effort due to the number of benefits for all parties involved.

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