Why LEED General Contractors Are Taking the Lead

The LEED Professional Credentials were developed to encourage green building professionals to maintain and advance their knowledge and expertise. A LEED Professional Credential provides employers, policymakers, and other stakeholders with assurances of an individual’s current level of competence. It is the mark of the most qualified, educated, and influential green building professionals in the marketplace.

Today, choosing a LEED certified general contractor is extremely important to ensure you meet or exceeed green building standards for construction companies – something certified general contractors follow. There are a number of reasons you want to work with a general contractor who follows LEED.

First, progress and development can take a toll on the environment. To contain the environmental effects of development, the United States Green Building Council created LEED: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.  LEED offers a holistic-building approach to green construction.  LEED contractors need to consider the design, construction, and operation of buildings and LEED provides contractors with the tools they need to accomplish this.

There are five key areas that LEED is crucial to addressing human and environmental health needs

  1. Indoor environmental quality
  2. Energy efficiency
  3. Water conservation
  4. Materials selection, and
  5. Sustainable site development.

So why is LEED, or green construction, so important?

Because of the large amount of land use, energy and water consumption, and air and atmosphere alteration buildings account for, the EPA sees reducing the amount of natural resources building consume and the amount of pollution they give off as critical for future sustainability. The environmental impact of buildings is often underestimated and poorly addressed. On the other hand, the costs of green building are often overestimated, turning contractors away from it.

While the cost up-front may be more expensive than non-green building, the cost over a life span is generally much cheaper, because of the building’s efficiency.

Does your general contractor follow LEED? Knowing whether your general contractor is both LEED certified and actively applying all five tenants of the LEED process could make all the difference for you in your project.  Make sure your general contractor has invested in training, certification and application of LEED in their projects as one of your key decision-making criteria for your building projects.

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