When it comes to making your building more sustainable, you have a wealth of options and resources. Many building owners and managers start by replacing lightbulbs with energy-efficient options like LEDs or CFLs. You could retrofit your HVAC system with smarter sensing and controls, for even greater energy savings impact and overall ROI. And, you could go longer-term and structural – adding solar panels, replacing windows, or even redesigning your building from the ground up. Every step matters – but as a building owner, you want to be able to quantify those changes. That's why we've made a list of certification programs which help score and benchmark your building for sustainability, making it easier to qualify for energy rebates, keep track of your improvements and advertise your building to prospective tenants.
1. LEED Score
One of the most well-known sustainable building scoring systems is LEED – which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environment Design. LEED was developed by the USGBC, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting sustainability in building design, construction and operation. According to the USGBC, LEED is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. As of May 2018, more than 19.8 billion square feet of building space is LEED-certified worldwide, with approximately 2.2 million square feet being added each day. Buildings receive a ranking based on a variety of factors, including indoor air quality performance, thermal comfort and enhanced commissioning. 75F building intelligence solutions are USGBC certified – so 75F customers can earn up to 38 LEED points and 11 credits, leading to certification status and improved performance, plus tax incentives.
2. Arc Score
Another certification program to consider is Arc. Arc is a new platform from Arc Skoru, Inc. and Green Business Certification Inc (GBCI), that allows projects to measure, monitor and score building performance across five categories for continuous building performance improvement, including:
- Human Experience
3. The WELL Building Standard
Next, there is the WELL Building Standard, developed by the International Well Building Institute. The WELL Building Standard ranks certified buildings with a sustainability scorecard. WELL also operates on a points-based system, with a total of 110 points available to each project. Buildings can receive a silver, gold, or platinum certification based on points earned. WELL is a flexible framework for improving health and human experience through design, advancing health and well-being in buildings globally. Obtaining a WELL Building certification is similar to achieving LEED certification, and can be less cost-prohibitive. 75F solutions most directly affect the factors air, light and comfort, as defined by the Standard. And, the 75F® Smart Stat™ with 7 onboard sensors helps monitor and manage indoor environment conditions to support the WELL standard.
4. The Living Building Challenge
For the ambitious, there is the Living Building Challenge from the International Living Future Institute. The Living Building Challenge seeks to develop regenerative buildings which connect occupants to light, air, food, nature, and community. These buildings are self-sufficient and remain within the resource limits of their site. That means that not only do they not waste energy, they give energy back, creating a positive impact on the human and natural systems that interact with them. The Living Building Challenge is considered one of the deepest certification programs available today.
Getting your building certified for sustainability is a great way to keep track of your progress, save more time, money and energy and announce your progress to the world. Whether your building is big or small, new or old, there is likely a program that fits you!