In our last blog post, we discussed how LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification can bring your home to the next level. Between improved indoor air quality, greater energy efficiency, and even increased owner satisfaction, attaining this accreditation makes sense for eco-conscious consumers.
In part two of this LEED blog series, we’ll dive into what you should anticipate during the certification process and hear from the experts how to best navigate the process.
While LEED certification involves rigorous requirements, the process can be whittled down into streamlined steps. The United States Green Building Council (USGBC), who founded LEED, defines four main stages of the process.
As a very first step, USGBC recommends ensuring that your project has the minimum requirements applicable for LEED certification (see more of these specifications on their website).
Once you complete this preliminary step, you can utilize the LEED Online portal – a useful resource to track all your elements throughout the process. Through this portal, you can submit your application, take advantage of informational resources, submit payment, sign a certification agreement, and more.
Project management is key to making sure your project is on track – and thankfully, USGBC provides you resources to do so effectively. To make sure you’re successfully achieving the benchmarks necessary for certification, you will need to participate in various on-site performance testing.
One of your best allies throughout the certification process is your LEED Verification Team, who will help arrange all the required on-site verifications. Oftentimes, these experts have worked on hundreds of LEED for Homes projects and can help you to understand the best ways to incorporate the rating system requirements throughout your project.
After working with your Verification Team to ensure requirements are met, your project will go through a standard review. In this step, your team submits the entire application of your project, including all credits and prerequisites.
Remember that your team is required to submit your project for review no later than two years after your project receives a certificate of occupancy (or a similar official indication). If your timeline is too tight, you can pay for an expedited review, which will cut the review time in half – read more on USGBC’s website.
At the end of your review period, GBCI (Green Business Certification Inc.) will determine your LEED rating and send you a final certification report. At this point, your project team can choose to accept or appeal the final certification report.
If you achieve certification – congratulations! USGBC provides a handy public relations guide for LEED-certified projects, a formal certificate of recognition, and the option to order LEED plaques and certificates. Don’t forget: LEED certification is a true cause for celebration!
At Clarum, we partner with clients to improve construction through the use of sustainable technologies, materials, and systems. As mentioned in our previous blog installment on LEED certification, we are an official member of USGBC and build LEED-certified homes, such as our LEED gold-rated Modern Farmhouse in Atherton, CA.
Because we have been through the process of LEED certification, we can offer some words of advice for those striving for accreditation. Of course, different needs will arise depending on your project – but it’s important to remember these high-level provisions.
Planning for LEED certification takes time, thoughtfulness, and dedication. With the right resources – especially a LEED-qualified homebuilder – you can create a beautiful home and a better tomorrow.
To learn more about building a LEED custom home with that’s healthy for you and your family, call Clarum at 650.322.7069.