LEED is a third-party green certification assigned to high-performance green buildings as a token of appreciation for taking the initiative to do better for the environment. While the design principles of LEED are easy to implement on buildings under construction, the process needs a different approach to the existing buildings. It is impossible to bend certain rules for existing buildings and retrofit from the policies of the new buildings.
One of the main focuses of LEED certifications for existing buildings is maintenance and operation, which is easier to implement when compared to building with different sustainable materials.
Prerequisites of LEED for existing buildings
According to field experts, nine prerequisites are necessary to bag a LEED certification for existing buildings. However, there are other additional methods by which building owners can increase the points of acquiring certifications. The categories for the prerequisites are:
- Sustainable sites of the building
- Water efficiency
- Resources and materials
- Energy and atmosphere around the building
- Innovative steps in conserving energy
- Indoor environmental quality
- Regional Priority credits
Although not every category mentioned above has prerequisites, some have several, which are often difficult to fulfill for house owners.
The prerequisites for LEED certifications are:
- The minimum amount of plumbing and fixtures used is better, and their working efficiency also plays a significant role.
- Practices for the management of energy and efficiency and how the house owner takes measures to conserve maximum energy
- The minimum amount of energy efficiency performance
- The tactics are undertaken for fundamental refrigerant management and steps to prevent overconsumption of electricity.
- Sustainable purchasing policies for different construction materials and resources
- Solid waste management policies
- The minimum IAAQ performance to check the indoor environmental quality
- Tobacco smoke control in the indoor environment
- Employing green cleaning policies to keep surroundings clean
If a building owner wants a LEED certificate, it is important to stick to all the abovementioned points. By missing one point, they could lose the chance to get the certification.
Time is taken for LEED certifications.
Getting a LEED certification for an existing building will take time. Hence owners need to be patient, both during and after the process. The inspection, paperwork, and other processes will take at least a year, and another year will be utilized for post-certification and post-inspection procedures.\
Obtaining an energy star rating should also be of prime importance during this time. Once a building owner has the rating, they can start making other critical improvements to the building and start with their performance monitoring phase, which is essential in getting and keeping the LEED certificate. While some people hire experts to guide them, others figure it out using courses and online information.