The rise of sustainable industrial facilities continues to grow, according to recent survey results from the World Green Building Trends 2018 SmartMarket Report. The US Green Building Council (USGBC) recently partnered with Dodge Data and Analytics to talk to 2,000 building professionals including architects, contractors, consultants, developers, engineering firms, and investors about green building activity. Almost half of the total respondents said they anticipated that 60 percent of their projects would go green by 2021. This enthusiasm is music to the ears of both business owners and consumers. On the operations side, green building offers decreased operating costs, short payback periods, and asset value increases; while for the consumer, sustainable building practices meet the increasing demand for healthier indoor environments.
Going green in today’s building landscape requires a bit of guidance. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, is a rating system developed by the United States Green Building Council that evaluates the environmental performance of a building. Many of the respondents in the 2018 survey credited this rating system for their success in creating better performing buildings, and more than half said they appreciated third-party verification of sustainable operations.
Becoming a LEED-certified building is a stringent endeavor; LEED buildings are mindfully constructed to meet strict sustainability requirements. They are strategically built to conserve resources and reduce pollution. Common green building features include skylights, motion detector sensors, and water-saving plumbing fixtures.
The future for green industrial buildings is promising. However, it is not right for everyone. If you are thinking about obtaining certification from LEED, consider some of the factors below.
- LEED certification is not easy to obtain. It requires strict management and discipline. A contract must meet specific requirements such as documenting building performance and tracking electric and water usage.
- LEED certification is not cheap. It can raise upfront construction costs between 50 and 100 thousand dollars, sometimes more. Additional fees accrue from research, design, commission modeling, compliance, documenting, registration, and certification fees.
- LEED certifications are not immediately profitable. It will take time and effort to make your money back. While having the certification is definitely a selling point, it can take years to see the return on investment. On average, green projects will pay for themselves in approximately seven years; this is by no means a fast turnaround.
There are numerous advantages to obtaining a LEED certification. Both commercial and heavy construction contractors should consider supplementing commercial and institutional building construction with high-dollar LEED-certified industrial building projects. Below are some of the benefits both developers and future tenants can look forward to:
- Tax Breaks: Enjoy a more profitable bottom line thanks to reduced operating costs and tax credits.
- Lower Maintenance Costs: Compared to commercial buildings, maintenance costs for green buildings are nearly 20% less.
- Real Estate Boost: enjoy higher rental rates and a higher real estate value. Investors see value in LEED certifications too!
- Attract and Retain Talent: Tenants can attract and retain employees with the benefit of a better, more sustainable work environment. Natural light, clean air, and less carbon dioxide all contribute to overall better occupant health.
- Meet consumer standards: Today’s consumers have high moral standards. They want to know the product or service they are investing in is mindful of their carbon footprint. Companies are committed to creating great products while doing the least amount of damage to the environment.
- Authenticity: An investment in LEED certification is “the real deal.” While others may claim a building to be green, without the certification, it is not official. A LEED certification is an honorable title that takes dedication to achieve.
A sustainable building is a competitive, profitable advantage. Let us help you determine whether LEED certification is a viable strategy for you. Call on us today