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Why Secure LEED Zero Certification?

Are you interested in becoming LEED Certified? Well, the building sector is experiencing a momentous shift towards greening and sustainability. This is in pursuance of reducing resource dependency and minimizing the carbon footprint that most enterprises today are taking measures to design their buildings in order to be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certified, a certification advanced by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED ratings basically demonstrate your commitment to sustainability by meeting the highest performance standards.

Obtaining a LEED Zero Carbon Certification will help you in maximizing operational efficiency while minimizing environmental impacts. It provides a roadmap for the property managers, service providers and portfolio owners who wish to reduce their operating costs while increasing the occupant's productivity. LEED provides guidelines for sustainable business operations, periodic upgrades of building systems and building processes. Therefore, in order to get yourself a LEED Zero Carbon Certificate to confirm that your buildings are compliant with all the relevant rules and satisfy LEED regulations, get in touch with Corpbiz today. Corpbiz assists enterprises and businesses in complying with all kinds of regulations, monitoring their industry and respective businesses, and further helps in discharging all obligations by providing them with practical business solutions and valuable insights.

Who Needs to Get LEED Zero Carbon Certification?

LEED Zero Carbon Certification is associated with buildings and, therefore, is meant for those involved in the building and construction sector in order to evaluate the possibility of achieving the net-zero carbon emission goals. It is the most prevalent rating system in the building industry to evaluate and analyze its efficiencies, explicitly in regard to the energy efficiency and carbon footprint.

LEED Zero Carbon Certificate is basically meant to encourage businesses involved in the construction sector to build exemplary projects to promote a regenerative future. There are various kinds of LEED Zero Certificates available which can be secured to make your builds compliant with the current prevalent requirements.

Know All About LEED

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design it is a standard developed by the United States Green Building Council, popularly known as USGBC, to certify and endorse sustainable buildings. Since 1998, LEED has grown to encompass over 14,000 projects in US States and countries across the world covering 1.062 billion square feet of development area. LEED is recognized internationally for its open and transparent certification process, where the technical standards enforced by the LEED committees are publicly reviewed by more than 10,000 membership organizations. In simpler terms, LEED is a global initiative with highly recognized and respected programs in the construction sector.

In addition to this, LEED raises awareness around environmental issues by offering compelling justifications and motivations to user clients and to the public at large in order to make them yearn for worthy environmental goals. It has been incorporated to draw attention to the benefits of reusing old buildings and is recognized as a powerful tool because it offers multiple paths customized for a wide variety of project types and causes large, expensive projects that are inevitably going to be built to become more environmentally sensitive.

Understand LEED Zero Certification

Over the last few years, LEED has guided and encouraged projects to aim for advanced performance and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through integrated building strategies impacting energy, materials, water, waste, transportation. This plays a critical role in hastening the transition to a low-carbon environment and enhancing the health of natural and human ecosystems. LEED Zero Certification promotes a holistic approach that accounts for the building sector to enhance the health and well-being of the building occupants, building owners, and all other living creatures.

Therefore, it is a market transformation tool that verifies the achievement of net zero goals for carbon emissions. This certification becomes even more important in light of the IPCC, i.e., the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report published in October 2018, describing the adversative effects of climate change and global warming of 1.5°C to 2°C above preindustrial levels on environmental, human health and economic systems. Therefore, climate change remediation requires essential shifts in the structure and habits of human society as well as integrated carbon reduction and sustainable development strategies deployed at all scales. Furthermore, the LEED Zero Certificate can be extremely helpful for large building portfolios which want to incorporate sustainable initiatives as it sets out clear goals well in advance during the pre-design phase, which can assist the projects in implementing the best sustainable designs much faster and at a lower cost.

Types of LEED Zero Certifications

LEED Zero Certification, which was a mandate only in the United States, has now become a globally recognized rating system for building projects aimed at securing net zero goals. It involves 4 complementary levels of certification, which are

LEED Zero Carbon

LEED Zero Carbon recognizes buildings operating with net zero carbon emissions over the last few years. This certification provides a transparent accounting of the balance of carbon caused by consumption of energy and occupant transportation to reduce carbon emissions or offset them over a period of 12 months and will expand in the future to incorporate carbon caused by water consumption, waste generation, and the embodied carbon of materials used into the carbon balance.

Carbon Balance = Total Carbon Emitted - Total Carbon Avoided

LEED Zero Energy

LEED Zero Energy recognizes buildings that have accomplished a source energy use balance of zero for the past year. Though the term net-zero energy is relatively new, it is gaining importance with the solar passive house movements across the world.

LEED Zero Water

LEED Zero Water Certification recognizes buildings that have achieved a potable water consumption or water use balance of zero for the past year.

Water Balance = Total Potable Water Consumed - (Total Alternative Water Used + Water Returned to Original Source)

LEED Zero Waste

LEED Zero Waste Certification recognizes buildings that achieve GBCI's true Zero Waste certification at the Platinum level. A building that is able to generate zero-waste through LEED zero certification reduces, reuses, and/or recovers its waste streams to convert them to valuable resources with zero solid waste sent to landfills over a given period of time or where the building can employ zero waste program or take waste from other sites and divert it for reuse, and not to landfill.

Why Should Businesses Procure LEED Zero Carbon Certification?

If you are a business involved in the construction of buildings and are wondering whether to invest in a LEED Zero Carbon Certificate or not, then here is a list of a few reasons why businesses should procure LEED Zero Carbon Certification

Tax Incentives

Securing the LEED Zero Certificate allows for tax incentives in some jurisdictions for businesses who choose to build a green building as per the criteria specific by the concerned organizations, as the government intends to encourage those involved in the construction sector to invest in innovative strategies and solutions to reduce the overall carbon emissions.

Increased Resale Value

With the increase in the sustainability concerns that have brought the changes in the building rules and regulations and policies demanding greener buildings, the market will naturally gravitate more towards the LEED Zero projects and buildings, which will eventually increase their resale value. Investors and concerned stakeholders will be more interested in venturing into projects which are LEED certified as the same ensures higher yields.

Reduction in Energy Use and Carbon Emissions

In addition to the tax and cost benefits, LEED certification bestows environmental benefits as well, which include 25 per cent less energy consumption along with 34 per cent lesser CO2 emissions. This certificate ensures that businesses preserve the environment by taking effective measures to save energy and resources like water and efficiently handle waste. Therefore, LEED-certified buildings help reduce pollution and improve indoor as well as outdoor quality.

Achieve ESG Objectives

LEED also helps the concerned businesses and companies to achieve ESG objectives as it ensures a green construction framework and manages building and/or project performance, which not only helps them in their other regulatory compliance but also helps them attract investors who value ESG metrics while evaluating a project portfolio. Furthermore, achieving ESG objectives is also essential for aiding in environmental efforts and attracting customers/tenants/building occupants.

Issues With LEED Zero Carbon Certification

Despite the various benefits bestowed, LEED Zero Carbon Certification has time and again received a lot of criticism owing to the difficulties and challenges faced by the concerned entities in securing this certificate. Some of the issues faced in obtaining LEED Zero Carbon Certification are

Complicated Procedures

LEED Certification is an overly complicated procedure and, therefore, can be very time-consuming and expensive at the same time. The arduous and complicated rules and procedures involved in the process of obtaining LEED Zero Carbon Certification can add to the burden of the applicants, which might act as a discouraging factor.

Pro Forma Requirement

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design has become a pro forma requirement, which means it is more concerned with earning points than actually taking effective measures to improve the environment because the process of enhancement of the natural environment and health product declarations are often extremely challenging and time-consuming. Therefore, instead of actually complying with these complicated measures, stakeholders can be seen skipping these standards, and simply reporting the lifecycle assessment (LCA) of a design.

Indiscriminate Weightage & Credentialing System

Another issue faced by the applicants is that the process of LEED Certification is often found to be discriminating in its weightage of credit points in the sense it rewards efforts to 'less bad' in a similar fashion rewards the projects that encourage to do 'more good'. It must incorporate the bioremediation cost of the measures are taken while rewarding the credit points; otherwise, the same will just promote greenwashing and nothing else.

Our Services for LEED Zero Carbon Certification

You can make the entire process of getting LEED Zero Carbon Certification easier for yourselves by simply hiring LEED Consultants who can help you navigate through these arduous requirements. Our Services for LEED Zero Carbon Certification entail the following

Assistance with LEED Registration

In order to get a LEED Zero Carbon Certificate, the applicants are required to register their projects with USGBC. The process of registration entails a lot of requirements that are to be fulfilled, along with providing detailed information pertaining to your project. This is where our team of LEED Consultants come in handy, as they can take care of the entire registration process with USGBC, so you don't have to worry about it.

Assistance with Documentation

Our team of LEED Consultants will also provide assistance in paper works for LEED Zero Carbon Certification and in compiling all the Documents and/or reports in order to show compliance with the USGBC rules and regulations. Our team will also assist you in making sure that the application form is complete and precise in order to lessen the probability of rejections.

Data Compilation & Data Analysis

One of the requirements for procuring a LEED Zero Certification is to furnish data from the past 12 months, which will be analyzed to determine whether the concerned building or project satisfies the net-zero carbon emission criteria or not. Our team of experts will assist you in recording and compiling this data over the relevant period of time in order to fulfil the necessary requirements.

Expert LEED Consultation

LEED Certification means complying with a lot of international and regional regulations, which require expert knowledge and professional experience in the field. The regulations and criteria can be too complicated and multifaceted for a layperson to comprehend, and this is where our team of LEED Consultants can step in and help you navigate through these rules and regulations to ensure compliance because even an inadvertent failure to comply with these rules can lead to rejection of your application.

Achieve Sustainable and Healthy Buildings

The increasing concerns around sustainability have pushed the construction sector towards rapid changes where policies, laws and regulations around the world demand the need to adopt sustainable innovation in terms of processes to encourage more sustainable and green buildings that achieve a zero-carbon footprint. In pursuance of the same LEED recognizes buildings that achieve sustainability. Sustainable buildings have been broadly defined as buildings that encompass environmental, social, and economic standards and sustainability should be evaluated for every subcomponent, as well as for the building in its entirety and in relation to the surrounding environment.

Particularly in India, one-third of the carbon emissions come from the construction sector, which has always been a major concern. However, as of August 2023, India has emerged as a leader in Net Zero Buildings, outperforming China and the USA itself, with 75 LEED Zero Projects that have been certified across the globe, along with an additional 30 projects that are currently working towards being LEED certified. At this pace, India will easily achieve its goal of Net-zero carbon emissions by 2027. The real estate giants of India, like DLF, have emerged as global leaders in LEED certifications, followed by ITC Group, thereby setting an example for all the stakeholders and companies involved in this sector.

How Does LEED Zero Support Net-Zero Carbon Emissions?

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System aims to encourage the construction of sustainable green building and/or development practices through the implementation of universally recognized and accepted tools and performance criteria. LEED-based green Design not only helps in leaving a positive effect on the overall public health and the environment, but it also reduces the operation costs, enhances organizational marketability, occupant productivity, and helps in creating an overall sustainable community.

A net zero carbon building is one which is highly energy efficient with all the remaining energy from on-site and off-site renewable energy sources. Net-zero refers to a condition in which there is elimination of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. The LEED Rating System basically acknowledges performance in 6 areas of human and environmental health

  • Sustainable Sites
  • Water Efficiency
  • Energy and Atmosphere
  • Resources and Materials
  • Indoor Environmental Quality
  • Innovation and Design Process

Procedure to Get LEED Zero Carbon Certification

The procedure to obtain LEED Zero Carbon Certification begins with submitting an application along with the Document works ensuring compliance with the requirements of the LEED rating system. The applicant then must pay the required certification fees. This certification is provided by the Green Building Council, which is solely responsible for issuing the LEED system used on the project. Fortunately, LEED is a very user-friendly system. In fact, a major contributor to the success of LEED is the simplicity of its credit/point-based rating system. For each credit, the LEED standard identifies the detailed intent, requirements, and strategies that have been used to secure the credit. These credits are achieved by meeting specified requirements. Different LEED versions have different scoring systems based on a set of required "prerequisites".

In LEED for new buildings/ new construction or constructions involving major renovations for commercial buildings, there are around 69 possible points, and buildings can qualify for four levels of certification

  • Certified - 26 to 32 points
  • Silver - 33 to 38 points
  • Gold - 39 to 51 points
  • Platinum - 52 to 69 points

Therefore, the LEED Rating System awards these points as follows

LEED Categories

Points

Contribution

Sustainable Sites

14

20%

Water Efficiency

5

7%

Energy and Atmosphere

17

25%

Resources and Materials

13

19%

Indoor Environmental Quality

15

22%

Innovation and Design Process

5

7%

Total

69

100%

Role of GBCI

GBCI stands for the Green Business Certification, a global organization which was founded with the support of the USGBC, i.e., U.S. Green Building Council in 2008 to provide for an autonomous oversight of professional credentialing and project certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, popularly known as LEED, which is a green building rating system. Currently, it is the only certification and credentialing organization within the green business to exclusively administer project certifications and credentials of LEED.

GBCI essentially works to uphold and preserve the quality control on the project certifications by preserving the international green infrastructure and building standards. It is the leading organization for autonomously recognizing excellence in green business industry through third-party verification services for credentialing and certification. Therefore, the GBCI plays a critical role in certifying and credentialing the buildings as per the standards prescribed by the USGBC to ensure environmentally sustainable building designs.

Why Procure LEED Zero Carbon Certification with Corpbiz?

Corpbiz has a renowned presence in the field of Licensing and Regulatory Compliance, and we are known for offering services ranging from procuring certifications, registrations, compliance and much more, with a key focus on serving our clients and helping them achieve unparalleled growth. Our team of LEED Consultants work hard to provide our clients with the best services possible at throw-away prices. In addition to this, we always ensure that every client's concern gets resolved promptly, and for that, we have established an excellent automation system in place, so contacting us is a cakewalk.

So, if you are worried about your LEED Compliance requirements, then you have landed at the right place because we offer a comprehensive range of services. Corpbiz is a well-known technology-driven platform where our staff is well-equipped to answer all your queries and will help you navigate through all the requirements, accordingly, we will recommend premium solutions and business strategies as per your goals and needs. This is exactly why we have been successful in establishing our renowned presence as a prominent LEED Consultant in India by providing unique solutions to our clients.

So, if you wish to deliberate more about LEED Zero Carbon Certification in India, please don't hesitate to reach out to us.

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Brace yourself to attain excellence in your business operations. Connect with us at 9121230280 to discuss how Corpbiz can help you achieve your quest for success.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, commonly referred to as LEED, is a standard developed by the United States Green Building Council, popularly known as USGBC to certify and endorse sustainable buildings..

Net-zero refers to a condition in which there is an elimination of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere.

LEED Zero Carbon recognizes buildings operating with net zero carbon emissions over the last few years. This certification provides a transparent accounting of the balance of carbon caused by the consumption of energy and occupant transportation to reduce carbon emissions or offset them over a period of 12 months and will expand in the future to incorporate carbon caused by water consumption, waste generation, and the embodied carbon of materials used into the carbon balance.

The minimum credit rating required for a project to become a viable candidate for LEED Certification is if it can meet all requisites and achieve a minimum of 26 points.

Four LEED certification levels are available: Certified (26 - 32 points), Silver (33 - 38 points), Gold (39 - 51 points), and Platinum (52 - 69 points).

NO, a project cannot be LEED certified without satisfying all prerequisites.

No, LEED certification cannot be achieved through self-evaluation and a third-party review for certification is required.

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