Explain to Board Why Environmental Initiative Is a Must
If you manage a condominium building that’s out of date environmentally, you should consider getting behind a green initiative. You could push for the building to become LEED certified. It’s possible to bring older condominiums up to date environmentally, but you’ll have to sell this idea to the board. Explaining LEED to them is important, but you’ll have to get up to speed on it first. Here’s what you need to know.
Learn about LEED
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is an internationally recognized green building certification system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The voluntary LEED program provides third-party verification that a project meets guidelines set by the USGBC for achieving high performance and sustainability through green design, construction, operation, and maintenance. It encourages green building practices and recognizes those meeting the standards for improved:
- Energy saving;
- Water efficiency;
- CO2 emissions reduction;
- Indoor environmental quality;
- Stewardship of resources; and
- Sensitivity to the impact of development on natural resources.
A variety of LEED rating systems now exist, including LEED For Homes. Registered projects meeting prerequisites for achieving LEED certification are given points for each requirement on the checklist met. The total number of points determines the level of certification achieved. The basic level is LEED Certified. Additional points bring Silver, Gold, or Platinum certification, the highest level achievable. Reaching even the basic level requires tremendous dedication, but can pay off in a number of ways—helping the environment, having a selling point for prospective members, and saving money are just three of them.
Why Make Effort for LEED Certification
If the board isn’t yet convinced why you should aim for LEED certification, consider this:
- Developers of LEED certified condos create less of an impact on natural resources than those developing traditional condo homes—they responsibly try to conserve resources and work to help sustain the environment;
- A demand for LEED condos encourages other developers to pursue LEED certification;
- When a condo property is LEED certified, you know for a fact that it’s green and you can tell prospective members this;
- By making a condo building a LEED-certified building, you’re helping to sustain the environment;
- The indoor air quality is better in LEED-certified condos; you, your staff, and residents can breathe easier and feel healthier;
- LEED condos require less energy and water usage, an environmental and financial benefit; and
- LEED condos often offer onsite recycling and other incentives that make it convenient for residents to live an eco-friendly lifestyle.
For specific ways to make the most of your existing building while bringing it up to date, see “Getting Condo Building LEED Certified,” available to subscribers here.