It seems that all the LEED® buzz these days is focused on some sophisticated, brand new metropolitan building crowned with heliostats pouring natural daylight around its excessively happy retro occupants.
What about owners of existing buildings and their occupants who want to make measurable sustainability improvements to their building, or wish to be recognized for sustainability features they have already implemented?
Consider the Lesser Known Sibling – LEED® for Existing Buildings…
Most people familiar with LEED® are familiar with LEED® for New Construction (LEED®-NC). LEED® for Existing Buildings (LEED®-EB) is very similar in that it acts as a green yardstick or standard and uses the same sustainability categories: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality.
The big difference is that LEED®-NC wraps around the construction process whereas LEED®-EB addresses energy efficiency, operational improvements and sustainability policies used by the occupants, building operators, or owners. Also, LEED®-NC is a one-time certification while LEED®-EB requires recertification every 5 years.
LEED®-EB certification is comprehensive in its sustainability scope and is often implemented in association with a capital improvement or renovation in a building. However, certification can be pursued with minimal capital outlays. LEED®-EB certification is a great option in existing facilities with sustainability features such as energy efficiency and daylighting already in place.
LEED®-EB is for those building owners, occupants, and operators who understand that although a new sustainable building will improve productivity and provide reduced maintenance and operating costs, it is still a dynamic system that needs measurable operational policies and procedures to ensure it stays that way.