Get Certified

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), issued by U.S. Green Buildings Council, is the most easily recognized sustainable building certification out there. It has nine separate certification programs, including ones for commercial, retail, new construction, existing buildings, and more.

Each program has a points-based rating system. You get points for each green building feature, and your point total determines whether you’re LEED Certified, LEED Silver, LEED Gold, or LEED Platinum (the highest level).

To apply, you’ll need to:

  • Head to the U.S. Green Buildings Council website to register your project, fill out your forms, and pay the application fee.

  • Identify the credits you’re seeking, and prepare documentation to support how you achieved them.

  • Wait for the USGBC to review your application. They may ask for supplementary documentation in the process.

  • Get your certification. You’ll need to pay a fee based on the size of your project and the certification you’re seeking.

Energy Star is another well-known green building certification that’s offered through the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. To qualify, your building needs to be at least 15% more energy efficient than traditional properties. These certifications last for one year.

To apply, you’ll need to:

  • Have an Energy Star score of 75 points or higher.

  • Register for a Portfolio Manager account and fill out your application.

  • Get an approved engineer or architect to conduct a site visit and verify your project.

  • Enter the site visit information into your account

  • await the final verdict

BREEAM (the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) is an international program that recognizes sustainable buildings and infrastructure projects.

The certification comes with a star rating from one to six and a designation of “pass,” “good,” “very good,” “excellent,” or “outstanding.”

You can get BREEAM-certified on new construction, in-use, or refurbishment projects. To get started, you’ll need to:

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