W | A Associates Is LEED AP Accredited

What is LEED®?

LEED® stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is a rating system devised by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) to evaluate the environmental performance of a building and encourage market transformation towards sustainable design. The system is credit-based, allowing projects to earn points for environmentally friendly actions taken during construction and use of a building.

LEED® certified buildings often provide healthier work and living environments, which contributes to higher productivity and improved health and comfort.

How does LEED® work?

LEED® promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.

The process is different for different types of buildings, but certification is based on a point system.  There are several different levels of certification that apply to all types of buildings. Certified buildings meet the minimum LEED® standards and require the fewest points; next come Silver, Gold, and Platinum certifications.

Requirements are generally weighted, with larger numbers of points for initiatives like depending entirely on renewable wind or solar power, and fewer points for smaller steps such as installing bathroom exhaust fans or energy-saving light bulbs. 


How can W | A Associates help you achieve LEED® Certification?

Several of our staff members are LEED® Accredited Professionals (AP) who have knowledge of green building and planning principles, and can guide clients through the LEED® certification process. As LEED® AP’s we can provide a wide range of green building services, ranging from advising clients on green building or energy efficiency upgrades to existing buildings, to designing green buildings from the ground up with the goal of achieving LEED® certification.

If retained as a LEED® professional on a project, the process might be as follows:

  1. Building owner contracts with W | A Associates to discuss project objectives. Retaining a LEED® AP for the design and planning of a project, automatically awards the project one LEED® point when applying for certification.

  2. W | A Associates develops plans and advises on green building design strategies with the goal of meeting or exceed LEED® requirements through measures such as: site layout and planning; the use of renewable, sustainable or recycled products and materials; the reuse or repurposing of existing materials; and energy performance.

  3. W | A Associates would help coordinate the construction or repair process, document sustainable building practices, correspond with the USGBC and relevant LEED® professionals, and coordinate filing of the project application for LEED® certification.


Who needs LEED® certification?

Currently all new commercial buildings must at least meet basic LEED® requirements. However, under the new California Green Buildings Standards Code, which becomes mandatory January 1, 2011, all new commercial and residential construction in the public and private sectors (including schools, hospitals, and other public institutions) must at least meet requirements comparable to a "silver rating" under LEED® standards.

Any building owner who wishes to build a more efficient, comfortable, resource-conserving home can benefit from the green building and energy efficiency measures that are part of the LEED® certification process. Another incentive is that green buildings save money because they require less energy to operate.