LEED Certification and Landscaping
LEED certification has become one of the most sought after endorsements for commercial properties. This certification is honored by U.S. Green Building Council to signify how environment friendly a property is. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. This is used to measure the overall impact a property has on the environment.
Aiming to achieve this certificate is not only the socially responsible thing to do for the property owners but also proves to be financially beneficial in the long run. It is easier for new buildings to design their properties according to the LEED standards, however, older ones that need to upgrade to meet standards a bit harder. Apart from a lower impact on the environment and people’s health these measures help to save a lot of money on utility, maintenance, tax returns and also fetch more rent.
The majority of this certification is concerned with building infrastructural, such as optimum use of energy, water saving and proper utilization of all resources. However a properties landscaping also plays an important role. Your landscape provider can help you to get points for this certification which has different levels like basic, silver, gold, and platinum. You should choose a qualified landscape service provider who has a thorough knowledge of the LEED rules and regulations.
Here are some of the common ways to get points through proper landscaping:
- Choose Native Plants and Grasses over Exotic Ones
One of the primary focuses of LEED certification is the efficient use of water. Turf area needs lot of watering and maintenance. Replacing them with native plants and grasses will lead to water saving and maintenance bills to a great extent. Native species thrive easily and have natural tendency to repel pests and diseases on their own. They also offer a natural habitat to the local birds and insects.
- Reduce the Use of Chemicals
Maintaining a healthy turf in a natural way on a regular basis is a far better option than using lots of chemicals and pesticides. Maintaining proper health of the soil, using appropriate irrigation system and keep the mowing height even result in strong turf that is less prone to pests and weeds. These practices are more sustainable as well as profitable over a long period. Apart from keeping your lawn healthy they also reduce the harmful effects of these chemicals on the environment.
- Prevent storm water runoff by harvesting rainwater
Collecting storm water properly at designated places within your property instead of getting them run off completely is a great step towards water conservation. This measure will surely result in high LEED score. Installing cisterns, bioswales, retention or detention ponds are some of the effective ways to fulfil this purpose. Also, if possible replacing hard surfaces with permeable ones like interlocking pavers will prove very effective in the long run. Systematic collection of rain water also prevents any damage to the property.
- Create a Green Corridor
One of the menaces of concrete buildings and roads is the ever increased heat. Cement and asphalt surfaces tend to retain more heat that result in heat islands. Planting trees and small plants along the walls of the building can reduce these heat effects to a great extent. This would not only cool down the area but also reduce the cost of air conditioning inside.
These small but effective measures will improve your LEED score as well as result in monetary gain in the long run by reducing various costs and increasing property value. So investing time and money into them is certainly a good idea.
LEED certification honored by U.S. Green Building Council is a great initiative to encourage the commercial property owners to make socially responsible and environment friendly choices. These choices have a long lasting positive effect on the environment and human health. The landscape design of the property plays a crucial role in acquiring good LEED score so definitely worth implementing.