Leveraging your knowledge of LEED credit categories, particularly for retrofit projects, can go a long way toward showcasing the value you bring to your customers. Much of the opportunity to generate or affect savings in some way occurs through credits related to building system improvements and retrofits/upgrades. For your customers working from a paid-from-savings approach, understanding which credits offer the greatest savings potential is critical.
The LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance rating system is designed to measure improvements, operations and maintenance while reducing environmental impact. The credit categories that offer savings opportunities within this ratings system include:
- Sustainable Sites (SS) credits: These credits address maintenance activities and building systems related to a building’s exterior and site. This may include programs that reduce automobile use, heat island effect and light pollution.
- Water Efficiency (WE) credits: Points earned here devote attention to plumbing fixtures and fittings, water usage, landscape irrigation systems and cooling tower water management.
- Energy and Atmosphere (EA) credits: These credits promote innovative strategies that improve building energy performance. Areas addressed include building commissioning, refrigerant management, energy-use monitoring and emissions-reduction reporting.
- Materials and Resources (MR) credits: Successful points support sustainable purchasing and solid waste management.
- Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) credits: These credits promote improvements to outdoor air ventilation, indoor air quality, occupant comfort and green cleaning.
- Innovation in Operations (IO) credits: Points here are awarded for outside-of-the-box design measures and building expertise not addressed in the other five LEED credit categories. They can be earned by achieving exemplary performance of an existing credit or by putting in place an operation, practice or upgrade not outlined in the rating system.
Your customers’ green retrofit projects mean that they will be paying close attention to green performance measures to help them realize economic savings and lessen environmental impact. Look to LEED’s credit categories to show your customers that you understand the importance of smart business decisions and that you serve as a resource to help them achieve a successful paid-from-savings approach.
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