Several articles have recently reported that LEED-certified buildings actually use more energy when compared to those that are not certified. This myth is supported by the fact that some LEED-certified buildings choose to achieve other LEED credits that don’t directly result in energy savings. When they do that, of course they will not compare well. In reality, if they choose to focus on energy efficiency the LEED certification process offers a variety of energy efficiency credit categories pertaining to an array of projects that aim to be more efficient.
Each LEED credit category includes sub-category achievements that are either prerequisites or are worth a different number of points each. One credit category, Energy and Atmosphere, directly relates to energy efficiency and includes the following achievements:
Another credit category that touches upon energy efficiency is Indoor Environmental Quality, which awards credits for:
Collectively, there are multiple ways to increase energy efficiency within the LEED certification process. Indeed, some LEED-certified buildings may be less energy-efficient than uncertified ones, but this may be because energy efficiency was not the main goal of these projects. LEED certification is a distinguished title in the green building industry, and with the right tools it can be an energy-efficient advantage.