In our world today there is a movement and heightened awareness towards sustaining the environment through ‘green’ construction. This movement impacts our everyday lives and is now having broad ramifications within the construction and insurance industries.
When meeting with customers it seems more and more they are stressing the point that they are LEED certified. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) created LEED as a rating system for green building.
What is green construction?
Green building refers to the design, construction, and operation of buildings in an environmentally friendly way. 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 rating system is specific to the type of project being worked on. Some of the specific programs are LEED-New Construction, LEED-Existing Buildings, LEED-Commercial Interiors, LEED-Core and Shell, LEED-Homes, LEED-Neighborhood Development, LEED-Schools. The rating systems are broken down into points for each type of credit. Certification levels within the systems are:
Green construction poses many new challenges to the construction industry. Some of these challenges include:
- Loss of tax credits or incentives for not meeting green building criteria
- Elevated construction costs for use of green materials
- Construction schedule delays
- Liability and possible legal actions if completed projects fail to meet certifications or failure to meet.
Risk controls that may be beneficial in minimizing exposure and loss associated with the green construction movement are:
For more information regarding LEED certification and green construction click on: