• Friday, Feb 21, 2020
  • Last Update : 09:18 pm

LEED as an investment

  • Published at 07:59 pm January 13th, 2020
Bproperty

Studies show that properties with LEED certification sell for 8%-16% more than their counterparts

Carbon emissions, pollution in general, and sustainable living are all in large scale conversations now around the globe. They are concerning factors for life on the planet and everyone is looking for solutions. But as far as construction is concerned, a great step has been in place for many years now called the LEED Certification Program. It requires that certain criteria are met during the planning, construction and eventual use of a building that addresses environmental and health issues.

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and was introduced by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) as a means to meet the growing demand for greener and more sustainable development. The questions then arises why a certification system? What is different about this type of green construction and how does it affect the project, developers and the environment? 

The prime focus is being better against pollution and creating sustainable structures, as is to be expected. But the key difference is that an entire nine-factor system is in place to go about it. The outcome is much lower use of energy, water and additional resources. 

LEED requires buildings to use a multitude of design techniques to combat wastage of resources. This can be in the form of architecture that allows for the most natural inflow and allowance of light, to the re-usage or even on-site filtration of wasted water — both from human usage and rain collection. 

The existence of plenty of open space is always a great addition to a building compound, but LEED requires — depending on the level of certification — that a certain percentage of the total surface area of the compound be green area. This can be on the roof, at ground level, or spread out across various floors of the building. Some of the top rated places have up to 50% green area specified in their designs.  

Effects

All these have various effects, both for occupants and the developer, not to mention the surrounding environment. Occupants are offered an immensely healthier indoor space. Natural lighting and airflow ensure a clean atmosphere to live and work in, alongside the amazing architecture that will house them. 

With less power and water consumptions, utility bills drop significantly. Even with the much higher initial cost to install such systems, over the years, you more than make up for the costs.

For developers, it is a way to be instantly recognized as a proponent of better construction and the certification outside the build works as instant proof of this. Everyone becomes instantly aware with such a form of certification that the building in question was made of the highest grade materials from sustainable sources and means. In-turn, this increases the brand value of the company involved with such a venture. 

Fallout

Environmentally sound and a greater brand image can have an astounding impact on value and that really is the bulk of what developers look forward to. There are many companies working vigilantly to bring green construction into the limelight, but without significant cash flow back in, even they cannot sustain their drives. These projects are highly expensive, so why would someone opt for these instead of the cheaper, more common sites?

Most businesses want to be associated with being green so investing in green buildings is a great step forward to achieving higher levels of public goodwill. In this day and age, being a green-friendly entity can highly boost business for any company — not to mention it has huge tax significance in many countries. So, being able to purchase a piece of one of these beautifully constructed, highly environmentally friendly projects, with LEED certification brazenly highlighted in front of buildings, is in high demand.

And this requirement drives the demand for these highly expensive investments. Businesses want the ready-made goodwill and developers want to sell fast. It is truly win-win for all parties involved. But the prices are very high, so it is well recommended for larger-scale, future-proof companies to do the investing.

Though you can expect a significant amount of savings from the use of the place, it does take quite a few years to reach that point, considering the initial price you have to pay. Even then, in the chance that one has to move out of the site for one reason or another, LEED certified projects have great resale value, so fear of loss is very minute in this case.

Projects with LEED certification gain prestige and prominence — which in turn generates better prices and even higher resale value than other projects. There are several studies that show that properties with LEED certification sell for 8%-16% more than their counterparts. Attaining LEED certification is an asset to any project that has both an environmental and financial effect.

Green construction and green living are more common in developed countries but is a growing factor in Bangladesh. The practice’s much greater initial costs may deter many from stepping into the fray, but it is great for the long run — and it is coming to stay. Early adopters in Bangladesh will see the greatest benefit of their decisions, in terms of energy and water savings, good environmental impact, and goodwill gained.

As time moves on, we can only hope to see more green initiatives in the country. As for LEED certification, it is definitely a step in the right direction for developers, businesses, and individuals looking to live green.