Old Buildings Can Learn New LEED Tricks

April 3, 2014

There’s no disputing the importance of LEED best practices in new construction plans but an often overlooked opportunity is incorporating LEED initiatives into existing buildings. The U.S. Green Building Council offers incentives for these structures once they’ve met LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance (LEED EB O+M) certification standards. Qualifying buildings improve their operations by increasing sustainability and reducing their environmental footprints through LEED initiatives.

Benefits of LEED EB O + M

Both owners and tenants can realize the benefits of retrofitting an old building to be more green. According to National Real Estate Investor, LEED EB O+M certified facilities reduce their operating costs by 8%t to 9% on average and are up to 30% more energy efficient than their non-certified counterparts. Further research shows an increase in employee productivity, higher rents, higher occupancy rates and significant growth in a building’s value.

Taking steps towards LEED EB O + M

Achieving certification is an investment in the long-term profitability of your building. The first step is bringing in a LEED real estate consulting expert to conduct a LEED gap assessment based on the current condition of your facility. Then, a third-party expert calculates the building score using the LEED point system. Next, areas to improve are identified based on the desired level of certification (certified, silver, gold platinum).

Once you’ve established a budget and set a project timeline, updates can include retrofits, replacements and modifications for everything from HVAC systems to roofing to lighting systems.

Ask our team about incentives for updating your space and how we’re pursuing green initiatives in the properties we manage.