LEED Certification and Green Cleaning
We commend the LEED program to anyone who can afford the time and cost of this certification. LEED has diligently promoted energy efficiency, sustainable practices, and Green design for new and existing buildings. LEED is a high goal that only a limited percent of buildings can attain. Nonetheless, LEED is the right direction for any sustainable building to consider.
It is assumed that about 5% of building owners can afford the years of transition and the heavy cost of the LEED certification. The estimates for LEED are a little complex, but here is a quote from a review of LEED certification cost.
Energy modeling is recommended whenever a project has specific energy efficiency goals, but there are unique requirements for documentation of energy performance in LEED. The cost for energy modeling services can range from $15,000 on smaller projects to more than $50,000 for larger, more complex projects. These fees are driven not just by project size but also by complexity of the building design and the mechanical system.
In addition to these soft costs, there are LEED registration and certification fees paid directly to USGBC. The project registration fee is $600 ($450 for USGBC members), and the certification fees range from $2,250 to $22,500 based on project size ($1,750 to $17,500 for USGBC members).
So, the answer to what the LEED premium really is just depends. If LEED certification is pursued at the beginning of the project, teams can conservatively budget 2 percent for construction costs and $150,000 in soft costs for Certified through Gold level certification on most projects. https://www.facilitiesnet.com/green/article/Measuring-The-Cost-To-Become...
Further reading of the full extent of compliance requirement can be found at the GSA.gov website: https://www.gsa.gov/cdnstatic/Green_Building_Certification_System_Supple...
The Green Clean Institute appreciates the efforts of LEED to improve commercial and government buildings. However, we see a need to address the 95% of commercial buildings that will not be able to afford or convert to the requirements of the LEED system. To that end, we advocate a program that is smaller and more focused on the Green cleaning program than the building construction or energy, water, and waste management.
The Green Clean Institute offers the GHBP (Green and Healthy Building Partnership) that can be an intermediate step toward a healthy and Green operation. Rather than address energy, water use, building materials, air handling, and other design issues; the GHBP program starts with the most common and practical aspect that all building hold in common ... the cleaning program.
If LEED is out of the reach of a company your cleaning service has as an account, there is an option that is a step in the right direction. The GHBP program is not a replacement for LEED, and we do not have any affiliation with LEED except respect. The Green Clean Institute offers an affordable, simple step in the right direction that should be respected in its own right as a solid commitment to move the in a Green and sustainable effort.
The GHBP program has a simple but effective point system as a transparent and reputable certification process. The points cover a wide range of training, cleaning product, and purchasing items. It is likely that any serious company can earn the required 350 point out of 900 possible points. Not every building scores alike, but the options allow progress to be made year after year.
In addition, the Green Clean Institute does perform an audit of the certified build to maintain honesty throughout the system. The $495 price is quite affordable when compared to the LEED program, and should facilitate a future decision to pursue the LEED certification. More about GHBP