Green Cleaned Building Award for the other 95%

Green Building AwardWe 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 at a large cost 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.

Further reading of the full extent of compliance requirement can be found at the website:

What about the 95% of buildings that want to make an effort to Go Green but can't pay the price or may not own the building?  The Green Clean Institute believes the there is a category of Green Buildings that is  tied to the cleaning process.  After all, this is the long-term commitment that pays real-life dividends to the workers and visitors who enter and work in the building.

The Green Clean Institute offers the Green Cleaned Building Award 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 GCB program starts with the most common and practical aspect that all building hold in common ... the cleaning program.

We assert that there are twelve fundamental steps, among others, that are important to Green cleaning and a building that wants to be Green.  The Green Cleaned Building award is based on a series of protocols that any honest cleaning service can apply during the cleaning operation.  

In addition, the Green Clean Institute is a fifteen year-old national training and certification organization that seeks to promote Green and Health buildings through the ongoing services of the maintenance service.