Value of LEED Certification is Third-Party Verification
Why is it worth it to go through formal certification, or “buy the LEED plaque,” as some cynics put it?
The highest value proposition of LEED certification isn’t the plaque; it’s the third party independent verification. There is a cost associated with in-depth, multi-disciplinary technical evaluations of buildings, which are, for the most part, custom-designed, custom-built and highly complex. Without third party verification, there is no way to know that what was intended was actually accomplished. Those who plan to design to LEED standards but save money by not getting certified miss the essential benefit of certification, which is the affirmation of the standards. Without affirmation, you won’t know what you’ve ended up with, but you can pretty well expect it not to perform as intended, outstripping any savings realized by skipping certification.
Jamie Qualk, LEED AP BD+C, is vice president, SSRCx, a division of Smith Seckman Reid engineering design and facility consulting firm. He
lectures in the Civil Engineering department of Vanderbilt University
regarding sustainability and construction and also at Lipscomb
University in the Institute for Sustainable Practice. You can follow him
on Twitter @Jamie_Qualk.