A Closer Look At The Average LEED Certification Costs

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A Closer Look At The Average LEED Certification CostsThe average costs for obtaining LEED Certification fluctuates based upon the size and type of building project, as well as USGBC membership status. TerraCast frequently works with LEED Certified projects. Our resin-based products qualify for points and credits due to their unique fabrication and manufacturing process.

Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) is an international initiative program founded and regulated by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The USGBC strives to award and recognize projects that use best in class building practices to reduce negative environmental impacts. The non-profit organization aims to promote the increasingly popular development of sustainable building designs and construction.

In order to qualify for LEED Certification, your project must apply in the appropriate category. There are five rating systems based upon the type of project:

-Building Design and Construction (BD +C)

-Interior Design and Construction (ID +C)

-Building Operations and Maintenance (O+M)

-Neighborhood Development (ND)

-Homes (H)

Based upon the points and credits a project earns, you are awarded a different level of certification. The four levels and according point ranges are:

-Certified (40-49 points)

-Silver (50-59 points)

-Gold (60-79 points)

-Platinum (80+ points)

Worldwide there are 150,000 residential units that have earned LEED Certification. That’s because there are many benefits to going the extra mile in terms of receiving LEED Certification. Single family and multi-family housing projects have proven more valuable and faster selling when built with green practices. Plus, while the average household spends around $2,150 every year on energy bills, LEED Certified homes use around 30-60% less energy. These same savings carry over in big ways for businesses too.

How Much Does LEED Certification Cost?

LEED Certification doesn’t always cost as much money to obtain as assumed. Especially once you factor in the savings in terms of energy, water usage and so forth. Here is a look at the overall fees associated with the average building project.

Registration & Certification Fees

You pay a flat registration fee as soon as you register your project. The rate you pay is based on the date of registration. You also pay a flat certificate fee based upon the actual size of your project as well as the rating system being used. Your certificate fee is calculated and paid for when the project team turns in all documentation for review. The standard and split review fees cover both the preliminary and final review process.

Review Fees Based Upon Type Of Project

There are different fees for the review process as well as registration and certification fees based upon the type project you are applying for. Projects are broken up into the following categories:

-Building Design and Construction

-Building Operations and Maintenance

-Interior Design and Construction

-Neighborhood Development

-Homes

-Campus

Within these categories the overall costs vary based upon the size of the building and whether or not you are a USGBC member. The following fees are based upon projects that fall under the category Building Design and Construction. 

Building Design And Construction Fees

Registration Fees

Organizational, level or non-members: $1,200

Silver, Gold & Platinum Level Members: $900

Precertification Review, flat fee per building

Organizational, level or non-members: $4,250

Silver, Gold & Platinum Level Members: $3,250

Expedited reviews take between 10-12 business days as opposed to the standard 20-25 business days. They are available based upon review capacity. If you require expedited review you pay an additional $5,000.

Combined Review: Design + Construction for a project with gross floor area of 50,000 square feet or less (not including parking)

Organizational Level or Non-Members: $2,750

Silver, Gold & Platinum Members: $2,250

Expedited Review: +$10,000

For buildings between 50,000 and 500,000 square feet you pay between $0.055 per s/f and $0.045 per s/f based upon if you are a member or not. Projects that are over 500,000 square feet cost $27,000, or $22,500 for members.

Split Review: Design for a project with a gross floor area of 50,000 square feet or less (excluding parking)

Organizational Level or Non-Members: $2,250

Silver, Gold & Platinum Members: $2,000

Expedited Review: +$5,000

For buildings between 50,000 and 500,000 square feet the cost is $0.045 per s/f for non-members and $0.04 per s/f for members. For buildings that total over 500,000 square feet in gross floor area (parking excluded) the cost is $22,500 for non-members and $20,000 for members.

Split Review: Construction for a project with a gross floor area of 50,000 square feet or less (excluding parking)

Organizational Level or Non-Members: $750

Silver, Gold & Platinum Members: $500

Expedited Review: +$5,000

For buildings between 50,000 and 500,000 square feet the cost is $0.015 per s/f for non-members and $0.01 per s/f for members. For projects that total over 500,000 s/f (not including parking) the cost is $7,500 for non-members and $5,000 for members.

Fees For Appeals & Formal Inquiries

If you wish to appeal any decisions put forth by the board there are additional fees you will have to pay.

Fee to appeal Complex Credits: $800 per credit

Fee to appeal All Other Credits: $500 per credit

Expedited Review: +$500 per credit

Formal Inquiries for Project CIRs = $220 per credit

All pricing is subject to change. Learn more here: http://www.usgbc.org/cert-guide/fees

*Fees for other types of projects are somewhat comparable but do vary. To see a full list of costs for all types of projects click here: http://www.usgbc.org/cert-guide/fees#bdc

Discounts For USGBC Members

Project owners or administrators that are USGBC members receive discounts on all fees based upon membership status. Savings range between a few hundred to thousands of dollars. 

There are a few different types of membership plans offered through USGBC at a variety of price points.

Organizational: $300

Silver: $1,500

Gold: $5,000

Platinum: $20,000

In order to identify which package offers your company the most benefits you can contact the USGBC by phone 1-800-795-1747 or email [email protected]

Learn more here: http://www.usgbc.org/community

Other Fees Associated With LEED Certification To Consider

-Cost of additional research and design to meet LEED specifications.

-Cost to commission and model aspects of design for compliance.

-Cost of time to document and keep track of LEED application process, you may need to hire an outside consultant to take care of this.

-The cost of the LEED report.

-Costs of construction.

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