LEED Certification: A Complete Guide to Sustainable Buildings

Written by AKNO Group

Oct 16, 2023

certificazione LEED AKNO Group

LEED certification: the key to a sustainable building future

Sustainability has become a buzzword in the building world. With increasing environmental awareness, LEED certification is emerging as a leading solution for green buildings.


What is LEED Certification?

LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally recognised certification system for sustainable buildings. Born in the United States, LEED has also gained popularity in Italy, becoming a reference standard for ecological construction.


Why is LEED important?

Environmental benefits

LEED-certified buildings are designed to reduce their environmental impact. This means lower carbon emissions, more efficient use of water and the use of sustainable materials.


The benefits of LEED certification

Obtaining LEED certification not only demonstrates a commitment to sustainability, but also offers a number of tangible benefits:

  • Energy savings: LEED-certified buildings consume on average 25-30% less energy than conventional buildings.
  • Added value: LEED-certified properties tend to have a higher market value and higher occupancy rates.
  • Health and well-being: improves indoor air quality, reducing the risk of illness and increasing productivity.


Saving money

Although sustainable construction may require a higher initial investment, LEED buildings offer significant long-term savings due to lower energy and maintenance costs.


Well-being and health

LEED buildings are designed with people in mind. This translates into healthy indoor spaces with improved air quality and a design that promotes general well-being.


The pillars of LEED certification

Energy efficiency

LEED-certified buildings are designed to consume less energy through the use of advanced technologies and careful design.


Responsible use of planet Earth’s resources

From water to building materials, LEED certification promotes the responsible use of resources, minimising waste.


Healthy indoor environment

The health and well-being of the occupants are at the heart of LEED certification, with a strong focus on air quality and the creation of comfortable spaces.


On the road to LEED certification

Achieving LEED certification requires commitment and dedication. From the design phase to construction, every detail counts. In Italy, AKNO Group is at the forefront of implementing these certification processes.


LEED, a commitment to the Future

LEED certification offers a clear path to a sustainable future. Certified buildings are not only symbols of innovation, but also represent a concrete commitment to a greener world.


How to obtain LEED certification?

Initial assessment

First of all, it is essential to assess the building or project in question to determine its suitability for LEED certification.


Choose a Category

LEED offers several certification categories, including New Construction, Interior, Operations and Maintenance, and Neighbourhoods. The choice of category depends on the nature of the project.


Implementation and documentation

Once the category has been chosen, the required sustainable practices must be implemented and each step documented. This process may require the assistance of experienced sustainability professionals.


Evaluation and certification

After submitting all the necessary documentation, the project will be assessed by an independent body. If it meets all criteria, LEED certification will be granted.


LEED in Italy

Although LEED certification originated in the United States, its presence in Italy is constantly growing. More and more buildings, both public and private, are adopting this standard, recognising its many benefits.


The difference between BREEAM and LEED

Although both BREEAM and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) are renowned green building certification systems, they have distinct methodologies. BREEAM differs in the role of the BREEAM certifier, a BRE-certified professional. This assessor is appointed by the client to issue the certification after a meticulous analysis and on-site verification of the project.


Differences between LEED and BREEAM

These are voluntary international environmental certification protocols, the best known in the building industry.

While both certification systems are based on environmental sustainability criteria, there are some differences between LEED and BREEAM. The former focuses more on the energy efficiency and environmental performance of buildings, while the latter pays more attention to the health and well-being of occupants.


LEED certification

LEED certification analyses the performance of buildings according to eight criteria:

  • Transportation and location;
  • Sustainability of the site;
  • Water resource efficiency;
  • Energy and atmosphere;
  • Construction materials and resources;
  • Quality of the indoor environment;
  • Innovation;
  • Regional priority.

Points are attributed to each criterion, the sum of which (minimum 40, maximum 110) constitutes four levels of certification: basic, gold, silver and platinum.

At a time when sustainability is the focus of attention, LEED certification is a concrete solution for building a greener future. Whether new construction or renovation, LEED offers a roadmap for buildings that are not only environmentally friendly, but also cost-effective and healthy for those who live in them.


What LEED certification means for AKNO Group

AKNO Group has been investing for several years now in the construction of buildings that comply with LEED and BREEAM certification criteria. At the cutting edge of the times, we were among the first in Italy to implement construction techniques that respected these types of environmental certifications.

For more information, please give us a call or send us a message!

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