LEED Platinum Certification…its the new status symbol for the rich and famous.
Its rating was built into that price. LEED — an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the hot designer label, and platinum is the badge of honor — the top classification given by the U.S. Green Building Council. “There’s kind of a green pride, like driving a Prius,” said Brenden McEneaney, a green building adviser to the city of Santa Monica, adding, “It’s spreading all over the place.”
Devised eight years ago for the commercial arena, the ratings now cover many things, including schools and retail interiors. But homes are the new frontier.
While other ratings are widely recognized, like the federal Energy Star for appliances, the LEED brand stands apart because of its four-level rankings — certified, silver, gold and platinum — and third-party verification. So far this year, 10,250 new home projects have registered for the council’s consideration, compared with 3,100 in 2006, the first year of the pilot home-rating system. Custom-built homes dominate the first batch of certified dwellings. Today, dinner-party bragging rights are likely to include: “Let me tell you about my tankless hot water heater.” Or “what’s the R value of your insulation?”
And “LEED-accredited professional” is a new occupational status.
Worries about climate change and rising energy costs are part of the equation: roughly 21 percent of heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions come from homes; nearly 40 percent come from residential and commercial structures combined. As energy prices rise, the long-range economic value and short-range social cachet of green building are converging.
I told you LEED AP was good business.