Metropolitan Facilities Solutions teams with LEED certified professionals and has delivered EnergyStar® and LEED projects in the Washington, DC region. We provide energy management and sustainability consulting for owners and assist in determining the economics of investment if certifications.
In Washington, DC all new construction over 50,000SF must be LEED certified; but now existing buildings must also provide energy use plans and meet standards put in place by the DCRA. This requires your facility to be benchmarked in the Department of Energy’s EnergyStar Portfolio Manager.
Soon, renovation projects will have to meet EnergyStar. Think of EnergyStar as an escalator and LEED as a long, steep set of stairs. The visibility that comes from either certification is valuable, but in terms of investment or reinvestment in existing facilities the EnergyStar certification is much less complex and capital intensive to obtain. It is also much less complicated to maintain and recertify.
If the facility under consideration is of masonry construction (high-thermal mass), achieving the EnergyStar certification will typically revolve around improving HVAC and lighting efficiency, sealing the building envelope, insulation and windows. It is based on the percentage of reduction achieved by the project(s) and compares your facility to others within the region.
LEED certification involves a complex mix of credits that include all of the above, but also include interior furnishings and finishes, outdoor plantings, irrigation, hard paved parking surfaces and a host of other environmental considerations. The decision to go LEED in non-government buildings will include understanding the potential increase in property values and/or lease rates, market demand, public relations and/or business marketing.