We’re going to cover the costs of LEED certification and LEED accreditation here.
LEED Certification is a term that’s often confused for LEED Accreditation. LEED Certification refers to high-performance green buildings, whereas LEED Accreditation refers to the people who have shown proficiency on the LEED standards.
Cost of LEED Certification – Buildings
The costs of LEED certification depend on a project’s rating system and size.
For the purpose of this article, we’re going to list the most common price ranges so you can get a general idea of what to expect.
According to the USGBC, the costs of LEED certification break down as follows:
- Project registration: $1,500
- Precertification: $5,000
- Certification review: Ranges from $3,400 to $33,000 depending on project gross floor area
There may be extra costs, specific to expedited reviews, credit appeals, formal inquiries, and/or hiring a sustainability consultant.
Also, a LEED project owner or administrator can receive a discount for being a USGBC member.
If you’re new to sustainability, it’s highly recommended to work alongside a LEED consultant. They have a passion and technical understanding of the LEED certification requirements that will ensure that you meet your goals on time and within budget.
Cost of LEED Accreditation – People
The total cost of earning a LEED accreditation can vary because prices of study materials vary by provider, and the U.S. Green Building Council (who manages LEED) offers discounts for eligible groups of people on the LEED credentialing exam.
Most people will end up spending between $650-$1000 after paying for training, study aids, and the exam itself.
And that’s just for the LEED Green Associate level. That does not take into account extra efforts to earn a more advanced LEED credential, which would ultimately require more training and another exam fee.
If you’re looking for more information on total costs to earn a LEED professional credential, see our post on LEED GA Exam Pricing to see if you’re eligible for discounts.
Why LEED is Worth It
Although there are upfront costs of LEED Certification, you’ll find that the monetary and health benefits make up for it.
Owners of commercial buildings may be able to charge higher rents based on their building’s status. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) studied the financial performance of “green” office buildings in the United States, finding that a commercial building with an environmental certification will rent for about three percent more per square foot with the difference in effective rent estimated at about six percent per square foot. The increment to the selling price may be as much as 16 percent, according to the study.
Other studies have also shown benefits of LEED certification to include greater productivity among employees, more loyalty to a company that implements certification, and greater satisfaction with their job.
If you’re interested in learning more about what’s involved with getting a building certified, you should consider enrolling in a LEED training class. Regardless of whether you go on to take the LEED exam and earn a credential, it would certainly be advantageous to learn about LEED requirements if you plan on pursuing certification for a building project.