Want LEED Certification? Optimize Your Electrical Systems First

LEED, or “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design,” certification is the global standard for green building. With more than 6,000 LEED-certified commercial projects worldwide as of 2023, the designation is widely respected and recognized! 

In order to obtain certification, you need to ensure your building’s systems are sustainably optimized. Read on for a step-by-step guide on what to do when it comes to your electrical systems. 

But First: What Exactly is LEED?

LEED provides a framework for designing, constructing, and operating buildings with the main goals of saving energy, using water efficiently, and improving overall environmental quality. Its certification levels include Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum—largely for commercial projects

Fun fact: here in Canada, most LEED buildings are office buildings, followed by retail! Take a look at stats from the U.S. Green Building Council below for details.

Achieving LEED certification demonstrates that you’re reducing your property’s environmental footprint while prioritizing occupants’ health and well-being. 

But becoming certified is a rigorous process! You have to consider energy efficiency, water usage, building materials, indoor air quality, and overall sustainability. And like the rest of your building’s systems, your electrical systems play a significant role in determining certification. 

Here are three tips to optimize your electrical systems for LEED.

#1. Focus on Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is an important one. Here are some ways to improve yours:

#2. Prioritize Renewable Energy Integration

Along with energy efficiency, incorporate renewable energy as much as possible. This is a great way to rack up LEED points. 

Here are some ideas:

  • Implement advanced metering to monitor your building’s energy consumption.

#3. Use Sustainable Materials

Don’t forget about materials! Whenever possible, try to use electrical components made from recycled materials—this can help generate LEED points. 

For conductors, consider options made from aluminum or recycled copper. For building materials, opt for biodegradable conduit or recycled PVC conduit. 

Lastly, consider minimizing hazardous materials, such as materials with low or no volatile organic compounds.

Additional Considerations

Here are a few more ways you can optimize your electrical systems to gain LEED points:

  • Incorporate Building Automation Systems (BAS). Automation systems can significantly reduce energy consumption while maintaining comfort for occupants. 
  • Smart grid integration. Two-way communication between your building and the smart grid optimizes energy management and enhances your LEED certification efforts. You can monitor energy consumption and grid conditions in real time, combined with energy management strategies such as demand response and load shifting.

And when you’re done incorporating LEED practices, before submitting, you can measure your impact with the Arc digital platform.

Common FAQs About LEED Certification:

What Does “LEED” Stand For?

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED v4 is the most recent iteration. LEED v5 is expected to be available in 2025. 

What’s the Difference Between LEED Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum Certifications?

Your project earns points for green building strategies across several categories. Based on the number of points achieved, your project can earn one of four LEED rating levels:

  • Certified: 40-49 points
  • Silver: 50-59 points
  • Gold: 60-79 points
  • Platinum: 80+ points


What Are the Benefits of Becoming LEED Certified?

Earning LEED certification offers a wide range of benefits—including the ultimate goal of protecting the environment. LEED-certified buildings use 25% less energy and have 19% lower maintenance costs than conventional buildings.

Other common benefits include reducing operating costs, enhancing property value, and improving occupants’ health and productivity.

Fun Facts About Canadian LEED Buildings:

Ready to Make Your Building Green?

Do you feel like you’re ready to optimize your electrical systems and rack up LEED points? As some of Western Canada’s top lighting specialists, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’d love to help!

Get support with all your lighting needs