Business Insider

Benefits of LEED accreditation for general contractors

Billy Stutz, a Ferguson Marketing Manager

by Billy Stutz


The need for environmentally conscious buildings is now, and earning a LEED accreditation is how contractors can meet this need. The most prominent green building accreditation worldwide is the LEED(R) accreditation program. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a third-party building certification program that is run by the U.S. Green Building Council, or USGBC(R). LEED offers two initial types of accreditations for professionals to earn: LEED Green Associate and LEED Accredited Professional, or AP. A third type of accreditation, LEED AP Fellow, also exists, but requires a minimum of 10 years' experience in the green building industry, a LEED AP Specialty accreditation, and several other requirements. While the opportunity is there, LEED recommends contractors start with LEED Green Associate and continue education and certifications to build a foundation of knowledge.

The purpose of LEED is to reduce the environmental impact of buildings around the world, and improve conditions that contribute to the health of building occupants. Whether you build single-family residential buildings or high-rise commercial offices, earning a LEED accreditation can help you grow your contracting career. Discover the benefits of LEED accreditation and see how earning your credentials will help you increase your marketability.

LEED accreditation benefits

  • Give your business the competitive advantage.
    Earning your LEED accreditation can give you the edge over your competition by allowing you to bid a wider variety of projects. Many government agencies, especially those at the federal level, require building projects to be designed and constructed according to LEED specifications in order to ensure efficiency. In fact, the U.S. General Services Administration, or GSA’s, minimum requirement for new construction and largely renovated federally-owned facilities is the LEED Gold building certification. If you’re not an accredited LEED contractor, then you’re likely missing out on opportunities to bid jobs that other LEED-accredited competitors are able to bid.

    Pro tip: According to the U.S. Green Building Council, the size of the green building market doubles every three years worldwide. Earning a LEED accreditation will help you stay ahead of this booming industry trend.

  • Attract more customers with energy-saving benefits.
    According to the U.S. Green Building Council, buildings that are LEED certified use 25% less energy, 11% less water, and emit 34% less carbon dioxide than other buildings. These environmental savings makes building green an appealing choice for consumers. Promoting your skills as a LEED-accredited contractor could help you grow a larger customer base.

    Pro tip: Certain building projects that are executed according to LEED specifications might qualify building owners for select tax credits and government rebates. This could make your LEED accreditation an added incentive for customers to choose you over your competitors.

  • Stay informed on the latest green building techniques.
    As the premier green building accreditation program, LEED provides its members with exclusive access to information about the newest innovations in green building technology. Your contracting business will benefit from updates about new energy-saving building material, ways to improve indoor air efficiency, reduce water use, and even minimize light pollution. You can assure your customers that your LEED accreditation allows you to complete your projects according to the most rigid green building standards in the industry.

    Pro tip: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a spike in demand for better indoor air quality, or IAQ. LEED focuses on building healthier spaces with cleaner indoor air. By earning your LEED certification, you can expand your service offering to include IAQ solutions. Learn more about IAQ and why it matters to contractors.

Beginning the LEED accreditation process

When you’re ready to advance your career by pursuing a LEED accreditation, the next step is to explore the requirements for the respective LEED accreditations and choose the one that best suits your green building experience. Then, familiarize yourself with the LEED accreditation process. This includes:

  • Understanding eligibility requirements.
  • Registering for the appropriate exam.
  • Paying applicable fees for the exam.
  • Study for and complete the exam.

Explore more information about earning your LEED accreditation >>

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Billy Stutz, a Ferguson Marketing Manager
Billy Stutz

For more than 10 years, Billy has been a dedicated supply-chain strategist delivering quality information to his customers and offering solutions to drive actionable results to their bottom line.