WEST DES MOINES, IA — Many convenience stores have been reluctant to seek Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
(LEED) certification but, as auxiliary benefits are being discovered, more are opting for the paid recognition, according to CSP Daily News
Because of what Nick Schaffer, manager of the commercial real estate sector for the U.S. Green Building Council
(USGBC), calls the "quick-build, low-cost" nature of convenience stores, LEED certification is often seen as an unnecessary added cost and a burden to increased profits, the story stated.
Isadore Khrasch, president of Green Hospitality Certified
, said: "The first step is realizing every commercial enterprise can participate in being green. Every business, no matter how small, can have an impact on both their local environment and their bottom line."
According to the story, some establishments, including Kum & Go
convenience stores, have completed projects that come close to qualifying for LEED certification, making the necessary renovations to qualify for the designation minimal.
In addition to the plethora of sustainable advantages, some of the auxiliary benefits of LEED certification that building owners often overlook include: Customer buy-in, employee buy-in, shareholder buy-in and media buy-in, the story noted.
It is speculated that LEED certification may be a requirement rather than a choice in the near future because of the increase in municipal and state governments mandating new buildings be erected with "green" aspects in mind, the story added.
Wayne Howell, principal for Clive Samuels & Associates Inc.
, said: "I think overall, in general, more and more projects are doing it because it''s almost becoming a standard — and because a lot of the LEED criteria are making their way into building codes. If it''s nearly code-mandated anyway, why not go ahead and file your project and register it to become LEED?"