LEED Certification and KWA’s Commitment to the Environment

Sustainable building practices aren’t just a trend, they are an indicator of leadership and commitment to the environment, and they are quickly becoming the standard in the construction industry. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally recognized green building program. Through this program, builders and building owners are provided “a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.”

The LEED Program was established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and provides verifications of green buildings. According to the USGBC, the program is “transforming the way built environments are designed, constructed and operated.”

LEED-certified buildings are designed to:

  • Lower operating costs

  • Increase asset value

  • Reduce waste

  • Conserve energy and water

  • Be healthier and safer for occupants

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions

In many cities, LEED-certified buildings also qualify for tax rebates and zoning allowances, among other incentives.

Commercial and residential buildings — new or existing — must satisfy a standard of prerequisites to become LEED-certified. Commercial buildings must earn a minimum of 40 points on a 110-point LEED rating system, where residential buildings must earn a minimum of 45 points on a 136-point scale. Multifamily building and construction falls under the LEED for Homes program. It should be noted that multifamily projects over four stories may follow the multifamily midrise guidelines.

Participating in the LEED program is voluntary, but demonstrates leadership, innovation, commitment to and stewardship of the environment as well as social responsibility. KWA shares this commitment to our environment and culture. We understand the importance of using eco-friendly and sustainable materials in our structures and are honored to be a Texas LEED-certified multifamily building company.  Taylors Farm, an urban infill development, received LEED Silver certification. Hillside West, a senior housing project, is working towards LEED Silver certification.

Building a LEED-certified project is not just responsible in regards to preserving the environment, it is necessary on a day-in-day-out basis to be a responsible steward for the projects of our clients that we are building.

It is important to stay up-to-date on LEED certification and requirements in order to stay ahead of changes as codes and programs are frequently updated. LEED used to be above code when the program began, but, over time, with building codes continually increasing minimum requirements, the LEED requirements slowly crept in and become standard.

It is exciting to see this program connect builders and building owners on a global level. LEED projects have been established in 135 countries across the world, uniting a global community around sustainable construction practices, while providing regional solutions for builders and building owners in their unique communities and environments.

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