Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is one of the most globally recognised green building certifications that puts the spotlight not only on buildings that exercise sustainable material usage, but also pays attention to the more granular details of design approaches of buildings that lessen energy consumption and minimise negative environmental impacts.
To gain the points-based LEED certification can take years, as companies and buildings go through numerous procedures that verify their validity and criteria.
For the Laurelton Diamond Factory in Cambodia, this rigorous process paid off last week after two years – when the factory was completed in 2014 under the two-year supervision of architecture, engineering, project and cost management by Archetype Group, one of the largest private construction consultancies in Asia Pacific.
It is a high bar to reach. There are four categories of LEED certification: Certified (a score of 40 to 49), Silver (50 to 59), Gold (60 to 79), and Platinum (80 to 110).
The Laurelton Diamond Factory managed to attain the certified certification, scoring a fair point of 47. Its installation of one of the first off-grid solar power plant in Cambodia has set it apart from other green-certified buildings that exist in the Kingdom.
“The LEED certifications also set a benchmark for sustainable design and building in Cambodia, which we hope will encourage other owners to embrace these practices for their own projects,” said Michel Cassagnes, managing director and architectural design director of Archetype.
With the urge of buildings to not only go for sustainable developments, but attain a higher level of certification such as the likes of LEED, Cambodia could be on the right path to building environmentally responsible projects if other companies take educated notes on the overall long-term impact it may have on the business industry in the country.
At present, other LEED-certified buildings in Cambodia include Bureau Veritas – a testing, inspection and certification business focused on services of quality, safety, environmental protection and social responsibility – and the Vattanac Capital tower.
Bureau Veritas is on the top podium with a platinum status score of 90 which it attained in 2013, while Vattanac stands behind with an unknown score in the gold status category.
Graeme Currie, Laurelton Diamonds’ manufacturing vice-president, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tiffany & Co, said on behalf of Tiffany & Co. CEO Frederic Cumenal, that the company’s commitment to the environment and its people is second to none.
“It is through endeavours such as achieving this LEED certification on our facility here in Cambodia that we demonstrate our real and concrete commitment to the environment at all levels and in all aspects of the organisation.”