If you’re unfamiliar with LEED certification, you’re not alone.

LEED certification is a set of standards used to judge how environmentally friendly a structure is.

Since apartment complexes typically hold large numbers of people, the environmental impact can be huge, which is why it’s good contractors have taken the time to ensure that some of the newer apartment structures are certified.

The U.S. Green Building Council has been pushing LEED certification in the past decade, and a few years ago commented on the value of LEED certified apartment complexes.

In the article, the USGBC mentions a study from CoStar, a American commercial real estate information and marketing provider, that went through the “…attributes renters are willing to pay a premium for .“

What was the second most important feature an apartment renter looked for?

LEED certification.

leed certification apartment complexesThat’s right folks, apartments built to be more environmentally friendly are more likely to attract renters. In fact, the environmental impact of an apartment complex was rated as more important than things like “Transit Oriented Developments, Fitness Centers, Finishes and even if the building is new or not.”

Of course, on the other hand making sure a structure is LEED certified can up the price quite a bit, which in turn can raise the premiums for renters.

GBIG or Green Building Information Gateway conducted a study between non-LEED certified apartment complexes and LEED certified ones last year and produced some interesting findings.

They found that “…LEED-certified apartment units earn approximately 9% more rent than the non-certified units.”

What does this mean for the renter?

You’re going to be paying more for a LEED-certified apartment.

Whether the apartment is LEED-certified can be a deal breaker for some folks, but keep in mind that the aforementioned GBIG study also found that apartment complexes that were considered “green” but did not seek out certification were actually cheaper than the LEED-certified apartments.