Industry News




 

05/05/2011

Greening Your Building for LEED Certification

 
Green-Building-LEED-Certification

Staples Advantage, the business-to-business division of Staples, Inc., recently hosted a webinar titled “Certifiably Green. LEED Solutions from Staples Advantage.” 
This webinar provided key strategies and tips to bring your building into the sustainable fold of LEED certification.   Below are some key takeaways from the event. 

What is LEED?
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a relatively young non-governmental organization, started in the 1990s and has grown to more than 3,000 members today. The Council’s
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program started in 2000 and is now emerging as the global green buildings rating system in the U.S., Canada, Europe and throughout the globe. LEED certification provides third-party validation that a building was designed and built to improve energy savings, water efficiency, carbon dioxide emissions, resource conservation and indoor environmental quality. 

Applying these principles to buildings is important. Americans spend as much as 90 percent of their time indoors. In fact, buildings in the U.S.:

  • Consume 40% of primary energy
  • Consume more than 70% of all electricity
  • Consume more than 20% of potable water
  • Consume 5 billion pounds of cleaning chemicals
  • Consume 4.5 billion pounds of paper
  • Consume 36 billion trash can liners
  • Produce nearly 40% of all CO2 gas emissions
  • Produce more than 30% of waste output
  • Green buildings can reduce solid waste by 70%
  • Green buildings can reduce water use by 40%

It is clear that buildings have a huge impact on our environment and personal health. Building managers, designers and facility experts who pursue and gain LEED certification can make a big difference.

Requirements for LEED Certification

To LEED certify your building, a project accumulates points only after meeting specified category prerequisites; a minimum of 40 points are needed for certification, 50 points for silver, 60 points for gold and 80 points for platinum certification. LEED certifications span a variety of building types – new constructions and major renovations, existing buildings, commercial interiors, healthcare, schools, retail space, neighborhood development and even homes.

There are opportunities to acquire LEED credit points in the following categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, regional priority and innovation and design process.

For certification in all LEED categories, make sure to keep careful, written records of policies, processes and practices; keep progress reports detailing calculations, and track key criteria and metrics, verifiable purchases, percentages and milestones.

Start-up Costs
There are different fees associated with the certification process – which vary depending on the rating system for which you apply. There will also be the cost of time and dedication of a full- or part-time individual responsible for the certification project, which can last six months up to a year.

The size of the project is the determining factor in terms of the overall cost. Those looking at LEED certification must recognize that their initial investment is an incremental move toward a long-term plan and that these projects usually come with an aggressive return on investment. 

LEED in Furniture and Interior Design

When pursuing many of the LEED rating systems, furniture and interior design can play a role.  For example, furniture and design elements can support the following LEED credits:

·         Materials and resources – Use of recycled content (both pre- and post-consumer waste), rapidly renewable materials, and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified wood in furniture can help in obtaining materials and resources credits.

·         Energy and atmosphere – The use of energy-efficient lighting can help in accumulating points.

·         Indoor environmental quality – In commercial interiors, consider the following elements to accumulate points:

o    Low-emitting systems furniture and seating

o    Controllable individual lighting

o    Access to daylight and seated views

If starting a new building project, it is prudent to choose a building location with LEED in mind.  If renovating or updating, consider partnering with an expert design firm and contractor who can help advise you on the right steps toward achieving LEED certification.

LEED in Green Cleaning
The definition of green cleaning is to utilize cleaning products and practices that lower environmental impact and have a positive effect on indoor air quality. Some of the benefits of green cleaning include avoiding toxins, reducing waste and ensuring you are in compliance with LEED. For LEED certification, buildings can earn points in the following categories:

·         Materials and resources – Sustainable purchasing and solid waste management practices

·         Water efficiency – Use of indoor plumbing fixture and fitting efficiency

·         Indoor environmental quality – Indoor air quality, environmental tobacco smoke control, green cleaning initiatives

To get started with green cleaning, partner with suppliers who support your green initiatives and can help prevent overall waste associated with cleaning in your building.  Replace cleaning products not in compliance, and use concentrated solutions instead of ready-to-use products.  

LEED for Healthcare Debuts

Top 10 States for LEED Green Buildings

LEED Certified Green Building Projects Reach One Billion Square Feet

 


Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating’s new H2i R2-Series heat pumps provide year-round comfort, even in extreme climates. With 100% heating capacity down to 0° F outdoor ambient and simultaneous heating and cooling down to -4° F, our hyper-heating systems bring highly responsive multi-zone comfort to your projects, regardless of climate zone.

http://news.mehvac.com/hhlaunch/


Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating’s new H2i R2-Series heat pumps provide year-round comfort, even in extreme climates. With 100% heating capacity down to 0° F outdoor ambient and simultaneous heating and cooling down to -4° F, our hyper-heating systems bring highly responsive multi-zone comfort to your projects, regardless of climate zone.

http://news.mehvac.com/hhlaunch/


 
03/27/2015

Capital ranks #1 in certified buildings.

03/26/2015

New sensor cable technology can detect all types of security breaches.

03/25/2015

Facilities will help cut government GHG emissions by 40%.

03/24/2015

Building sustainability shown to improve tenant happiness.

03/23/2015

New technology to improve the efficiency of wind power systems.

03/20/2015

Reduction of storm activity due to climate change will increase extreme weather.

03/19/2015

Simple ventilation improvements could save over $20,000 per year.

03/18/2015

Efforts to minimize climate change may be more effective than previously thought.

03/17/2015

Researchers develop new approach to create renewable energy.

03/16/2015

Report shows wind becoming cost competitive in more states.

03/13/2015

Study shows “fragrances” may be more than they appear.

03/12/2015

New energy storage configurations could cut costs.

03/11/2015

Program will streamline certification processes, code familiarity.

03/06/2015

Study shows buildings such as hospitals could cut energy use.

03/05/2015

Small and medium-sized buildings will soon have automation options.

03/04/2015

Form will aid lenders in assessing value of sustainable design.

03/03/2015

Expanded choices offer climate-friendly solutions.

03/02/2015

New technology could slash consumption up to 30%.

02/27/2015

Design is low-cost and green while providing more energy storage.

02/26/2015

LEED, IgCC, Standard 189.1 will work in harmony.

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