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.

 


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.


 
comments powered by Disqus
05/29/2015

New ratings will verify efficient design, performance.

05/28/2015

Clean energy consumption reaches highest level since 1930s.

05/27/2015

Study shows escalating risk for electrical reliability.

05/26/2015

Funding, climate change blamed for drop in implementation.

05/22/2015

Initiatives will improve lamp efficiency and lighting controls.

05/21/2015

Building policy highlighted as best in the nation.

05/20/2015

Healthcare facilities focus on recycling, safer chemicals.

05/19/2015

Building design has a measureable impact on educational outcomes.

05/18/2015

Glass design repels water and boosts photovoltaic output.

05/15/2015

New method could improve sustainability, cut price of wind power.

05/14/2015

ASHRAE guideline will calculate cooling needs and cut plug loads.

05/13/2015

Legislation will improve green performance in commercial buildings.

05/12/2015

Dropping costs, improved efficiency cited as reasons for increased use.

05/11/2015

New goal to keep state under global warming threshold.

05/08/2015

Largest floor space increases found in healthcare, retail sectors.

05/04/2015

New efficiency measures will affect over 2,000 buildings.

05/01/2015

Device produces images indefinitely.

04/30/2015

Overall energy consumption growth will be modest through 2040.

04/29/2015

Over 400 buildings take part in the EPA’s Federal Green Challenge.

04/28/2015

Fortune 200 companies use green certification to verify sustainability, energy savings.

Sponsored Links