In our last blog we explained what LEED certification is. Now we are going to discuss what they are looking at during the LEED certification process. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in several key areas: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, location and linkages, awareness and education, innovation in design, and regional priority.
The sustainable sites category encourages development on land that has already been developed thus minimizing a building’s impact on ecosystems and waterways. It encourages regionally appropriate landscaping that should control storm water runoff and promote reduction of erosion. Light pollution, heat island effect and construction related pollution are also evaluated in this category. Smart transportation choices such as proximity to mass transportation and pedestrian friendly are rewarded here.
Buildings are major users of our potable water supply. The goal of the Water Efficiency category is to encourage smarter use of water, inside and out. Water reduction is typically achieved through more efficient appliances, fixtures and fittings inside and water-conscious landscaping outside.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, buildings use 39% of the energy and 74% of the electricity produced each year in the United States. The Energy & Atmosphere category encourages a wide variety of energy-wise strategies: commissioning; energy use monitoring; efficient design and construction; efficient appliances, systems and lighting control; the use of renewable and clean sources of energy, generated on-site or off-site; and other innovative measures.
The Materials & Resources category encourages the selection of sustainably grown, harvested, produced and transported products and materials. It promotes waste reduction as well as reuse and recycling, and it particularly rewards the reduction of waste at a product’s source.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that Americans spend about 90% of their day indoors. The Indoor Environmental Quality category promotes strategies that improve indoor air as well as those that provide access to natural daylight and views and improve acoustics.
The LEED for Homes rating system recognizes that much of a home’s impact on the environment comes from where it is located and how it fits into its community. The Locations & Linkages category encourages building on previously developed or infill sites and away from environmentally sensitive areas. Credits reward homes that are built near already-existing infrastructure, community resources and transit – in locations that promote access to open space for walking, physical activity and time outdoors.
The Awareness & Education category encourages home builders and real estate professionals to provide homeowners, tenants and building managers with the education and tools they need to understand what makes their home green and how to make the most of those features. A home is only truly green if the people who live in it use its green features to maximum effect.
The Innovation in Design category provides bonus points for projects that use innovative technologies and strategies to improve a building’s performance well beyond what is required by other LEED credits.
There are six LEED credits addressing the most important local environmental concerns.
A project that earns a regional priority credit will earn one bonus point in addition to any points awarded for that credit. Up to four extra points can be earned in this way.
Advanced Control Corporation specializes in building automation and energy management. As a leader in the industry for the past twenty years in South Florida they have played a major part in many of the LEED certified building in the area. The Adrienne Arsht Center, Brickell Financial Center, Broward State College, Palm Beach State College, and the St. Regis Resort in Bal Harbour just to name a few.
Planning a new building, major renovation or just updating your energy systems, Advanced Control can lead the way to LEED certification and energy savings. Contact Advanced Control Corporation today and let one of our experts customize an energy management system for your company. Advanced Control provides building automation in South Florida, as well as energy management, access control, CCTV solutions and more. For more information, call 954-491-6660 today.