LEED Certification:Purpose of Tool:
The U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System encourages and accelerates global adoption of sustainable green building and development practices. The LEED principals are supported through the creation and implementation of universally understood and accepted tools and performance criteria. LEED is a third-party certification program and is the nationally-accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED gives building owners and operators the tools needed to have an immediate and measureable impact on the performance of a building. It also promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.
Benefits of Using Tool:
The built environment has a profound impact on our natural environment, economy, health, and productivity. The following are benefits of green building:
Steps Involved to Use Tool:
The US Green Building Council has set a standard for sustainable building performance. To receive LEED building certification, the following steps must be followed:
Special Requirements to Use Tool:
Pursuing LEED certification often increases the cost of initial design and construction. However, these higher initial costs can be effectively mitigated by the savings incurred over time (usually within 10 years, depending on up-front costs) due to lower-than-industry-standard energy utilization and operational costs which are typical of a LEED-certified building.
Specials Resources Needed to Use Tool:
LEED certification is obtained after submitting an application documenting compliance with the requirement of the rating system, as well as paying registration and certification fees. To meet LEED certification, it often requires substantial initial capital investments into cleaner and greener technologies.
Communities / Agencies that Have Used Tool:
Green Dallas – Dallas City Hall
1500 Public Information Office
Dallas, TX 75201
Green DC - District Department of the Environment
51 N Street, NE 6th Floor
Washington, DC 20002
Boston Redevelopment Authority
One City Hall Square
Boston, MA 02201
Metrics to Use to Monitor Tool Effectiveness:
Metrics for measuring the impacts of LEED-certified projects are focused in the five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water efficiency, energy efficiency, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality. Examples of measured success include the following.
As an alternative to traditional design, a redevelopment in Vancouver, British Columbia used the site of a former car lot to create a mixed-use retail, office, and apartment space. The majority of the thermal energy for the building is provided via a ground source heat pump, a savings passed on to the tenants. Waste heat from a restaurant and grocery store is used to preheat domestic water for the above residences. The building operates with a 40-percent energy savings.
Villages Homes in Davis, California is a green, planned residential community of single family detached homes and apartments built in 1981. Designed to take maximum advantage of the sun, the annual household energy bills are one-half to one-third lower than for comparable homes in surrounding neighborhoods. Natural drainage systems on site save residents $800 per lot and have proved more effective for handling storm water. Narrower streets have reduced the amount of pavement and lowered ambient air temperature by 15 degrees, increased pedestrian safety, and allowed for future reductions in the costs for repair and maintenance.
List of Resources to Obtain Additional Info: