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Posts Tagged ‘LEEDv4’

How LEED combats climate change

One of the goals that guided the development of LEED v4 was reversing a LEED building’s contribution to global climate change.

The Earth’s climate is changing, and 97 percent of climate scientists agree that it is likely due to human activities. So where does that leave us and the rest of the building industry?

Buildings account for more than one-quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), according to the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction. Add in other infrastructure and activities, such as transportation, that is associated with buildings, and that number jumps.

By building green, we can reduce the impact our buildings have on contributing to climate change, while also building resilience into our homes and communities.

LEED vs climate change

One of the goals that guided the development of LEED v4 was reversing a LEED building’s contribution to global climate change. High-performing green buildings, particularly LEED-certified buildings, play a key role in reducing the negative climate impacts of the built environment. For this reason, 35 of the 100 total points in LEED v4 are distributed to reward climate change mitigation strategies.

The LEED process addresses a structure’s planning, design, construction, operations and end of life as well as considering energy, water, indoor environmental quality, materials selection, and location. Green buildings reduce landfill waste, enable alternative transportation use and encourage retention and creation of vegetated land areas and roofs.

LEED rewards thoughtful decisions about building location, with credits that encourage compact development and connection with transit and amenities. When a building consumes less water, the energy otherwise required to withdraw, treat and pump that water from the source to the building are avoided. Additionally, less transport of materials to and from the building cuts associated fuel consumption.

Here are some of the ways that LEED weighs the various credits and strategies so that LEED projects can mitigate their contribution to global climate change:

  • GHG Emissions Reduction from Building Operations Energy Use: To target energy use reductions directly associated with building operations. This includes all building systems and operations within the building or associated grounds that rely on electricity or other fuel sources for energy consumption.
  • GHG Emissions Reduction from Transportation Energy Use: To target energy use reductions associated with the transportation of building occupants, employees, customers, visitors, business travel, etc.
  • GHG Emissions Reduction from the Embodied Energy of Materials and Water Use: To target GHG-emissions reductions associated with the energy use and processes required in the extraction, production, transportation, conveyance, manufacturing, assembly, distribution, use, posttreatment, and disposal of materials, products, and processed water. Any measures that directly reduce the use of potable water, non-potable water, or raw materials (e.g. reduced packaging, building reuse) will indirectly reduce energy as well because of the embodied energy associated with these product life cycles.
  • GHG Emissions Reduction from a Cleaner Energy Supply: To target actions and measures that support a cleaner, fewer GHG-emissions intensive energy supply and a greater reliance on renewable sources of energy.
  • Global Warming Potential Reduction from Non-Energy Related Drivers: To address the non-energy related climate change drivers (e.g. albedo, carbon sinks, non-energy related GHG emissions) and identifies actions that reduce these contributions to climate change (e.g. land use changes, heat island reduction, reforestation, refrigerant purchases).

Some of the top credits in LEED v4 BD+C, ID+C, and O+M that are associated with mitigating global climate change:

  • LT Credit: Surrounding Density and Diverse Uses
  • LT Credit: Access to Quality Transit / Alternative Transportation
  • WE Credit: Outdoor Water Use Reduction
  • WE Credit: Indoor Water Use Reduction
  • EA Credit: Optimize Energy Performance
  • EA Credit: Renewable Energy Production / Renewable Energy and Carbon Offsets
  • EA Credit: Enhanced Refrigerant Management
  • EA Credit: Green Power and Carbon Offsets
  • MR Credit: Building Life-Cycle Impact Reduction / Interiors Life-Cycle Impact Reduction

To learn more about LEED and how it can help reduce the impact of global climate change, head to Greenbuild in Boston this November 8–10 (or check out our Greenbuild events in China or India). Greenbuild features LEED workshops, hundreds of green building educational sessions and inspiring speakers and events

Green building works for all by saving resources and creating jobs

Published on 17 Nov 2016 Written by Mahesh Ramanujam Posted in Industry

Green buildings support a thriving, innovative industry.

One thing that all Americans can agree on is the urgent need for massive improvement in our roads, bridges, energy and water systems, as well as other important infrastructure such as hospitals and schools. In fact, infrastructure investment was one of the few issues both President-elect Trump and Secretary Clinton identified as immediate domestic priorities.

High-performing, green building practices are continuing their upward trend in the U.S. and around the world, as both the public and private sectors seek to establish themselves as leaders in real estate, asset management and sustainability. With benefits ranging from lowering environmental impact to reduced operating costs to improved human experience, building green and supporting a growing green economy transcends political divides and party labels.

Building green, high-performing structures has also become a matter of national security, with our military branches leveraging LEED as a pathway to energy security and resilience, while many U.S. embassies around the globe have used LEED to create resilient facilities that can operate off-grid with their own water and energy.

In fact, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Department of Defense constructed the first LEED Platinum, net zero energy aviation hangar at Fort Carson, Colorado. This innovative building includes high-efficiency lighting and solar panels that supply half its power needs. It is a major step in support of Fort Carson’s goal to become a net zero energy facility by 2020.

Green building benefits include reduced greenhouse gas emissions associated with their construction and operation. Green buildings are also an important part of any city’s resiliency strategy by designing structures that feature climate adaptation and climate change mitigation strategies. They also generate impressive savings, are healthier for occupants and provide conditions for greater productivity.

Beyond the benefits for owners, investors, tenants and occupants, green buildings support a thriving, innovative industry. The 2015 Green Building Economic Impact Study analyzed the economic impact of green construction on the U.S. economy and found that by 2018, green construction will directly contribute 3.3 million jobs in the U.S. and generate $190.3 billion in labor earnings.

Mahesh Ramanujam Posted in Industry

LEED Earth winner: Mexico’s first LEED v4 platinum building

Published on 14 Jul 2015Written by Cesar Trevino Posted in LEED

Bioconstruccion y Energia Alternativa’ (BEA) is proud to announce that it’s headquarter offices is the most recent winner of USGBC’s LEED Earth campaign.

Aside exuberant biodiversity, lively music and cultural richness, Mexico also plays a key role for the green building movement in Latin America. To date the country accounts for 139 certified and 460 registered LEED endeavors, some of the most innovative and revolutionary buildings in the entire region. From these projects, one stands out writing its own unique history.

Back in 2011, BEA was behind one of the most sustainable offices in Latin America. BEA’s 4,650 sq. ft. office building was recognized as the first new construction building to achieve LEED Platinum certification in the country and the entire Latin American region, placing these premises at the top 1% among all buildings to achieve this level.

The project’s design and construction integrates diverse sustainability strategies and higher performance specifications, well above local regulations. Also, they reached another LEED Platinum level certification, this time under LEED v4.

This accomplishment allows us to ratify our commitment to a better built environment for Mexico and Latin America. Clearly, there is an enormous potential to demonstrate the business case for energy savings and environmental performance in our region, especially amongst existing buildings.

LEED APs Mayela Salazar and Diana Carro (existing building and new construction project leaders respectively) recently recalled a lifetime’s professional satisfaction with these two milestone certifications. “Everyone utilizing or visiting our office perceives and enjoys a superior indoor ambiance,” noted Mayela. “We do acknowledge how the premises invite us to both higher productivity and more responsible user habits,” further elaborated Diana.

Walking through its spaces, these ground-breaking offices are tangibly and positively different from all similar others. This venture illustrates the capacity and quality of Mexican professionals to envision and raise buildings that exceed the highest international green building standards. Unquestionably, LEED projects have been and shall continue to be a determining factor to release new makings for environmentally conscientious architecture, engineering and construction practice in the country.

 Cesar Trevino

Mexico Green Building Council

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LEED Certification

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a non profit organization that certifies sustainable businesses, homes, hospitals, schools, and neighborhoods. USGBC is dedicated to expanding green building practices and education, and its LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™.

Chemline, Inc. is a member of The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and has the potential to provide LEED points.