LEED BUilding, design with the environment in mind
What does “LEED Building” mean? Simple, it stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. There is talk of a design approach to the construction of new buildings, with a strong eye for the environmental aspect and eco-sustainability.
LEED is a voluntary certification, which can be applied to any type of building and represents the eco-LEED is a voluntary certification, which can be applied to any type of building and represents the eco-sustainability of a given structure. LEED certification is a yardstick mainly for the energy performance and environmental impact of a given building, such as energy and water saving of the same, the quality and sustainability of building materials, the reduction of CO2 emissions, and other key factors.
It is important to point out that there are different levels of LEED, based on a points system, which rewards the use of new technologies that help reduce the environmental impact of the structure that is going to be certified.
This certificate should not be confused with the energy levels that are normally attributed to homes!
LEED refers to an official certificate, created in 1998 by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and modified over the years by the same body. With a scoring system, when applying for certification, one of the 4 LEED levels can be obtained, which starts from the basic level to platinum.
1) basic level: 40-49 points
2) silver: 50-59 points
3) gold: 60-79 points
4) platinum: 80-110 points
LEED Building, how to earn points?
The various points that can be acquired are divided into macro-categories:
–Site sustainability (26 points)
–Water management (10 points)
–Energy and Atmosphere (35 points)
–Materials and resources (14 points)
–Internal environmental quality (14 points)
–Design innovation (6 points)
–Regional priorities (4 points)
Below is an example, more in detail, of a pre-assessment for the achievement of the LEED v4 for Building Design and Construction certification, measuring the performance against the criteria divided into the following assessment areas:
• Location and Transportation (20 points): LT credits promote the construction of buildings within urbanized contexts and served by all fundamental services such as public transport.
• Sustainable Sites (1 prerequisites, 11 points): SS credits promote site design strategies through responsible and innovative practices towards flora, fauna, water and air, through the mitigation of some of the negative effects that the buildings have on the local environment.
• Water Efficiency (3 prerequisites, 11 points): the WE credits deal with environmental issues related to the use, management, and disposal of the water used inside and outside the buildings by monitoring usage performance and encouragement to reduce drinking water consumption.
-Use high water-saving devices (e.g. aerators on taps and dual flow cisterns)
-Provide for the accounting of water at the building level
• Energy and Atmosphere (4 prerequisites, 33 points): EA credits promote the control of the energy performance of buildings through an integrated design system. The energy performance of the building is assessed both during the design phase, and through the commissioning of the system systems and during the post-occupation monitoring phase. They also promote the use of renewable energy.
–Perform energy modeling and ensure a minimum percentage of energy savings
-Provide energy accounting at the building level.
• Material and Resources (2 prerequisites, 14 points): MR credits promote the choice of recycled, recovered, or reconverted sustainable materials. They also promote the reduction of construction and building waste.
-Do not use CFC-based refrigerants
-Provide a waste collection area with subdivision according to separate collection.
-Provide for the recycling of waste from demolition/construction for at least 95%
• Indoor Environmental Quality (2 prerequisites, 10 points): the IEQ credits deal with environmental issues related to the quality of the indoor environment in terms of temperature, humidity, acoustics, lighting, pollution, and visual perception. These elements contribute to the well-being and health of the occupants and determine the final energy consumption of the building.
–The system must be designed and verified according to EN 15251-2007 and EN 13779-2007 (Air Quality Performance)
-Provide for a ban on smoking inside the building and within 8 m of each opening of the building
-Create and implement an ESC plan during the construction phases (Activity Pollution Prevention)
• Innovation (6 points): The use of new, constructive and improvement technologies compared to the common best practice is an element of added value, for the purposes of LEED certification.
• Regional Priority (4 points): Specific credits for different climatic regions.
If you are looking for further information regarding the subject, you can find it on the LEED – GBC website.