Many business owners throughout Texas and the United States believe that LEED® certification is a little out of their reach. This belief is generally based on the misunderstanding that they’d have to gut their existing building and start from scratch. Complete redesign is costly in time, resources, money and lack of tenants during reconstruction.
LEED® for Existing Buildings however, doesn’t call for complete reconstruction; in fact, its focus is on the operations and maintenance side of the business. LEED® EB is specifically designed to deal with:• Exterior building site maintenance programs• Water/energy use• Environmentally preferred products/practices for cleaning and alterations• Sustainable purchasing policies• Waste stream management• Ongoing indoor air qualityLEED® EB Point System
There are four levels of certification offered for LEED® EB; which level you obtain depends on how many points you reach throughout the certification process:Certified: 34 – 42 pointsSilver: 43 – 50 pointsGold: 51 – 67 pointsPlatinum: 68 – 92 pointsPrerequisites for LEED® EB
All in all, there are nine prerequisites for LEED® EB certification. Once these requirements have been reached, you can then focus on gaining points. We’ll go more in depth into the point system later on, but the prerequisites are:
Minimum indoor plumbing fixture and fitting efficiency
Energy efficiency best management practices: planning, documentation and opportunity assessmentMinimum energy efficiency performanceRefrigerant management: ozone protection
Sustainable purchasing policySolid waste management policy
- Indoor Environmental Quality
Outdoor air introduction and exhaust systemsEnvironmental tobacco smoke (ETS) controlGreen cleaning policyAlthough this may seem like a lot of prerequisites, getting them taken care of will actually help you achieve the goals for certification. For example, a green cleaning policy might include a purchasing policy, which, in turn, should have a list of sustainable equipment, cleaning products and materials you’ll be using. Implementation of that purchasing policy will then take care of 2 – 4 points from the Indoor Environmental Quality section.