The U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system is a voluntary, consensus-based standard for developing high performance, sustainable buildings. The independent rating system is acknowledged by real estate experts, national governmental agencies and state and local governments to be the benchmark system for green building practices.
As more and more new buildings applied for the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification for new construction and renovation, the council became concerned that the standards to maintain the buildings needed definition. Why spend time, energy and money to construct or renovate a green building that would not be maintained with green standards? The result has been the council’s development of LEED for Existing Buildings or LEED-EB.
From a practical standpoint, there are five classifications of benefits provided by LEED approved cleaning services.Healthier Employees – Using certified green cleaning products protects the health of building’s occupants and cleaning personnel. Utilizing proper mixology and use of these cleaning products will reduce exposure to hazardous chemical, biological and particulate contaminants and reduce the Sick Building Syndrome while minimizing absenteeism.
Looking back at the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) development of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating and certification program, it was filled with so much foresight that very few people could have anticipated the astounding acceptance and growth of the certification program. Even the USGBC was unprepared for the broad acceptance.
When you’re going toward LEED® EB certification, you’ll notice that many of the points are focused on cleaning and related areas. Indoor air quality (IAQ) is an important issue, no matter what type of LEED® certification you’re trying to gain. For the level of Certified, cleaning issues take up eight points, about a fourth of the points needed.For that matter, IAQ should be important to everyone, certification or not. After all, it’s the air you breathe, and just about everything affects it. Any pollutants in the air will also be on the surfaces around your building, on walls, chairs, office desks, etc. To make matters worse, many cleaning solutions have toxic chemicals in them. Those cleaning solutions are used on surfaces and then evaporate into the air. No, this isn’t a scare tactic – it’s just reality.