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LEED® Project Certification – Facts for Green Building

If you want to get into green building, you’ll have to follow specific rules and regulations set out by your certifying body.  One of the most respected programs with a set of green building standards is the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® program.  This blog begins a six-part series on LEED® certification.What is LEED®?Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, LEED®, is a voluntary, consensus-based program created by the U.S. Green Building Council as a rating tool for green building design and construction.  The LEED® Green Building Rating System is there to provide immediate and measurable results.All LEED® -certified buildings have environmental and financial benefits from following the LEED creed:•    Lower operating costs/ higher value•    Less waste output•    Energy and water conservation•    Healthier and safer for occupants•    Lower greenhouse gas emissions•    Tax rebates, zoning allowances and other incentives* Eligibility – LEED® has nine sets of rules/regulations.  Requirements for certification depend on the type of building.  Before […]

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LEED® Certification for New Construction – Sustainable Sites

Designing a sustainable site will have you dealing with several issues that may not otherwise have been a factor.  Propaganda” may extol the economic benefits, but green building ultimately aims to help the environment.  The following covers a portion of the sustainable sites sections:Construction Activity Pollution Prevention Plan (required)This is an outline of what you will do to keep from leaving an ecological “footprint” of the building process.  It covers such issues as how you’ll deal with material disposal; erosion and water run-off during construction; whether you plan to restore the fabric of the landscape once you’re finished and other issues.Site Selection (1 pt)The credit for site selection is awarded for avoiding prime farmland, habitation for endangered and threatened species, wetlands or wetland buffers and public parkland, among others.Development Density and Community Connectivity (1 pt)The purpose of this credit is to develop in areas that already have existing infrastructures, such as a neighborhood or town, […]

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LEED® Certification for New Construction – Water Efficiency

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, an American family of four can use 400 gallons of water per day.  About 30% is used outdoors for watering lawns and gardens, washing automobiles, cleaning sidewalks and driveways and maintaining swimming pools.Nationally, landscape irrigation counts for almost one-third of all residential water use.  That’s more than 7 billion gallons per day.  All of the above facts are contributing factors to the addition of water efficiency credits for LEED® certification.There are five points available for water efficiency:•    Water efficient landscaping (2 pt)o    Reduce by 50% (1 pt)o    No potable use or no irrigation (1 pt)•    Innovative wastewater technologies (1 pt)•    Water use reduction (2 pt)o    (20%)o    (30%)Many of these credits deal with Graywater and Blackwater.  Graywater is untreated wastewater such as shower water, water from sinks (other than the kitchen), bathtubs and clothes washers.  Blackwater is generally defined as toilet, urinal and kitchen sink water.Water Efficient LandscapingThe purpose […]

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LEED® Certification Earned at the University of Texas

LEED® Certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an achievement to strive for and an example-setting standard to meet.Earning a LEED® Certification means that your building has achieved the distinction of meeting performance standards in energy conservation.The principles of LEED®:•    produce better indoor climate•    improve air quality•    have less water waste•    make more efficient use of power•    reduce greenhouse gas emissions•    establish that more sustainable energy sources were used in the act of constructing the building or making the renovationsThe new research office complex on the Austin campus at the University of Texas meets the LEED® criteria. It is also enjoys the status of being the first green building of its kind on any campus in Texas.  The complex demonstrates how greener building practises can be integrated into new structures.  Advancing the state-wide commitment to using sustainable energy alternatives, the parking lot will accommodate 4 electric cars for re-charging while the owners work on […]

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