The U.S. Green Building Council is a non-profit enterprise dedicated to expanding green building practices throughout the country. The council is responsible for the development of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) rating program that has become the standard for green construction in Texas and around the globe.
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 […]
Several programs have a set of standard practices, but one of the most widely respected is the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® Green Building Rating System.LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a voluntary, national rating system based on consensus. According to the U.S. Green Building Council:”LEED® is a practical rating tool for green building design and construction that provides immediate and measurable results for building owners and occupants.”Those measurable results include key benefits, such as lower utility costs, better health and productivity, long-term economic returns and lower impact on the environment.LEED® has five key elements they look at before certifying a building as up-to-standard, as a way to ensure that the above benefits (and others) continue. Each element has in depth standards and codes, but here is a brief outline of each:1. Sustainable Sites – The chosen site and design should incorporate a control plan for sediment and erosion. In addition, if it’s […]