The green building movement arose out of the desire for more energy efficient and environmentally friendly building practices. It is a way to minimize both resource consumption and the impact building has on the environment. Green construction methods can be integrated into buildings at any stage, from design and construction, to renovation and demolition.
Green design and building practices significantly reduce or eliminate negative environmental impacts and create sustainable buildings. The most common standard for building green is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). The LEED Green Building Rating System, developed by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), is a nationally accepted standard for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. According to the USGBC website there are 35,000 projects currently participating in the LEED system, comprising over 4.5 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and 91 countries.
LEED for New Construction is a rating system where building projects earn points for satisfying criteria designed to address specific environmental impacts inherent in the design, construction, operations and management of a building.
These points are grouped into six environmental categories:
1. Sustainable Sites, 14 point maximum
2. Water Efficiency, 5 point maximum
3. Energy and Atmosphere, 17 point maximum
4. Materials and Resources, 13 point maximum
5. Indoor Environmental Quality, 15 point maximum
6. Innovation & Design Process, 5 point maximum.
Points are achieved by meeting or exceeding specified requirements in each category. LEED for New Construction ratings are then awarded according to the following scale: Certified, 26-32 points; Silver, 33-38 points; Gold, 39-51 points; Platinum, 52-69 points.
Upon completion, the Carpenters Center will be on target to qualify for LEED Certified status, aiming to receive all 32 of the 26-32 points required.
In the coming weeks, the point breakdown for the certification of the Carpenters Center will be outlined in this blog.