September 24, 2019
One of the most popular green building certification programs used worldwide, LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, aims to help building owners and operators use resources efficiently and be environmentally responsible. With many U.S federal agencies, states and local governments requiring or rewarding LEED certification, using materials and processes on site that meet the certification can be crucial.
With LEED standards flexible enough to apply to a range of project types, five categories have been created for project teams to use in order to organize their process and documentation. These categories are:
Building Design and Construction. Entirely new buildings, or major renovation and construction projects.
Interior Design and Construction. Projects that involve interior changes to tenant spaces.
Operations and Maintenance. Existing buildings that are undergoing improvements but require minor or no construction.
Homes. Family homes, including single-family, low-rise multi-family and mid-rise multi-family, from 1-6 stories.
Neighborhood Design. Projects (either new development or redevelopment) with residential, non-residential or a mix of uses.
Based upon a points system, projects are awarded one of four LEED rating levels: Certified (40-49 points), Silver (50-59 points), Gold (60-79 points) or Platinum (80+ points). As well as points, all projects will need to fulfill set minimum requirements of prerequisites, which form the foundations of the certification.
To earn points, project managers will need to obtain ‘credits’ within their above rating system. There are a range of credits available to choose from and as long as it is within the project category, and applies to the project type, project teams are free to choose their credits, which range from optimized energy performance to storage and collection of recyclables to site assessments.
As a widely recognized certification programme, LEED highlights your commitment to sustainable development and construction. The U.S. Green Building Council (developers of LEED) also state that LEED projects cost less, can attract tenants and boost employee productivity and retention. In addition, when maintained, LEED-certified buildings are proven to produce less waste products and be more energy efficient.
Finally, taking part in the LEED program holds financial benefits for projects with lower operating costs, providing a competitive edge, greater employee retention and tax breaks and other financial incentives all promised.
To find out more about Oxford Plastic’s range of products that can help ensure your construction site meets the LEED prerequisites and build credits, get in touch today.