The Six Credit Categories of LEED Certification

Good morning and Happy Friday.

Today’s post will expand on the LEED Certification conversation, expanding on the six credit categories that the US Green Building Council uses to grade and determine which level of LEED Certification that your building requires.

In the next few weeks, we will release two new articles a week, each one discussing one of the six credit categories with LEED Version 4. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to see when those articles are dropped.

So, let’s chat in a nutshell with the six credit categories and what each one is focused on.

Sustainable Sites

the USGBC created this category to highlight factors in keeping a responsible building practice with respect to the natural environment and natural features.

For example, instead of diverting a body of water or removing precious forest land, developers would devise a planned strategy to build around and in full respect of keeping these natural features intact. Another fine example is not building a big box mart in the middle of a known region where a rare, near-extinct animal or plant species, resides.

Water Efficiency

It is known that less than 1% of water is consumable for drinking. The strategies behind the Water Efficiency credit is to figure out how to use alternatives in building techniques that use water, cooling, and heating systems that use water, irrigation, and other devices that utilize the water supply.

This credit points out where we can save on potable drinking water and replace with non-potable or another alternative.

Energy and Atmosphere

Of course, we cannot talk about efficiency in this conversation without Energy and Atmosphere. Energy efficiency is a big one. It is about reducing the usage of fossil fuels and usage of efficiency methods to operate a building. For example, in addition to obvious solar panels, using windows that allow lots of sunlight to help heat up a space or windows that have efficient curtains to cool down during the winter.

Of course, with the reduction of fossil fuels allows to improve the air quality and not rely on a potentially finite fuel source.

Materials and Resources

This credit category covers using not only environmentally friendly materials and finishes for build projects, but also sustainable choices that can be either reused or easily replenished. In a past article, we discussed how using bamboo for hardwood flooring is easier to regrow and harvest than trees.

Another solution could be to use insulation that was made from recycled jeans and clothing instead of chemically formulated foam insulation.

Instead of using granite countertops, how about recycled glass or other options. Now, I am not trying to persuade you to go that route, however, there are options to consider if you are looking to go in a more green manner.

Indoor Environmental Quality

This is mainly about comfort in the building’s ambient internal environment. From the lighting choices, the air quality and temperature.

Think about how lighting is used, could use energy efficient bulbs, larger windows or skylights to bring in more natural light too.

What about heating and cooling. Are you using a super-efficient hvac system that is par to the dimensions of your space?

Air quality. Are you receiving fresh air, are the ducts easy to clean?

Innovations in Operation and Regional Priority

These credits are for specialists in particular fields of green building and also credits for specific regional concerns.

Would you like to know more information about how VRC Management, a member of the US Green Building Council works on designing and remodeling your dream projects with the most efficient and stunning results? Give Jozef a call at 312-320-3838


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