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The importance of LEED certification
continued from page 2
program with the mandate “to make commercial, public,
industrial and residential buildings 20% more energy efficient over the next decade.” And, according to their Website,
“250 organizations spanning more than 3. 5 billion sf of
building space” have taken this leadership (Better Buildings
Challenge) challenge. The organization currently supports
several partnerships in order to expand and communicate
• Federal Guiding Principles – Executive Order EO 13514,
“Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic
Performance,” states federal buildings must be designed to
achieve “zero-net energy” by F Y 2030. It reiterates EO 13423’s
requirement that new construction and major renovations meet
the Guiding Principles, and that 15% of an agency’s existing
buildings and leases meet the Guiding Principles by FY 2015.
• The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established its own checklist in 2007, Green Check, whose intent was
to focus on several sustainability areas, such as energy consumption, renewable energy use, water consumption, stormwater management, sustainable materials, waste management
and indoor environmental quality. The process is designed to
ensure projects meet federal environmental requirements and
EPA’s sustainability goals, as well as foster an integrated team
approach to project design and construction.
• Established in 2006 as an alternative to LEED, Green
Globes is possibly the most controversial program of them all,
especially since it has gotten the blessing of the General Services
Administration (GSA). It has been criticized for its lack of
impartiality and having a lobby with certain building materials
manufacturers. Their certification costs are less but, again, not
generally considered in a renovation budget.
The Whole Building Design Guide, Clean Launch and many
others have also made inroads into the sustainability discussion,
and the real market impact has been pretty remarkable. Each of
these programs is well-intentioned and aims to ameliorate traditional design and construction practices. The fact is, building
codes are quickly catching up with the Energy and Atmosphere,
Water Efficiency, Indoor Air Quality and Materials and
Resources. For greenfield projects, the approach is pretty
straightforward and manageable.
Envelope issues are often neglected when renovation budgets are
established despite LEED qualifying checklist assumptioins.
Image: Victoria David