LEED Buildings - Environmental and Employee Friendly
LEED, an acronym for Leadership in Energy in Environmental Design, is a certification program of the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED is basically a tool for those within the green building industry to use in order to start to make buildings more sustainable. The environmental impact is a strong component within every aspect of the development of a LEED building, with aims set at improving energy use and lowering the carbon imprint.
In LEED, there are 100 possible base points plus an additional six points for Innovation in Design and four points for Regional Priority. Buildings can qualify for four levels of certification, ranging from Certified at 40-49 points to Platinum, which is above 80 points.
LEED buildings make the most out of the energy that is used in several ways. One example is in the heating and cooling of the building, utilizing a high-efficiency chilled water system that pumps cool water throughout the building. Employees are able to control their immediate environment through floor vents at their workstations. Utilizing natural lighting saves energy, and also provides a better work environment. Recyclables are used throughout the building when it is possible, such as utilizing recycled glass tabletops in the restroom.
Design teams work together simulating various scenarios and their affect upon building performance. With this in mind, designers can analyze alternatives that will improve energy efficiency, optimize natural ventilation and lighting through viable and aesthetic placement of solar panels, etc.
Through the utilization of guidelines such as those imposed by LEED, we can build a sustainable work environment that is beautiful while benefiting both employees and Mother Earth.