The 101s: LEED
You may have heard the phrase in green building circles, but what exactly is LEED?
LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a tiered certification program based on prerequisites and credits.
It started back in 1993, with the founding of the U.S. Green Building Council to promote sustainability in the building and construction industry. In 2000, they unveiled the rating system that would become LEED.
There are seven goals of the LEED program, referred to as Impact Categories. Each answers the question, “What should a LEED project accomplish?” They are:
- Reverse Contribution to Global Climate Change
- Enhance Individual Human Health and Well-Being
- Protect and Restore Water Resources
- Protect, Enhance and Restore Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
- Promote Sustainable and Regenerative Material Resources Cycles
- Build a Greener Economy, and
- Enhance Social Equity, Environmental Justice, and Community Quality of Life
LEED promotes action in six areas, known as Credit Categories: Location and Transport, Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere, Materials & Resources and Indoor Environmental Quality. Under each category, there are mandatory and optional strategies, respectively known as prerequisites and credits. Each has a stated intent and set of requirements. For a project to become LEED-certified, compliance with prerequisites and the appropriate number of credits must be documented.
LEED Certification levels are based on a 100-point scale. Projects earning 40 points are LEED Certified; 50 points are LEED Silver; 60 points are LEED Gold and 80 points and higher are LEED Platinum certified.
The program is designed to be flexible, with the ability to select credits that suit a project’s particular needs. Points are also weighted, based on each credit’s effectiveness at accomplishing its goal.
How can KMC Controls help your project be LEED certified? You can have the most efficient equipment available and the best-laid energy efficiency plans. But if you have no means of properly controlling these systems or no means of extracting data from them or the environment, you will likely be unable to achieve your maximum potential. Our products like the KMC Conquest line of BACnet controllers, KMC Workbench powered by Niagara, or KMC Commander can make controlling – and documenting – these improvements a breeze.
For more information on LEED Certification, click here.