The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), creators of the LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) green building program have successfully certified more than 40,000 commercial and institutional projects representing more than 6.5 billion square feet of space, with another 51,000 projects representing 13 billion square feet in the pipeline for certification.
The total volume of water conserved as a direct result of these LEED certified buildings would easily equate to several billions of gallons. Now, USGBC has another program - LEED for Cities. This certification has been created to encourage cities to measure and improve performance, focusing on outcomes from ongoing sustainability efforts.
Focusing on Outcomes, Rather than Intent
LEED for Cities enables local governments to measure and track citywide performance by focusing on outcomes, rather than intent. Cities are evaluated across 14 key metrics, including water, energy, waste, transportation, education, health, safety and equitability. Washington, D.C., and Phoenix, Arizona are the first cities to achieve certification through this program and earned LEED Platinum, the highest level of certification.
In February, the USGBC along with support from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, announced a new grant program designed to recognize the sustainability and green building achievements of U.S. cities pursuing LEED for Cities certification.
Initial grant recipients include San Jose, California; Denver, Colorado; Phoenix, Arizona; Atlanta, Georgia; Washington, D.C.; and Chicago, Illinois. Each grant will consist of financial assistance to aid in the pursuit of LEED for Cities certification, educational resources and customized technical support.
Indoor Water Use Reduction
Additional points are awarded to LEED projects according to the aggregate reduction from the baseline as shown in the following table:
Aggregate reduction from the baseline could incorporate other process water from the building including HVAC and irrigation for example. But the commercial restroom is almost always the largest water consumer in any commercial building.
Projects that reduce their water use by 50% over the baseline are eligible for a maximum of six additional points – except for schools, retail, hospitality and healthcare projects that max out at a 45% water reduction level achieving a maximum of five additional points.
Materials and Resources Credits
Now Sloan® products can offer a whole new variety of LEED credits. With the introduction of our Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) and Health Product Declarations (HPD) we can now offer LEED v4 Materials and Resources credits under the Building Product Disclosure and Optimization - Environmental Product Declarations option and Material Ingredient option.
In fact, we currently have over 230 products with an Environmental Product Declaration and Health Product Declaration that can earn additional LEED credits above and beyond the Water Efficiency credits. To earn these credits, the LEED building must use at least 20 different permanently installed products sourced from at least five different manufacturers.
The documentation for some of these newer Materials and Resources credits can be challenging. Especially since there is no standardized format and each architecture, design and engineering firm typically have their own format for documenting LEED credit submittals. If you have any questions, please contact Patrick Boyle, Director or Corporate Sustainability at firstname.lastname@example.org at any time.
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