Various green building rating systems have emerged as measures, some mandatory and others voluntary, in the successful implementation of sustainable building design. The United States Environmental Protection Agency even put together a list of model codes and rating systems that communities now use to develop green building programs and to revise existing building ordinances.
The EPA list includes the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). It is a series of voluntary rating systems started in 2000 for new construction, existing buildings, and additions. If you’re currently working on your building’s electrical design, here are some things you should know about LEED and how you can benefit from it.
The Principles of LEED: Advocating Sustainability in a Building’s Electrical Design
Here is some important information to know about LEED.
The LEED Certification Explained
The LEED is a voluntary rating system that aims to increase environmental and health performance of commercial, industrial, mixed-use, and residential buildings. It covers the design, construction, and operation of green buildings. And its scope includes energy and water efficiency, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, emissions, and building operations and maintenance.
Simply put, the goal of the green building rating system is to create healthier working and living spaces. It pays close attention to design that reduces carbon emissions and increases energy and power savings. Moreover, it focuses on the following aspects of energy efficiency:
- Thermal efficiency of the building
- Lighting and electrical efficiency and control
- Heating and cooling efficiency
- Renewable energy systems
The US Green Building Council may award the certification to a building at any phase, from initial design to renovation. There are four certification levels and you have to meet a specific number of points to meet each one:
- LEED Certified (40 to 49 points)
- LEED Silver (50 to 59 points)
- LEED Gold (60 to 79 points)
- LEED Platinum (80 or more points)
The different levels of LEED certification aim to reward buildings that meet the prescribed criteria of sustainability and innovation.
LEED Certification for Electrical Design
Green building design is becoming extremely popular and the customer demand for better building regulations is increasing. Sustainable design is not just a trend, though. You can actually gain a lot from it.
- Higher market prices for commercial real estate
- Higher tenant retention rate
- Lower utility bills
Before your building gets LEED certification, though, you have to pay attention to every detail that contributes to the building’s overall sustainability. For example, your electric contractor may emphasize the following areas during electrical installation:
- Light pollution reduction
- Optimal energy performance
- On-site renewable energy
- Construction waste management
- High level of lighting system control
- Daylighting optimization
Your building may earn points for certification by meeting the requirements in these areas.
Work on your building’s electrical design — or overall design, construction, and renovation — with an electrical designer with a good grasp of LEED certification. They will seek sustainable design solutions that let you work and live in a green environment.
Get Started with Sustainable Design
At Pro Circuit, Inc., we have a good grasp of sustainable design and its increasing popularity. Our team of highly-trained electric contractors, project managers, and technicians may apply LEED principles in your commercial building’s electrical design for certification and improved sustainability. Contact us today.