What is LEED?
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is redefining the way we think about the places where we live, work and learn. As an internationally recognized mark of excellence, LEED provides owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.
LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building, home or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.
Certification occurs through the Green Building Certification Institute, an independent non-profit that was established in 2008 with the support of USGBC. GBCI includes a network of ISO-compliant international certifying bodies, ensuring the consistency, capacity and integrity of the LEED certification process.
LEED-certified buildings are designed to:
- Lower operating costs and increase asset value
- Reduce waste sent to landfills
- Conserve energy and water
- Be healthier and safer for occupants
- Reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions
- Qualify for tax rebates, zoning allowances and other incentives in hundreds of cities
Moreover, an organization’s participation in the voluntary and technically rigorous LEED process demonstrates leadership, innovation, environmental stewardship and social responsibility. Arrowood Construction is proud to be a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and a builder of LEED certified homes.
What does LEED Measure?
Here are the top 5 things that LEED measures and that Arrowood Construction promotes in order to start a whole new approach to building with sustainability in mind.
Sustainable Sites: Site selection and development are important components of a building’s sustainability. LEED discourages development on previously undeveloped land; seeks to minimize a building’s impact on ecosystems and waterways; encourages regionally appropriate landscaping; rewards smart transportation choice; controls storm water runoff; and promotes reduction of erosion, light pollution, heat island effect and construction-related pollution.
Water Efficiency: Buildings are major users of our potable water supply. The goal of this category is to encourage smarter use of water, inside and out of the home. Water reduction is typically achieved through more efficient appliances, fixtures and fittings inside and water-conscious landscaping outside.
Energy & Atmosphere: According to the U.S. Department of Energy, buildings use 39% of the energy and 74% of the electricity produced each year in the US. This category encourages a wide variety of energy-wise strategies: commission; energy use monitoring; efficient design and construction; efficient appliances, systems and lighting; the use of renewable and clean sources of energy, generated on-site or off-site; and other innovative measures.
Materials & Resources: During both the construction and operations phases, buildings generate a lot of waste and use large quantities of materials and resources. This category encourages the selection of sustainably grown, harvested, produced and transported products and materials. It promotes waste reduction as well as reuse and recycling, and it particularly rewards the reduction of waste at a product’s source.
Indoor Environmental Quality: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that Americans spend about 90% of their day indoors, where the air quality can be significantly worse than outside. This category promotes strategies that improve indoor air as well as those that provide access to natural daylight and views and improve acoustics.
Arrowood Construction encourages it’s clients to look at the benefits of building a home with green features
To learn more about LEED and the USGBC, visit their website at www.usgbc.org.