Green Buildings

Introduction to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating SystemTM is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings' performance. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality. There are different LEED programs for various types of buildings, such as new commercial construction and major renovation projects, commercial interiors projects, schools, homes and retail. LEED-certified buildings have reduced operating costs, healthier and more productive occupants, and conserve our natural resources.

LEED certification requirements for indoor environmental quality

Co-presented by Kirsten Shaw, CIEC with Clark Seif Clark, and Charlie Popeck, President of Green Ideas Environmental Building Consultants(45 minutes)

LEED projects are awarded Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum certification depending on the number of credits they achieve. There are a possible 18 points related to indoor environmental quality. IEQ professionals on LEED certification teams can help plan strategies for earning LEED points and then test to verify requirements have been met. IEQ parameters addressed include several areas such as the implementation of an IAQ management plan during the construction and pre-occupancy phases of the building, minimum compliance with ASHRAE 62.1-2004, environmental tobacco smoke control, monitoring and documenting the outdoor air ventilation rates to all occupied spaces, conducting baseline IAQ tests for Formaldehyde, Particulates, Total Volatile Organic Compounds, 4-Phenylcyclohexene and Carbon Monoxide. Other IEQ parameters included in the LEED IEQ requirements are thermal comfort and lighting comfort. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), along with other key organizations are developing a design guide which will address indoor air quality (IAQ). The guide will describe an integrated process for achieving improved IAQ in all elements of a building.