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An Introduction to the U.S. Green Building Council and the LEED Green Building Rating System ® October 2005 Copyright 2005, U.S. Green Building Council USGBC’s MISSION: to promote the design…
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  1. An Introduction to the U.S. Green Building Council and the LEED Green Building Rating System ® October 2005 Copyright 2005, U.S. Green Building Council
    • to promote the design and construction of buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable, and healthy places to live and work.
    • The organization’s activities…
      • Integrate building industry sectors
      • Lead market transformation
      • Educate owners and practitioners
    • USGBC is...
    • A national nonprofit organization
    • A diverse membership of organizations
    • Consensus-driven
    • Committee-based product development
    • Developer and administrator of the LEED ® Green Building Rating System
  2. What is “Green” Design?
    • Design and construction practices that significantly reduce or eliminate the negative impact of buildings on the environment and occupants in five broad areas:
    • Sustainable site planning
    • Safeguarding water and water efficiency
    • Energy efficiency and renewable energy
    • Conservation of materials and resources
    • Indoor environmental quality
  3. Environmental Impact of Buildings *
      • 65.2% of total U.S. electricity consumption 1
      • > 36% of total U.S. primary energy use 2
      • 30% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 3
      • 136 million tons of construction and demolition waste in the U.S. (approx. 2.8 lbs/person/day) 4
      • 12% of potable water in the U.S. 5
      • 40% (3 billion tons annually) of raw materials use globally 6
      • * Commercial and residential
  4. Benefits of Green Building
    • Environmental benefits
      • Reduce the impacts of natural resource consumption
    • Economic benefits
      • Improve the bottom line
    • Health and safety benefits
      • Enhance occupant comfort and health
    • Community benefits
      • Minimize strain on local infrastructures and improve quality of life
  5. Economic Benefits
    • Competitive first costs
      • Integrated design allows high benefit at low cost by achieving synergies between disciplines and between technologies
    • Reduce operating costs
      • Lower utility costs significantly
    • Optimize life-cycle economic performance
  6. Economic Benefits
    • Increase building valuation and ROI
      • Using the income-capitalization method: asset value = net operating income (NOI) divided by the capitalization rate (return). If the cap rate is 7%, divide the reduction in annual operating costs by 7% to calculate the increase in the building’s asset value
      • Quantify financial benefit in terms of Return On Investment (ROI) instead of payback time.
    • Decrease vacancy, improve retention
      • Marketing advantages
    • Reduce liability
      • Improve risk management
  7. Productivity Benefits
    • Improve occupant performance
      • Estimated $29 – 168 billion in national productivity losses per year 1
      • Student performance is better in daylit schools. 2, 3
    • Reduce absenteeism and turnover
      • Providing a healthy workplace improves employee satisfaction
    • Increase retail sales with daylighting
      • Studies have shown ~40% improvement 4
  8. West Bend Mutual Insurance Company (West Bend, WI)
  9. Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design ® A leading-edge system for designing, constructing, operating and certifying the world’s greenest buildings.
    • Facilitate positive results for the environment, occupant health and financial return
    • Define “green” by providing a standard for measurement
    • Prevent “greenwashing” (false or exaggerated claims)
    • Promote whole-building, integrated design processes
    Why Was LEED ® Created?
  10. Why Was LEED ® Created?
    • Use as a design guideline
    • Recognize leaders
    • Stimulate green competition
    • Establish market value with recognizable national “brand”
    • Raise consumer awareness
    • Transform the marketplace !
  11. LEED covers many different types of buildings and construction. These are covered under the following LEED products: LEED-NC : LEED for New Construction and Major Renovations/Additions (for commercial and institutional buildings, released in 2000) LEED-EB : LEED for Existing Buildings (released 2004) LEED-CI : LEED for Commercial Interiors (released 2004) LEED-CS : LEED for Core and Shell (public release: 2005) LEED-H : LEED for Homes (public release: 2006) LEED-NC: LEED for Neighborhood Developments (public release: 2006) LEED ® Products
  12. LEED-NC ® Market Transformation As of 10.19.05 289 Certified Projects 2,069 Registered Projects
      • 235 M gsf 50 States 13 Countries
    All statistics exclude pilot projects
  13. LEED-NC ® Market Transformation
    • Registered Projects by State - Top 10
    As of 10.19.05 All statistics exclude pilot projects
  14. LEED-NC ® Market Transformation
    • Registered Projects by Building Type
    As of 10.19.05 All statistics exclude pilot projects
  15. LEED-NC ® Market Transformation
    • Registered Projects by Owner Type
    As of 10.19.05 All statistics exclude pilot projects
  16. LEED-NC ® in the USA
      • General Services Administration (GSA)
        • LEED Certified projects beginning in 2003
      • U.S. Air Force
        • LEED Application Guide for Lodging
      • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
        • Adaptation of LEED: SPiRiT
      • Department of State
      • Department of Energy (DOE)
      • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
        • Grant for LEED Existing Buildings
      • U.S. Navy
        • Grant for LEED Residential
      • Federal Government Use:
  17. LEED-NC ® in the USA
    • California
    • Maryland
    • Massachusetts
    • New Jersey
    • New York
    • Oregon
    • Pennsylvania
    • Washington
    State Government Use*:
      • Austin, TX
      • Arlington, VA
      • Boulder, CO
      • Chicago and Cook County, IL
      • Los Angeles, CA
      • Portland, OR
      • San Jose, CA
      • San Francisco, CA
      • Seattle, WA
    Local Government Use*: *Not limited to these examples
      • Australia
      • Canada* *
      • China* *
      • France
      • India * *
      • Brazil*
      • Curaçao*
    Global Interest in LEED ® *Registered Projects
      • Japan*
      • Spain*
      • Mexico* *
      • Italy*
      • Côte d'Ivoire*
      • Guatemala*
      • Chile
    * Certified Projects
  18. LEED ® v2 Certified 2001 Building Statistics Completion Date: November 2001 Cost: $60 Million (construction contract only) Size: 253,000 gross square feet Footprint: 74,000 square feet Construction Type: Commercial/Industrial Use Group: Office and Design Center Lot Size: 11.5 acres Annual Energy Use: 24,356,010 kBtu/h Occupancy: 700 Premier Automotive Group North American Headquarters Ford Motor Company Irvine, California
    • Project Highlights:
    • Sustainable Sites
    • Alternative Transportation: Three bus routes are located within ¼ mile; bicycle racks and showers provided; 30 electric vehicle recharging stations provided.
    • Water Efficiency
    • Innovative Wastewater Technologies: All toilets use reclaimed water, accounting for more than 50% of total sewage conveyance.
    • Energy and Atmosphere
    • Optimize Energy Performance: Exceeds ASHRAE 90.1-1999 by 40% using a high efficiency glazing system, high efficiency lighting with T5 lamps, an underfloor air distribution system in office tower, increased chiller efficiency and a variable speed drive on one chiller.
    • Materials and Resources
    • Construction Waste Management: 57% of all construction waste was recycled including concrete, asphalt, paper, metal and cardboard.
    • Indoor Environmental Quality
    • Construction IAQ Management Plan: All ducts and permeable materials were protected against contamination during construction; all construction filtration media was replaced before occupancy.
  19. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Office Complex at 625 Broadway Avenue Albany, New York
    • Project Highlights:
    • Sustainable Sites
    • Urban Redevelopment: Urban infill site was previously a gravel parking lot.
    • Alternative Transportation: Located 80 yards from 4 bus lines; bicycle racks and showers; 15 electric vehicle charging stations; priority carpool parking.
    • Energy and Atmosphere
    • Optimize Energy Performance: Exceeds ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1-1999 by 23.7%.
    • Additional Commissioning: Verified that the building is designed, constructed and calibrated to operate as intended.
    • Materials and Resources
    • Construction Waste Management: 51% of construction waste was recycled.
    • Indoor Environmental Quality
    • CO 2 Monitoring: CO 2 monitoring system has 83 sensors integrated with the building’s building management system.
    • Low-Emitting Materials: All adhesives, sealants, paints, coatings, carpeting, composite wood emit low or no volatile organic compounds.
    LEED ® v2 Silver 2002 Owner: Picotte Companies Building Statistics Completion Date: September 2002 Size: 471,000 gross square feet Footprint: 45,600 square feet Construction Type: Commercial Use Group: Office Lot Size: 2.18 acres Annual Energy Use: 22,232,209 kBtu/year Occupancy: 1700 Staff
  20. On October 30, 2003, Issaquah Highlands Fire Station #73 in Issaquah, Washington, was awarded LEED ® v2 Silver and became the first LEED certified fire station.  This 2 story 3 bay fire station incorporates many water efficient technologies for both the building and landscaping to maximize efficiency.  Within the building, the project achieves 55% potable water use reduction for waste conveyance and 36% water use reduction for flush and flow fixtures.  In addition, the landscape design does not require a permanent irrigation system, further reducing the need for potable water on site.  During construction, a waste management plan was implemented to divert 76% of materials from the landfill.  Fire Station #73 supports the regional economy as 44% of building materials are locally manufactured, and of those, 55% are locally harvested, demonstrating exemplary performance.  For the interior, the project includes several indoor environmental quality strategies, such as carbon dioxide monitoring systems and the use of low-emitting materials.  Furthermore, a construction IAQ management plan was implemented during construction as well as before occupancy to help sustain the comfort and well-being of the fire fighters.  A biodiesel fuel storage tank supplies the building’s emergency generator and also has the capability to provide fuel for the fire service vehicles based at the station.  To further demonstrate innovative performance, a rain water catchment system and underground cistern provide non-potable water for truck washing, conserving 4,500 gallons of water annually. Issaquah Highlands Fire Station #73 City of Issaquah Issaquah, Washington LEED ® v2 Silver 2003
  21. The West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, Alaska, achieved LEED® v2 Certified on December 23, 2003.  As the first LEED certified building for Alaska, this one story 6,690 sf building monitors potential tsunamigenic earthquakes occurring in the coastal areas of California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and British Columbia.  The project reused an existing site, relocating the old warning center building and storage facility for reuse at another site.  By planting adaptive vegetation which does not require irrigation, more than half of the site was restored, and within the building, water usage is reduced by more than 30%.  Additional commissioning helps the building to achieve 28% energy efficiency over ASHRAE 90.1-1999.  Through the implementation of a construction waste management plan, 82% of materials were diverted from the landfill.  To improve indoor air quality, the project includes carbon dioxide monitoring, a construction IAQ management plan during construction and before occupancy, and installation of low-emitting adhesives, sealants, and paints.  To connect staff to the beautiful Palmer scenery, the building is designed with views from 90% of spaces. West Coast & Alaska Tsunami Warning Center National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/ National Weather Service Palmer, Alaska LEED v2 Certified 2004
  22. Technical Overview of LEED ®
    • Green building rating system, currently for commercial and institutional new construction and major renovation.
    • Existing, proven technologies
    • Evaluates and recognizes performance in accepted green design categories
    • LEED product development includes existing buildings, commercial interiors, multiple buildings, core & shell, and homes
    • Whole-building approach encourages and guides a collaborative, integrated design and construction process
    • Optimizes environmental and economic factors
    • Four levels of LEED-NC certification:
      • Certified Level 26 - 32 points
      • Silver Level 33 - 38 points
      • Gold Level 39 - 51 points
      • Platinum Level 52+ points (69 possible)
    Technical Overview of LEED ®
  23. LEED-NC ® Point Distribution Five LEED credit categories
  24. LEED-NC ® Certification Process
    • A three step process:
      • Step 1: Project Registration
          • LEED Letter Templates, CIR access, and on-line project listing
      • Step 2: Technical Support
          • Reference Package
          • Credit Inquiries and Rulings (CIR)
      • Step 3: Building Certification
          • Upon documentation submittal and USGBC review
  25. LEED ® Certification Benefits
    • Third party validation of achievement
    • Qualify for growing array of state and local government incentives
    • Contribute to growing knowledge base
    • LEED certification plaque to mount on building
    • Official certificate
    • Receive marketing exposure through USGBC Web site, case studies, media announcements
    Recognition of Quality Buildings and Environmental Stewardship
  26. Resources
    • LEED Green Building Rating System
    • Training Workshops
    • Reference Guide
    • Professional Accreditation
    • Welcome Packet
    • Credit Rulings
    • Website (
    • Email (
  27. For more information please visit or call 202-828-7422




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