What is LEED and what are its credits?
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a system used by the USGBC (United States Green Building Coalition) to measure a building’s “green-ness.”
According to the LEED 2009 Green Building Rating System for New Construction and Major Renovations performance standards (LEED 2009), a building can be Certified, Silver Certified, Gold Certified or Platinum Certified. Certification is awarded based on the number of points obtained. More points means a higher certification.
To be LEED Certified, a building needs to obtain 40-49 points; Silver Certification requires 50-59 points; Gold Certification requires 60-79 points; and Platinum Certification requires more than 80 points.
Credits are divided into 7 categories:
- Sustainable Sites (SS)
- Water Efficiency (WE)
- Energy and Atmosphere (EA)
- Materials and Resources (MR)
- Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ)
- Innovation in Design (ID)
- Regional Priority (RP)
Visit www.usgbc.org for more information about LEED credits and how to earn them.
Aster Elements, Inc. can contribute to your building’s LEED Certification by helping to increase its LEED points total.
With Aster Elements your project could earn up to 12 points:
- MR Credit 4.1 – Recycled content (10% materials cost) = 3 points
- MR Credit 4.2 - Recycled content (20% materials cost) = 3 points
- MR Credit 5.1 – Regional materials (10% materials cost; within 500 miles) = 3 points
- MR Credit 5.2 – Regional materials (20% materials cost; within 500 miles) = 3 points
- IEQ Credit 4.1– Low emitting materials = 1 point
- ID Credits – Innovation in design = 5 points
LEED: MR Credit 4 – Recycled Content
Intent: To reduce environmental impact resulting from processing new material
How: Use recycled material such that post-consumer content + ½ pre-consumer content equals at least 10% of total material value.
4.1 - 10% recycled
4.2 - 20% recycled
Exemplary - 30% recycled
As an example of how Aster Elements’ products can help your building earn LEED points, a typical Aster Elements Aluminum Composite Material (ACM) panel is composed of the aluminum skin, sealant and extrusions. Various vendors provide these components. To ensure a gain in LEED points, Aster Elements specifies the vendor uses materials with recycled content.
Aster Elements then provides a design/assist service by filling out the LEED Product Information Form provided by the general contractor, calculating percentages of virgin content, post consumer recycled content and pre-consumer recycled content.
The recycled content value of material assembly is determined by weight. The recycled fraction of the material assembly is then multiplied by the cost of the assembly to determine the recycled content value. Remember, ACM panels are only a part of an entire wall cladding. The panels’ total recycled content should be combined with all the system components to determine its contribution to overall point qualification.
LEED: MR Credit 5 – Regional Materials
Intent: Reduce environmental impact resulting from transportation.
How? Use materials/products that have been manufactured within 500 miles of the project site for at least 10% or 20% of the total material value.
5.1 – 10%
5.2 – 20%
Exemplary – 40%
Aster Elements will complete a LEED Product Information Form provided by the general contractor and calculate the distance between the project site and our facilities. Aster Elements can reach more than a dozen states within a 500-mile radius of our Mentor facility.
LEED: IEQ Credit 4.2 – Low-Emitting Materials
Intent: Reduce indoor air contaminants resulting from interior materials.
How? Using low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) paints and coatings.
Aster Elements can help earn one LEED point by using interior metals coated with low volatile organic compounds (VOC). Also, by utilizing factory-applied coatings, the need for field painting and resulting high levels of VOC are eliminated, if any are present.
LEED ID – Innovation in Design
Intent: Provide design teams with an opportunity to achieve exceptional/innovative performance.
How? Innovation in design and/or exemplary performance.
With your architectural inspiration and Aster Elements’ design engineering, fabrication and installation expertise, we can achieve exemplary LEED performance and gain up to five more LEED points.
The collaboration between your design team and Aster Elements’ architects and engineers is the key. Together we can achieve significant, measurable environmental performance using strategies not already addressed in the LEED 2009.
Veer Towers – City Center, Las Vegas, NV
Prior to moving Aster Elements to the northeast Ohio area, Joe Lopez and key team members worked on several sites within the City Center project in Las Vegas. The project achieved LEED Gold ratings. Joe Lopez and members of his team contributed significantly to: