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Green Living

LEED Buildings: Good for us and the Environment

by Kirsten E. Silven 02 Oct 2011
LEED Buildings: Good for us and the Environment

LEED is an acronym for Leadership in Energy in Environmental Design, which is a popular certification program that is offered by the U.S. Green Building Council as a tool for those interested in green building. Concerns for the environment impact every aspect of LEED buildings, which are designed to reduce the energy that is consumed and lowering the carbon footprint of the structure.

Entities or individuals interested in green building techniques are encouraged to use the resources provided by the certification program as a starting point in the effort to construct more sustainable buildings.

Here's how it works: There are up to 100 potential base points that can be awarded, in addition to six points for Innovation in Design and four points for Regional Priority awards. LEED buildings can currently qualify for up to four levels of certification that span from between Certified structures at 40-49 points, all the way to Platinum, which includes structures that receive 80 points or more. For further information, you can also visit the U.S. Green Building Council online.

LEED buildings are constructed to be highly energy efficient, using an innovative chilled water system that pumps cool water through the building and employing as much natural lighting as possible.

This also produces a more cheerful environment and has been shown in studies to improve the performance of employees in office buildings. In addition, LEED certified structures utilize recycled materials whenever possible, including the use of recycled glass and metal components that are integrated into the look and feel of the interior design.

Employees are also more able to customize the temperature of their immediate areas via the installment of innovative new floor vents, which is another benefit for workers in LEED office buildings.

Designers are always trying to improve upon the latest Eco-friendly innovations and LEED certification challenges even the most inventive of minds to work hard and create new scenarios that will have a positive impact upon building performance.

These innovations will continue to revolutionize the way we use energy, ventilate buildings of various sizes and provide light, creating structures that are increasingly good for us – and for the environment.

Top Image: © Jeff Whyte Photography

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