Monday, January 7, 2008

LEED certification

This project is striving to accomplish the highest level of LEED certification, LEED Platinum.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a building rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council that serves as a benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED aims not only to offer the opportunity for building certification but also to encourage green building and development through as a standard rather than a special practice. It aims to achieve marketplace transformation to greener building materials by providing incentives to use those products.

LEED rating systems exist for a range of project and building types from new construction to existing buildings to homes and schools. A project can achieve different levels of certification ranging from Platinum, the highest, to simply certified meaning it has met the baseline requirements.

Projects must meet certain requirements and can then strive for different combinations of points in the following categories:

Innovation and Design
Location and Linkages
Sustainable Sites
Water Efficiency
Energy and Atmosphere
Materials and Resources
Indoor Environmental Quality
Awareness and Education

The BrightBuiltBarn is on track to achieve a Platinum rating. Our points draw heavily on all categories; here are a few examples of the ways we are achieveing LEED points:
-By being a net zero house, or producing as much or more energy each year than the building uses (Energy and Atmosphere)
-By primarily using materials that have at least 25% receycled content, come from within 500 miles of the building site and/or have low or no VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds)
-By reducing waste in the fabrication process at Bensonwood and in on-site construction and by diverting a high proportion of waste that is generated to recylcing resources (Material Resources)
-By using Energy Star appliances and low flow bath fixtures (Energy and Atmosphere, Water Efficiency)
-By keeping site disturbances to a minimum, using native, drought tolerant plants and shading as much of any hardscapes as possible (Sustainable Sites)

and much much more.
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