Last week, we provided an overview of LEED Certification and described the process of certifying a home as an example. We wanted to provide an example of performance standards in a commercial building as well.
LEED for Commercial Interiors can be used to certify the design and construction of tenant spaces for office, restaurant, healthcare, hotel/resort, and education buildings of all sizes, both public and private.
This system was designed for those who want to create sustainable spaces but don’t have control over the entire building’s operations. Certification requires a minimum of 40 points from a specific checklist. 50 points and above earn an additional LEED Silver accreditation; 60 points and above, Gold; 80 points and above, Platinum.
The categories for points on the Commercial Interiors checklist include:
1) Sustainable Sites: This includes criteria such as available alternative transportation and development density near the site.
2) Water Efficiency: Water use reduction is a requirement in this category.
3) Energy and Atmosphere: Lighting power and controls, equipment, and appliances are all rated in energy efficiency here.
4) Materials and Resources: Waste management, recycling, and materials research go into consideration.
5) Indoor Environmental Quality: A minimum air quality performance is a prerequisite. Also, low-emitting materials (paints, floors, sealants, etc.) gain points toward certification.
6) Innovation in Design: A LEED Accredited Professional will evaluate the building for this category.
7) Regional Priority: As in the LEED Homes ratings system, this involves specific regional environmental issues.
In order to get started, you would register online with the US Green Building Council. You would collaborate with a LEED Project Administrator to complete the registration process.
To view the ratings system in more detail or to get more information about LEED Certification, visit the USGBC website.