Free Shipping

What Does It Mean to Be LEED Certified?

December 03, 2017

What Does It Mean to Be LEED Certified?

What Is LEED Certification and How Can I Become LEED Certified?

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a rating system created to evaluate how “green,” or sustainable and environmentally friendly a building is. Used throughout the world, and available for pretty much any type of residential or commercial building, LEED was designed to improve the efficiency of our buildings and construction projects.

But to the unfamiliar, LEED certification may seem complicated, or hard to approach. So if you’re interested in making your next construction project more environmentally friendly, how can you become LEED certified, and what does that really mean for your organization’s future?

The Benefits of LEED Certification

Becoming LEED certified is highly beneficial for any business or individual looking to make the most of their construction projects. These are the main benefits that leaders want from their LEED certification:

  • Environmental friendliness. First, you’ll ensure that your construction project is as environmentally friendly as possible, contributing fewer pollutants to the environment, relying on sustainable resources, and expending less energy. Every contribution makes our planet a little cleaner and a little more sustainable.
  • Cost savings. Many businesses who proceed with LEED certification find their construction criteria ends up saving money in the long run; you’ll be able to build more efficiently, and create a building that costs less to operate and maintain.
  • Economic impact. According to a 2015 study on LEED construction, green construction projects are estimated to contribute 1.1 million jobs by 2018. Being a part of the sustainability movement means making a bigger economic impact in your area.
  • Brand reputation benefits. Adding a LEED certification to your building will be appealing to your consumers and partners in the area. Think of it as a way of boosting the reputation of your brand by advertising your corporate social responsibility (CSR).

How to Get Leed certified

The Process

If you’re interested in becoming LEED certified, you must work with the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI), which is responsible for handling the third-party verification of project compliance. Through this system, you’ll follow four main steps:

  1. Select the right rating system, and learn the requirements. The LEED system has grown in complexity over the years, and now exists as version 4; there are also many different rating systems in place for different types of projects. For example, there are separate rating systems for things like major renovations, schools, retail buildings, data centers, warehouses, hospitality, healthcare, and multifamily low-rise buildings. There are major categories of rating systems available for design and construction, interior design and construction, building operations and maintenance, and neighborhood development. The general rule is that if a specific rating system covers 40 percent of your floor space or less, it shouldn’t be used. If it covers 60 percent of the space or more, it should be used. If it falls between 40 and 60, it’s a special project and requires a unique rating system.
  2. Become familiar with LEED certification guidelines. Once you have the right rating system chosen, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the actual certification guidelines that exist for your chosen system. Usually, this process is pretty straightforward; you’ll register your project before the specified deadline, you’ll comply with all required criteria, you’ll apply for LEED certification, and your application will be reviewed by the GBCI. At that time, your building should be approved for full certification. At the time of application, you’ll be required to pay a fee, which varies significantly based on the type and scope of the project, as well as your membership status.
  3. Decide which credits to pursue. LEED certification isn’t black-and-white. Instead, it functions as a kind of point-based system. There are dozens of different LEED credits you can earn throughout your project, with a specific point value ascribed to each. To become certified, you must get at least 40 points of credits. Silver certification requires 50-59 points, gold requires 60-79 points, and platinum requires 80 or more points. The credits you choose, and the type of certification you seek should depend on your budget, your goals, and your individual project.
  4. Choose the right tools to make your project a success. Once you know what you’re doing, you’ll need to equip yourself with the right tools to make your project a success. Fortunately, LEED and other organizations attempt to make this easier by providing those tools upfront, including online toolkits with resources to help you get the credits you need.

Specific Prerequisites to Meet

In becoming LEED certified, you’ll have a great deal of flexibility; you can choose any level of certification you want, and pick and choose whichever credits best suit your organization. However, every project that gets LEED certified must meet three important prerequisites:

  1. The building must be in a permanent location on land that already exists. LEED certification prohibits building on artificial land masses, or any location that would significantly disrupt an existing ecosystem. It must also be a permanent location.
  2. The building must use reasonable boundaries for LEED certification. LEED requires that companies use reasonable boundaries for their projects, preventing gerrymandering-like boundary definitions that would allow them to exploit the system.
  3. The building must be a specific size. Different types of certification have specific prerequisites for building sizes. For example, for LEED BD+C and LEED O+M rating systems, your project must have a minimum of 1,000 square feet.

How to Get Started

If you’re interested in making your next building project LEED certified, or if you want to explore your options for making your construction more environmentally friendly, start by reviewing the different rating systems your building project could be eligible for.

In the meantime, there are many steps you can take to improve the environmental friendliness and sustainability of your own business. Even simple changes can make a difference such as installing high-efficiency filters for your furnace and air conditioner.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to choose the right filters for your home or business, check out our article on filters and MERV ratings, or shop our filter selection directly.




Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in News

Are UV Lights Worth the Investment for Your HVAC System?

July 09, 2019

The world of HVAC is always advancing, making use of new technologies and new approaches to improve the capabilities of the average homeowner’s heating, cooling, and ventilation systems. Along with energy efficiency, one of the biggest categories of breakthroughs has been the emergence of products and technologies to improve overall indoor air quality. Under ordinary circumstances, ventilation systems can contribute pollutants to your surroundings, spreading bacteria, mold, dust, dander, and other particles that can aggravate respiratory conditions or facilitate the spread of illnesses.

UV light attachments, like the RGF REME HVAC HALO 24V Air Purification System Light, attempt to counteract these pollutants. But how exactly do they work, and are they really worth the investment? 

Continue Reading

16x20x1 Air Filter Best Price $26.95 6 pack

June 28, 2019

Get the Best Quality 16X20x1 Air Filter for Your Money and Protect Your Air Quality

Price is an important consideration when doing home maintenance by replacing your air filters, but your air filter is not only an important component in protecting your homes HVAC(Heating Ventaliation and Air Conditioning) system, it is important for protecting your family against the top concerns of health and environmental organizations such as the CDC, EPA and American Lung Association. Indoor air quality or IAQ can be 200 to 500 times more polluted than the air outside. 

Continue Reading

Finding the Best 16x20x1 Furnace Filter
Finding the Best 16x20x1 Furnace Filter

June 21, 2019

How to Choose the Right Air Filter to Protect Your Air Quality

Your air filter is not only an important component in protecting your homes HVAC(Heating Ventaliation and Air Conditioning) system, it is important for protecting your family against the top concerns for the CDC, EPA and American Lung Association. Indoor air quality or IAQ can be 200 to 500 times more polluted than the air outside. 

Continue Reading

Nominal Vs. Actual Sizes: Finding the Right Air Filter Size

Buying the Correct Size Air Filter- The Most Important Thing to Know 

When you are buying your air filter online most important thing to know is Air Filters have two sizes that you need to understand the Nominal size and the Actual Size. Not understanding these numbers often leads to consumers purchasing a filter that does not fit their Furnace or HVAC system.

Nominal vs Actual air filter size by Atomic

 

Understanding Nominal Filters Size Could Save You Time and Money

Not understanding the Nominal Filter Size is the primary culprit for incorrectly purchased filters.The Nominal Size is the usually the dimensions used to Label the filter. For instance 16x20x1. These dimensions are a rounded value on the filters actual measurements. The actual measurements on this filter may be 15.5x19.5x.75, but that could vary by brand and manufacturer. So in order to make sure you have the correct size filter, especially if you are replacing with a different brand it is important to confirm the actual size on the filter. When purchasing filters on the internet the Nominal size is usually found in the product title.

Actual Filter Size- The Key to Making the Right Replacement Filter Purchase

The actual size as you might have guessed are the actual dimensions of the filter by length, width and thickness. This size is often on the filter right below the Nominal size and is usually labeled as the actual size. When you are buying a filter online the actual size is sometime in the product bullet point or the product description. If your filter does not have actual dimensions on the outside of the filter, you can measure you filter to get the correct dimensions. Some brands have a foam gasket on the outside of the filter, in this case, you will want to make sure you have a compatible actual size and that it also has the foam to ensure a snug fit. 

Lennox Air Filter X0851 with Foam strips

Examples of Nominal and Actual Sizes

 Size  Example 1  Example 2
Nominal Size 20x20x1 16x20x1
Actual Size 19.5x19.5x.75 15.75x19.75x.75

 

 Furnace filters should fit securely but should not have to be forced into position. If you have to force the filter into its slot, then it is probably too big. Forcing an improper filter size in a filter can cause it to buckle, damaging the filter or reducing its ability to function properly. Filters are a smaller than their slot to allow for easy replacement. Some HVAC units may need a filter with dimensions that are unique or uncommon. In these cases, a custom filter needs to be ordered.

Find Your Filter Sizes Easy in 1" Deep Filters , 2" Deep Filters, 4" Deep Filters