Building Green and the LEED® Program

This section of the NRDCA web site provides an overview of Building Green,  the LEED® measurement process to determine how green is your building, and specific details of how the Engineered Roof Deck Systems of NRDCA members meet LEED® measurement criteria.

Why Build Green?
Care Taker of Building Green
LEED® Rating System
Points Available in Each Category
LEED® Points Provided by Engineered Roof Deck Systems

Why Build Green?

Three concepts provide the answer to Why Build Green. These are sustainability, environmental impact of buildings, and benefits of building green.

Sustainability

Sustainability means meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.  Hence, sustainable development consists of activities and economic growth that does not deplete or degrade the biodiversity, environment resources, and ecosystem services upon which present and future societies depend.  Sustainable uses and activities are those that can be continued without jeopardizing the ability of ecosystems to be fully renewed, and thus continue to provide undiminished resources each year long into the future.

Environmental Impact of Buildings

  1. 65% of the total U.S. electricity consumption
  2. Greater than 36% of total U.S. primary energy use
  3. 30% of total greenhouse emissions
  4. 12% of the potable water usage in the U.S.
  5. 40% of the raw materials used globally
  6. 30% of the buildings in the U.S. have or are developing “sick-building syndrome”

 

Benefits of Building Green

  1.  Reduced environmental impact of building
  2.  Economic benefits through improved bottom line
    1. Reduced energy costs
      1. LEED® Certified buildings use 25-30% less energy
    2. Reduced water bills
    3. Life cycle cost improvements
    4. Increased property value
      1. Rent Premiums of $11.24 and 3.8% higher occupancy
      2. LEED® Certified buildings sell for $171 more per square foot
  3. Health and Safety benefits
    1. Improved productivity
    2. Reduced absenteeism
    3. Enhanced comfort and health
  4. Community benefits through reduced strain on infrastructure

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Care Taker of Building Green

The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) was formed in 1993 with the mission to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life. From that beginning, the USGBC develop a measurement tool called LEED® which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The LEED® Green Building Rating system went to pilot testing in 1998 and was fully implemented in 2000. Today the cost impact of a Green Building averages a 2% increase. LEED® design now accounts for 5% of present new construction.

Full details about the USGBC and the LEED® program may be obtained from the USGBC web site at www.usgbc.org.

The Canada Green Building provider of the LEED® program is the Candian Green Building Council. Their LEED® program details may be obtained from the web site www.cagbc.org.  The Canadian  LEED® rating system for new construction was based on the USGBC new construction document and modified to meet Candian climate requirements. The concepts provided in this document will also apply to Canada for NRDCA Engineered Roof Deck Systems.

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LEED® Rating System

The LEED® rating system awards a building design with points in six categories. Several construction types and their LEED® points are shown. Points in these categories may add up to less than the total depending upon the Green Building certification desired for that building.

The six categories for the LEED® Rating system by construction type and their maximum points are:

Categories

New Construction

Existing Buildings

Schools

Retail

Sustainable Sites

14

12

16

14

Water Efficiency

5

10

7

5

Energy and Atmosphere

17

30

17

17

Materials and Resources

13

14

13

13

Indoor Environmental Quality

15

19

20

15

Innovation & Design Process

5

7

6

5

Total Points

69

92

79

69

Levels of LEED® certification require obtaining a range of points as listed below:

Certification Level

New Construction

Existing Buildings

Schools

Retail

Certified

26-32

33-42

29-36

26-32

Silver

33-38

43-50

37-43

33-38

Gold

39-51

51-67

44-57

39-51

Platinum

52-69

68-92

58-79

52-69

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Points Available in Each Category

            Within each of the six major LEED® Rating System categories, many sub-categories exist. These sub-categories, when added together, equal the total points for that category.  In several of the categories, some of the sub-categories are required to be met as a prerequisite for all LEED® certifications. To see the list of sub-categories and their points, go to the USGBC links listed below for each building type. Each link shows the current LEED® Project Checklist for major building types with all the categories, sub-categories Credit number and their available points.

New Construction Checklist

Existing Building Checklist

School Checklist

Retail Checklist

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LEED Points Provided by Engineered Roof Deck Systems

            All of the systems provided to the commercial construction market by contractors and suppliers of the NRDCA, are associated with the building roof.  As an industry we can provide points in many of the sub-categories listed in the various construction checklists depending upon the building being designed. As a point of reference this section will focus on the New Construction Checklist categories and sub-category specific Credit number shown in the sub-category.  A prerequisite listing in any category is in addition to the total points required for the category. Each Sub-category allows only one point for each Credit number listed.

LEED® New Construction Checklist

Category

Sub-Category by Credit Number

Sustainable Sites Credit 6.1 Storm Water Management – Use of Roof Garden which may be structurally supported by a NRDCA system – 1 point
Credit 7.2 Heat Island Effect – A cool roof may be attached to a NRDCA system. The roof material must be Energy Star listed, have an emissivity greater than 0.9 per ASTM E408, and cover greater than 75 % of roof area. A Roof Garden also qualifies. – 1 point
Energy & Atmosphere Prerequisite – Exceed ASHRAE 90.1 2004 or local code (whichever is most stringent)
Credit 1.1 to 1.10 New Construction – Exceed ASHRAE by 10.5% to 42% in 3.5% Increments – 1 to 10 points
Credit 1.1 to 1.10 Existing Building – Exceed ASHRAE by 3.5% to 35% in 3.5% increments – 1 to 10 points
Materials & Resources Credit 2.1 Construction Waste Management – Divert 50% from Disposal – 1 point
Credit 2.2 Construction Waste Management – Divert 75% from Disposal – 1 point
Both credits deal with demolition and waste from construction. As examples, EPS insulation can be reused or recycled, ballasted stone can be reused, and some roofing materials can now be recycled.
Credit 3.1 Materials Reuse – 5% – 1 point
Credit 3.2 Materials Reuse – 10% – 1 point
Reuse materials to reduce demand for virgin materials. Examples include reuse ballast, reuse EPS insulation, and leave old roof in place and roof over with new roof deck system and roof membrane.
Credit 4.1 Recycle Content 10% – 1 point
Credit 4.2 Recycle Content 20% – 1 point
Recycled content of all materials used in the project must account for a minimum of 10 % or 20 % of total materials. NRDCA System examples include EPS insulation with 10 to 30% post-industrial recycled content, Extruded EPS insulation with minimum 15% post-industrial content and Iso-board insulation with 15 to 40% post-industrial content. Check with product manufacturer for exact recycle content.
Credit 5.1 Regional Materials – 10% Extracted, Processed & Manufactured – 1 point
Credit 5.2 Regional Materials – 20% Extracted, Processed & Manufactured – 1 point
Use materials manufactured within 500 miles of building site to save transportation cost. NRDCA examples include EPS insulation which can be obtained almost everywhere within 500 mile of site.
Indoor Environmental Quality Credit 7.1. Thermal Comfort, Design – 1 point
Many NRDCA Systems use EPS Insulation that has always been CFC and HCFC free, which provides long term thermal values not needing adjustment for age.
Innovation & Design Process Credit 1.1 Innovation in Design: Ozone Reduction – 1 point
Reduce ozone depletion and support early compliance with the Montreal Protocol by not using HCFC’s and Halons. EPS Insulation does not contain CFC’ or HCFC’s

Foot Note: The NRDCA recognizes Cliff Hanson, Cellofoam Corporation, Conyers, GA
(www. Cellofoam.com) for development of much of this sections content.
LEED® is a registered trademark of United States Green Building Council.