|There are ways for building designers and owners
to prove that they are following a "green" path to building.
They can become certified through a third party; this most likely
includes a program through the US Green Building Council called
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). This is why
you see a lot of condominium developments touting LEED® certified
Becoming LEED® Certified
For Earth-friendly condo developers, LEED® certification is the
ultimate reward for thinking
of the environment. But the path
to reaching that certification is fraught with innumerable pitfalls.
When building, it is hard to think of everything that might impact
the environment. So, the Green Building Council has narrowed
down the requirements for building “Green.”
The first thing a development company needs to consider is how
best to care for the land. Not only the spot that will hold the
building, but the surrounding area. This idea of creating a “sustainable
site” has to do with making the least impact on the land surrounding
the building. Choosing the right site is only part of it. The owner
must consider whether this area can help with urban redevelopment.
Are there alternative methods to get to the site (other than by
car)? How will storm water be managed? Finally, is this development
going to cause light pollution?
Using water efficiently is another requirement for LEED® certification.
A development company needs to consider carefully how best to conserve
water, especially in larger buildings. This could mean changing
the way a site is landscaped to minimize the use of potable water.
Land developers must also consider how a building will affect
the atmosphere, and how much energy it will take to run the building
efficiently. The building has to go through the proper channels
to ensure that everything is working as it should be, in the most
efficient way possible. Builders should not use refrigerants or
ventilation that requires the use of CFC-based products. Using
renewable power, such as would be found with solar or hydro-power,
extends “extra-credit,” so to speak, to Earth-conscious companies.
Using recyclable materials is a way to become LEED® certified,
through the Materials and Resources requirement. Simply providing
tenants with the ability to recycle materials helps, but there
is more to it than that. Building developers should be using recycled
materials in the building itself. They should be using locally
manufactured materials instead of those that have to be transported
at the expense of fuel and air quality. Finally, they should have
a well-designed waste management plan for the remnants of the construction
Finally, thinking of the indoor environmental quality is necessary
to become LEED® certified. Green
buildings should not simply be
friendly to nature; they should be friendly to all of Earth’s inhabitants,
including humans. A building should allow for the thermal comfort
of its residents. The lighting should be bright, but not so bright
as to be uncomfortable. There should be some active attempt to
control the effect of tobacco smoke and other ventilation issues.
Buildings that monitor carbon dioxide levels are afforded extra
consideration for certification. Likewise, those paints and finishes
that use low-emitting materials are seen in a good light when considering
If you have considered purchasing in a LEED certified green building
and would like further consultation please contact us.
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