LEED Energy and Atmosphere Tips
Burning fossil fuels such as coal to produce power results in the production of carbon dioxide. Climate change illustrates the impact to the environment of carbon emissions alone is immense, and that’s not even taking into account the cost of transportation and the consequences of coal mining. Natural gas may be more efficient and easier to transport and cleaner to burn, but it too hurts the environment.
Most people realize at some level that energy and its ever-increasing consumption has an immense impact on nature. The energy section of LEED is one of the most robust, and offers some of the most targeted guidelines for decreasing energy consumption and increasing the use of alternative energy. The new LEED Version 3 released in April (see “What You Need To Know About LEED v3”) includes even more stringent requirements for both existing buildings and new construction — a 10 percent reduction over ASHRAE 90.1-2007 for new buildings and an Energy Star performance rating of at least 69 for existing facilities. Even if a facility executive is only using LEED as a guide, these requirements still provide solid targets to make a building competitive in an increasingly demanding marketplace.
LEED also provides guidance on commissioning, so that facility executives can be sure their systems are functioning as efficiently as possible.
And LEED shows facility executives how to measure and verify energy efficiency, using the International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol — a key step in any energy efficiency program.