LEED means Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is a rating system, a certification for “green” buildings, developed by the Green Building Environmental Council of the United States (USGBC) and provides certain environmental standards for construction. One of the main advantages to LEED over other certifications is that it begins in the design phase. Before plans are drawn up the owners, architects, builder and key sup contractors like HVAC, plumbing and electrical, meet to discuss the design and ways to make the building efficient and livable.
There are different levels of LEED certification for buildings, and are based on a points system. LEED certification is obtained by completing the documentation of compliance with LEED requirements and paying the fees for certification. The six main categories are:
- Sustainable Sites
- Water Efficiency
- Energy and Atmosphere
- Materials and Resources
- Quality Internal Environment
- Innovation and Design
The area that is of interest to most fabricators is the Materials and Resources section. The materials we use in these projects will contribute points to the overall rating for the building. According to Allegheny Ludlum 1, one of the Nation’s largest producers of stainless steel, the amount of post consumer material used in making their stainless steel is equal to or greater than 75%.
The latest information from Luvata Copper 2 indicate that approximately 85-100% of the copper the goes into producing their muntz metal and brass sheets is recycled or post consumer material.
More information can be found at the U.S. Green Building Council: