LEED certified buildings exist to save money and other resources. LEED certified houses give the occupants better health and wellness while being able to promote renewable and clean energy. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is one of the best green building certification programs in the world right now.
Until recently, some of these features have only been LEED certified in certain countries. However, with recent developments, LEED has begun to spread these certifications to other countries, such as Europe. Many people in Europe want to change the way houses are built, and new developments have taken root and made these programs possible in Europe. This means that more people will have access to the amazing LEED program and reap the benefits for years to come.
Features of LEED
LEED homes and buildings are sustainable and provide people with an environment that is healthy, and that will save energy at the same time. When you get a LEED built house, you are quite literally getting the best of the best. Some of the basic features of a LEED building are:
indoor air quality
- well insulated and air sealed buildings
daylight & views, daylighting up to 75% of spaces
- this provides some of the heat for the building and overall well-being for the people inside
construction waste management and use of renewable or recycled materials
energy efficient lighting
optimize energy performance
water efficiency and storm water management
Each project that LEED does has different prerequisites and aspects to rate. LEED has many different rating levels, here are a few:
“BD+C” means building design and construction. This deals with new constructions or major renovations that will dramatically change the existing structure. “ID+C” means interior design and construction, which deals with projects that make changes the interior.
The “O+M” rating deals with operations and maintenance, which only applies to buildings that already exist. There is only improvement work and little to no construction involved. LEED can also give a building a “ND”, which is neighborhood development. This deals with more than one building or home.
LEED BD+C 2009 ACPs Europe
In February of 2014, the USGBC hired the Sweden Green Building Council, and members of the LEED International Roundtable came together to introduce a special, Europe-specific program for the LEED BD+C. This is called the Alternative Compliance Paths (ACPs), and it will make a lot of things that were not possible before possible in Europe.
It is important for each type of LEED rating to be tailored to specific countries, or else some things will not be in compliance with country laws and can cause some problems. That is the point and meaning of having the LEED BD+C 2009 ACPs. This project will give the European market the same benefits that other countries have, specific to their culture and needs. The SGBC and LEED are both working very hard to make the LEED program and certifications relevant to their country.
SGBC has developed solutions that are specifically for Sweden in the past, which shows their ingenuity and ability to bring good information and advice to the ACPs program. This will also help the program run smoother, because SGBC has had experience in changing policies to make them run smoother with their countries’ requirements, which will help LEED stay out of many pitfalls and avoid many problems. The new LEED certifications that are specifically for Europe will be an amazing facet to add to LEED’s program.