LEED-ing to a Greener Planet Essay

This essay has a total of 2026 words and 9 pages.

LEED-ing to a Greener Planet

In our society a new state of thinking has occurred. We have become obsessed with having
more, regardless of the consequences. We have become pleasure-seeking, only thinking of
the present and having no care for the future. This new instinctual mindset encompasses
our culture from the highest level to the lowest. It threatens the current generation, the
future generation, and all the achievements of past generations. This threat is a lack of
sustainability in any part of our culture, be it economic, social, or environmental. One
sinister problem (producing the majority of the United States waste) was our out-of-date
building codes. More specifically- rules and regulations that today?s planners have in
place for our buildings life cycle are not meeting today?s more eco-friendly criteria. In
response, a bundle of separate agencies in the Construction industry designed
environmentally oriented construction rating systems. The agencies objective- to
positively push today?s planners, designers and owners to lessening the impact of projects
as a whole, making a brighter outlook for future generations to come. But with this new
wave of ideals, and responsibility to lessen our carbon footprint on our planet
sustainability should also be affordable. Enhancing and restoring environmental values,
creating net social benefits and a positive return for owners of the project are also
important.

Developed by the US Green Building Council (USGBC), Leadership in Energy and Environmental
Design better known as ?L.E.E.D? is actually more of a rating system that awards points to
the builder for taking various environmentally friendly approaches in their construction
process. Builders are awarded points for meeting or exceeding benchmarks set by the USGBC
in the following eight categories: innovation and design; location and linkages to the
larger community; sustainable sites; water conservation; energy efficiency; material and
resources; indoor air quality; and consumer education. Another way the USGBC can ensure
economic as well as environmental sustainability in the building industry is by lobbying.
Governmental regulations may impact the future of building practices, and so the USGBC
encourages developers to prepare for eventual shifts in the political, legal, and social
climates that affect the industry.

Sharing the same vision as the founders of the USGBC, there have been other construction
standard companies who have planned to revamp their building codes. The Sustainability
Rating System (ISI), like the USGBC, uses set objective-based goals that will guide the
engineer, owner, constructor, regulator and policymaker to provide more effective levels
of reliability, along with building resilience, efficiency, and overall project
performance. ISI?s rating system (like L.E.E.D) acknowledges the challenges faced by the
many stakeholders charged with delivering and supporting necessary infrastructure projects
in an increasingly resource-constrained world. ISI?s solution to this problem was by
creating environmentally friendly criteria from the planning process to the demolition of
their structures. The criteria includes a series of considerations related to the
conceptual and planning bases along with project management and business strategies to
promote sustainable infrastructure solutions. A second set of criteria is set in place to
promote resources, materials, and water and energy conservation. In total, the rating
system promotes consideration of a broad set of project features that encourage high
levels of interaction with communities and stakeholders, balancing investments to provide
resilience and broad acceptance of benefits and consequences of the proposed project and
increasing the wise use of limited resources.

Like LEED and ISI, the United Kingdom followed suit during the green building movement. In
1992 the Building Research Establishment's Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) was
developed. In 2000, the system took a leap forward in its evolution, becoming an online
assessment and rating tool under the name Green Globes for Existing Buildings. Being used
by large developers and property management companies, The Green Building Initiative
describes the Green Globe building assessment system as a ?revolutionary green management
tool that includes an assessment protocol, a rating system, and a guide for integrating
environmentally friendly design into commercial buildings.?

Very similar to the USGBC, for a project to be certified, the project team must fill out a
questionnaire. If the project then can pass the board with a minimum exam grade of 40%
they would be granted the right for certification. Only after the exam, a third-party
verifier visits both the project and the project team at the building site. Interviews
are conducted with team managers, and a thorough review process of all documentation
regarding points on the project statement is all taken in to account.

The LEED process is done differently, the project team completes documentation and submits
it via LEED-Online, to be reviewed by a review team that is never in contact with the team
project managers or the project site. Unlike LEED, the Green Globes system requires a
trained professional to actually visit the project, interact with the team, and physically
examine the project. At the end of Green Globes visit to the construction site, the
verifier sends his or her recommendation away to receive the appropriate certification
level.

One other important feature of Green Globes is that if points are not available to a
project, they do not count in the total of potentially achievable points. In contrast,
LEED penalizes projects that, for example, do not build with materials from the building
that occupied the lot previously. In LEED the available number of points is fixed, while
in Green Globes the total potential number of points is adjusted, depending on the
dependent variables of the project. It could be said that Green Globes rates the work of
the project team, and does not address issues that are outside of their control, while
LEED works to be more thorough by rating both the project team and the owner. LEED?s
process is their own way of letting the final certification reflects the efforts of both
parties as one unit. And while both LEED and the ISI share many of the same goals, LEED is
a nongovernmental organization. So when the standard was set for LEED, it was ensured
worldwide, and not just to the United States. This distinction seems to affect many of the
different sustainable construction organizations we have today, for example the ICC.


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  • LEED-ing to a Greener Planet
    LEED-ing to a Greener Planet In our society a new state of thinking has occurred. We have become obsessed with having more, regardless of the consequences. We have become pleasure-seeking, only thinking of the present and having no care for the future. This new instinctual mindset encompasses our culture from the highest level to the lowest. It threatens the current generation, the future generation, and all the achievements of past generations. This threat is a lack of sustainability in any par