April is Green Month, and Earth Day 2012 is fast approaching! Romtec wants to remind everyone of the great opportunities for LEED certification we provide with green public restrooms. But first, how well do you understand LEED strategies and standards? Let’s take a look some of the areas that might help your project truly represent Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
There are five primary categories that LEED certification takes into consideration for commercial buildings, and they are all weighted differently in terms of points that can be awarded.
For background, the LEED certification operates on a 100-point scale, with 10 bonus points available. If your project earns 40 points, it becomes LEED certified. At 50 points, the project is certified Silver; at 60, it is Gold, and more than 80 points receives Platinum certification.
Federal, State, and City governments all offer different incentives for achieving a certain level of certification, including faster permit approval, reduced taxes, and other perks. However, buildings that receive high LEED certification rankings are built in a way that inherently reduces operating costs and boosts a building’s performance.
Now back to the five categories. The category with largest number of points possible is Energy and Atmosphere with 37 points available. A high score here will bring a project close to certification. Romtec offers several methods to achieve a high score here, and most are inexpensive. We can design passive lighting and ventilation systems that have no power requirements. There are options for high-efficiency hand dryers, LED light fixtures, and tankless water heaters, which all use minimal electricity. Romtec also can design and install photovoltaic, solar systems which can actually plug power back to the grid and earn refunds from power companies.
The next point-heavy category is Sustainable Sites with 21 available points. Romtec can’t choose your site for you, but we can help with the “heat island effect,” which is judged in this category. Using specific reflective materials, our engineers can design buildings that will not trap and store heat for periods of time that extend beyond sunset.
Indoor Environmental Quality offers 17 possible points. This category can receive points from Romtec’s passive lighting and ventilation. Bringing in outside air and natural light is important to improve indoor air quality and views.
Your project could receive as many as 14 points from the Materials and Resources category. On Romtec’s ES models, tilt-up SIP (structural insulated panel) construction generates very little waste. Most SIP waste can be recycled easily and arrives precut for quick installation. SIPs are also excellent insulators, maintaining appropriate building temperatures, reducing indoor noise level, and further limiting the “heat island effect.”
Finally, Water Efficiency bolsters 11 possible points. Romtec manufactures waterless restrooms, which are the ultimate in efficiency! But if your project does need water, we can reduce it! We can supply high-efficiency toilets, touchless faucets, and waterless urinals. We can also design and install rain water collection systems for a variety of purposes like landscape watering.
The 10 bonus points can be earned in categories of Innovation of Design and Regional Priority. Romtec is willing to engineer custom buildings with efficient and effective green designs to earn bonus points. You can look up your area and see the green priorities for your project by looking here.
We at Romtec wish you a happy Earth Day! Please feel free to contact Travis Olson, our national sales manager, to see how your project can gain LEED certification at a surprisingly low cost.