LEED™ Certification and Concrete: What You Need to Know
The United States Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED™) system is a way of rating a building’s overall environmental performance. The idea behind LEED™ is to encourage builders, contractors, and others to make use of sustainable designs and materials.
LEED™ certification is important because it shows that a construction company makes use of recycled and reused materials in things such as concrete forms for sale. It’s a sign to clients that the company is invested in protecting the environment.
When it comes to concrete, there are a number of things you need to know about the material and LEED™ certification. Let’s take a look at how certain types of concrete can help you achieve this important certification.
Using Ready Mix Concrete for LEED™ Points
In order to become LEED™-certified, a building must receive a certain amount of points. The more points a building is awarded, the better, which means contractors and construction crews are generally looking for many different ways to receive these points.
Ready-made concrete can be used in a number of areas to gain these points, including handling stormwater, reducing water usage, protecting habitats, and maximizing open spaces.
Ready Mix Concrete Categories
When seeking LEED™ certification, a team will evaluate the structure and look at a number of key factors. For ready mix concrete, the evaluators will look at several categories and how you used concrete to satisfy LEED™ objectives.
The first and largest category is sustainable sites. Here, you will be evaluated on how well you used ready mix concrete to protect habitats, maximize open space, control stormwater run-off, and more. There are 26 points currently possible in this category, which is fairly significant.
You Can Also Receive Points by Using Recycled Concrete Wall Forms and Other Materials
There are a number of other categories that can help you achieve LEED™ certification. These include water efficiency (10 points), energy and atmosphere (35 points), materials and resources (14 points), indoor environmental quality (15 points), innovation and design process (6 points), and regional priority (4 points).
By making use of recycled materials, ones that have less of an environmental impact, and reusing materials and equipment from job to job, you can lower your impact on the environment and receive points from LEED™.
Using the LEED™ System as a Guide
LEED™ is a voluntary rating, which means you’re under no obligation to follow it. However, as today’s buyers and clients are more focused on the environment than ever before, it does make sense to follow LEED™ guidelines in constructing a building.
Before beginning a project, you need to decide whether it will be submitted for LEED™ certification. It’s much easier and more cost-efficient to build a LEED™-certified structure from the ground-up than it is to retrofit a structure with environmentally-friendly materials and systems later.
Next, you need to submit your project to LEED™ and have it registered. This must be followed up by documenting its compliance and having the project reviewed by a neutral third-party. Once that’s complete, your building will be certified Silver, Gold, or Platinum depending on the number of points you’ve earned.
Making Use of Recycled Materials
Using recycled or reused materials is a great way of saving the environment and saving money, even if you’re not applying for LEED™ certification. Reusing concrete wall forms, for example, can save a significant amount. Take that into account when estimating concrete costs.
If you’re interested in learning more about reusable concrete forms, or want to discuss purchasing, contact Forming America today. We offer a number of different concrete forming solutions for sale and rent.