Concrete Thinking Think Concrete
SOLUTIONS APPLICATIONS RESOURCES CASE STUDIES THINKERS
www.ConcreteThinker.com
Benefits  > LEED
Green Building Rating System
Print   eMail
 
Case Studies Show Detail
Specifications
Technical Brief
 
 
What is LEED?
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a rating system devised by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) to evaluate the environmental performance of a building and encourage market transformation towards sustainable design. The system is credit-based, allowing projects to earn points for environmentally friendly actions taken during construction and use of a building. LEED was launched in an effort to develop a “consensus-based, market-driven rating system to accelerate the development and implementation of green building practices.” The program is not rigidly structured; not every project must meet identical requirements to qualify.

These LEED products are currently available:

  1. LEED - v3.0 for New Construction and Major Renovations
  2. LEED - for Homes
  3. LEED - for Core and Shell
  4. LEED – for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintanance
  5. LEED – for Commercial Interiors
  6. LEED - for Schools
  7. LEED - for Retail
  8. LEED - for Healthcare
  9. LEED - for Neighborhood Development (in pilot stage)

Detailed information on the LEED program and project certification process is available from USGBC at http://www.usgbc.org/. The program outlines the intent, requirements, technologies, and strategies for meeting each credit. Credits are broken down into individual points. A building requires at least 40 points for certification in LEED-NC v3.0. Silver, gold, and platinum levels are also available.

LEED Certification Levels

  • Certified 40 - 49 Points
  • Silver 50 - 59 Points
  • Gold 60 - 79 Points
  • Platinum 80-110 Points

How Does Concrete Help Achieve LEED Certification?

Using concrete can help increase the number of points awarded to a building in the LEED system. The following table provides suggestions for earning LEED-NC v3 points through the use of cement and concrete products. The credit categories and the credit numbers are those in the LEED rating system. Points must be documented according to LEED procedures in order to be earned. The USGBC website, http://www.usgbc.org/, contains a downloadable “letter template” that greatly simplifies the documentation requirements for LEED v3.0. The potential available points that can be earned with the help of concrete range from 25 to 34.

How Concrete Can Contribute to Points

PROJECT CHECKLIST - LEED– New Construction (NC) v3
 
Sustainable Sites
Points
Credit 3
Brownfield Redevelopment
1
Credit 5.1 Site Development, Protect or Restore Habitat
1
Credit 5.2 Site Development, Maximize Open Space
1
Credit 6.1
Stormwater Design, Quantity Control
1
Credit 6.2
Stormwater Design, Quality Control
1
Credit 7.1
Heat Island Effect, Non-roof
1
Credit 7.2
Heat Island Effect, Roof
1
Energy and Atmosphere
Prerequisite 2
Minimum Energy Performance
Required
Credit 1
Optimize Energy Performance
1 - 19
Materials and Resources
Credit 1.1
Building Reuse, Maintain 55%, 75%, 95% of Existing Walls, Floors, and Roof
 up to 3
Credit 2
Construction Waste Management, Divert 50% or 75%
 up to 2
Credit 4
Recycled Content, 10% or 20% (post-consumer plus ½ pre-consumer)
 up to 2
Credit 5
Regional Materials, 10% or 20%
up to 2
Innovation and Design Process
Credit 1
Innovation in Design
1-5
Credit 2
LEED Accredited professional
1
Project Totals
25 - 34


Why Use LEED?
LEED is a voluntary program; however, obtaining a LEED certification projects a positive environmental image to the community. Additionally, using many green building practices can result in energy and cost savings over the life of the structure. Other advantages include better indoor air quality and plenty of daylight. Studies have shown that workers in these environments have increased labor productivity, job retention, and days worked. These benefits contribute directly to a company’s profits because salaries—which are about ten times higher than rent, utilities, and maintenance combined—are the largest expense for most companies occupying office space. In addition, students in these environments have higher test scores and lower absenteeism. Retail sales are higher in daylit buildings.
 
Who Uses LEED?
Many cities and states either provide tax credits or grants for green buildings, or require green building certification for public buildings. The U.S. government is adopting LEED or similar green building standards for the General Services Administration (which owns or leases over 8300 buildings), the U.S. Army, the Department of State, the Department of Energy (DOE), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Numerous states including California, New York, Oregon, and Washington have adopted LEED for public buildings. Many agencies are requiring LEED silver certification as a minimum. Thirteen countries have expressed interest in LEED including China and India; these countries have exceptionally high levels of new building construction. Conditions vary and the list is growing, so please contact local jurisdictions or USGBC for details. Support for green buildings has increased rapidly each year over the last five years.

 

BOOKMARK
Resources
 Show Detail
 LEED Reference Guide (2010)
RMC Research Foundation, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association,
This invaluable reference manual for architects, specifiers, contractors and building owners will guide the user through the steps to achieve LEED NC v 3.0 credits using ready mix concrete materials. Strategies, examples and detailed instructions help users understand how concrete can contribute to urban heat island reduction, energy savings, storm water quality and quantity, recycled content and local availability credit. Available as a free .pdf
 Pervious Concrete
Concrete Technology, August, 2007
A properly designed pervious concrete pavement system can reduce the environmental impact often associated with development. This overview discusses the hydrologic design of pervious concrete, both passive and active mitigation systems and the important consideration in design for storms. The article includes a link to a publication on pervious paving design as well.
Located at BookstoreConcrete Masonry & The LEED Program (2006)
National Concrete Masonry Association, #TEK 06-09
Available for $1.50. This brochure describes how concrete masonry contributes to obtaining the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building certification. This document is available for a fee from National Concrete Masonry Association
Located at BookstoreLEED Rating and Tilt-Up (2006)
Kramer, Kimberly W., Concrete International, Vol 28:5
Available for free for subscribers, $20 for nonmembers. To meet LEED requirements, practitioners must design and specify systems with attributes listed as desirable by the USGBC. Tilt-up concrete walls can help contribute LEED points in several categories through their durability, ease of recycling, ability to help moderate temperature swings, recycled materials content, and use of local materials. A brief introduction to these categories is provided in this article.
Located at BookstoreThe Engineering Guide to LEED - New Construction: Sustainable Construction for Engineers (2008)
The Engineering Guide to LEED-New Construction is a unique new resource that gives the reader a solid understanding of the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED-NC rating system, while also offering a practical text for use in real world applications. Haselbach, LEED-accredited engineer and professor at the University of South Carolina, begins with an introduction to sustainable construction and the USGBC LEED-New Construction rating system. She then delves into the specific prerequisites and credits used for LEED certification. Finally, several examples of sustainable construction within specific sectors such as the military are presented, indoor air quality discussed, and the integration of stormwater management into the LEED process explained. Exercises in the chapters help to reinforce one’s understanding of the LEED system and calculations. Ample references are supplied for further study.
Download DocumentAchieving LEED® Credits with Segmental Concrete Pavements—Part 1 (2006)
Rob Burek, P.Eng.-ICPI Director of Engineering, Interlocking Concrete Pavement Magazine, May, 2006
This 3 page article reviewed the U.S. and Canadian Green Building Councils LEED® versions for new construction. It provides the why behind LEED®, i.e. a project checklist used voluntarily that aims to reduce construction, energy and water-related operating costs while reducing environmental impacts. It also explains how permeable interlocking concrete pavement can contribute LEED® points through Sustainable Sites (SS) via stormwater management. In addition SS points can be earned through reducing urban heat island on parking lots and roofs, by reducing construction waste, reusing pavers and by using recycled materials, using materials made from within the region as well as proposing innovative design and using durable materials. Applications: Stormwater Design and Management, Heat Island Reduction, Recycling, Regional Manufacturing, Waste Management.
Download DocumentAchieving LEED® Credits with Segmental Concrete Pavements—Part 2 (2006)
Rob Burak, P.Eng.-ICPA Director of Engineering, Interlocking Concrete Pavement Magazine, August, 2006
This 4 page article continues from the May issue on how LEED® credits can be earned under the five principal categories. It details how points Sustainable Sites (SS) can be earned through heat island effect both in non roof and roof, material and resources, by reducing construction waste, resource reuse, by using recycled materials, using materials manufactured within the region as well as incorporating innovative improvements in building materials and design and durable materials. Applications: Heat Island Effect, Materials and Resources, Construction Waste Management, Resource Reuse, Recycled Content, Regional Materials, Innovation and Design Process, Durable Materials.
Download DocumentAchieving Sustainability with Precast Concrete (2006)
VanGeem, Martha. PCI Journal, January-February 2006. 20 pages
Available for free download courtesy of the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute. Sustainability is often defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.1 While other building materials may have to alter their configurations, properties, or both to be applicable to sustainable structures, precast concrete’s inherent properties make it a natural choice for achieving sustainability with today’s new buildings. In this paper, sustainability concepts are outlined and different rating systems for evaluating sustainable design are introduced. Finally, ways are provided in which precast concrete meets or exceeds one rating system’s requirements to achieve sustainability.
Download DocumentPhoenix-Award Winning Kendall Square Rises from the Cement-Treated Brownfield Site (2006)
By Christopher Carleo and Thomas Clark of The RETEC Group, Inc., and Charles M. Wilk Portland Cement Association. (2006) Item Code SR854, 2 pages
Free to download. The Kendall Square Redevelopment project in Cambridge, MA was named the Grand Prize winner of the ten regional Phoenix Award winners at the EPA-sponsored Brownfields 2006 Conference. As a former location of a manufactured gas plant, property soil was impacted with coal tar to a depth of over 20 feet. The property was remediated using cement-based insitu solidification/stabilization treatment. The Phoenix AwardsTM is considered the pinnacle of achievement of excellence in brownfield redevelopment and often is called the brownfields’ equivalent of Hollywood’s Oscars. The remediated property is now the site of a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEEDTM) Platinum-certified office building.
Located at External Web SiteConcrete's Contrubition to Sustainable Development
Concrete is the most widely used building material on earth. It has a 2, 000 year track record ofhelping build the Roman Empire to building today's modern societies. As a result ofits versatility, beauty, strength,·and durability, concrete is used in most types ofconstruction, including homes, buildings, roads, bridges, airports, subways, and water resource structures. And with today's heightened awareness and demandfor sustainable construction, concrete performs well when compared to other building materials. Concrete is a sustainable building material due to its many eco{riendly features. The production ofconcrete is resource efficient and the ingredients require little processing. Most materials for concrete are acquired and manufactured locally which minimizes transportation energy. Concrete building systems combine insulation with high thermal mass and low air infiltration to make homes and buildings more energy efficient. Concrete has a long service life for buildings and transportation infrastructure, thereby increasing the period between reconstruction, repair, and maintenance and the associated environmental impact. Concrete, when used as pavement or exterior cladding, helps minimize the urban heat island effect, thus reducing the energy required to heat and cool our homes and buildings. Concrete incorporates recycled industrial byproducts such as fly ash, slag, and silica fume that helps reduce embodied energy, carbon footprint, and waste.
Located at External Web SiteEngineering Guide to LEED - New Construction: Sustainable Construction for Engineers (2008)
The Engineering Guide to LEED-New Construction is a unique new resource that gives the reader a solid understanding of the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED-NC rating system, while also offering a practical text for use in real world applications. Haselbach, LEED-accredited engineer and professor at the University of South Carolina, begins with an introduction to sustainable construction and the USGBC LEED-New Construction rating system. She then delves into the specific prerequisites and credits used for LEED certification. Finally, several examples of sustainable construction within specific sectors such as the military are presented, indoor air quality discussed, and the integration of stormwater management into the LEED process explained. Exercises in the chapters help to reinforce one’s understanding of the LEED system and calculations. Ample references are supplied for further study.
Located at External Web SiteEnvironmental and Cost Benefits of High Albedo Concrete
By Erin Ashley, PhD, LEED AP, Director of Codes and Sustainability, NRMCA
Located at External Web SiteHigh-gloss Finishes (2007)
The Construction Specifier, by Howard Jancy, CSI, CDT, and Greg Schwietz, SCI, CDT, 2007
Polishing concrete can be used to refurbish old or damaged floors or add dimension to new ones. The process to attain glossy surfaces is discussed, along with safety standards, maintenance, and chemical treatments to protect floors. This discussion also includes an overview of materials used to color concrete surfaces to add a further decorative element.
Located at External Web SiteICF Points to LEED (2008)
Insulating Concrete Form Systems contribute to LEED credits
This two page .pdf summarizes the credits available to designers and building owners when using high performing insulating concrete forms in wall construction. Documents available for download to ICFA members.
Located at External Web SiteLEED and Concrete Masonry Powerpoint
The National Concrete Masonry Association
Call The National Concrete Masonry Association Technical Inquiry Response at 703-713-1900 for a copy of this presentation.
Located at External Web SiteLEED Case Studies
The National Concrete Masonry Association
Various industry case studies highlighting concrete masonry's contributions for sustainability. Call The National Concrete Masonry Association Technical Inquiry Response at 703-713-1900 for copies of these case studies.
Located at External Web SitePolished Concrete Can Be Green (2007)
L&M Concretenews, January, 2007: Volume 7, Number 1
A durable, long lasting, attractive polished concrete floor is a value-loaded option within the reach of almost any facility today.
Located at External Web SiteReflectivity of Concrete Pavements: An Annotated Bibliography
The reflectivity, or reflectance, of concrete pavements is one of its many important benefits, providing increased safety on our roads and energy reduction due to its lower lighting requirements. This bibliography is a compilation of references to research studies, industry journal articles, and conference papers on this timely and critical topic. Summaries are included, as well as Web links to the full-text documents.
Located at External Web SiteSedimentation of Pervious Concrete Pavement Systems
Pervious concrete pavement systems (PCPS) are a unique and effective means to address important environmental issues and support green, sustainable growth, by capturing stormwater and allowing it to infiltrate into the underlying soil. Sedimentation leading to clogging is a potential problem in serviceability of PCPS.
Located at External Web SiteSolar Reflectance of Concretes for LEED Sustainable Sites Credit: Heat Island Effect
by Medgar L. Marceau and Martha G. VanGeem
This report presents the results of solar reflectance testing on 135 concrete specimens from 45 concrete mixes, representing a broad range of concretes. This testing determined which combinations of concrete constituents meet the solar reflectance index requirements in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for New Construction (LEED-NC) Sustainable Sites credit for reducing the heat island effect. All concretes in this study had average solar reflectances of at least 0.30 (corresponding to an SRI of at least 29), and therefore meet the requirements of LEED-NC SS 7.1. These concretes also meet the requirements for steep-sloped roofs in LEED-NC SS 7.2. The lowest solar reflectances were from concretes composed of dark gray fly ash. The solar reflectance of the cement had more effect on the solar reflectance of the concrete than any other constituent material. The solar reflectance of the supplementary cementitious material had the second greatest effect.
Located at External Web SiteU.S. Green Building Council Website
The official LEED(R) website