Steel Buildings and the LEEDS Rating System

The Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) was established by USGBC to provide a series of exams to allow individuals to become accredited for their knowledge of the LEED rating system. This is recognized through either the LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP) or LEED Green Associate LEED Green Assoc.) designation. If you’re planning to have your building LEED-certified, you first have to know in which specific LEED category your building falls under. Each category has specific prerequisites and a requisite number of points required in order to qualify.

New Construction and Major Renovations (NC+MR) applies to major renovation projects and new steel buildings and other buildings-particularly to institutional buildings and high-rise residential buildings, whether private or public.

Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (EB: O&M) refers to the certification of ongoing operations of existing commercial and institutional buildings. This covers offices, retail and service establishments, institutional buildings, hotels and 4-storey residential buildings.

Commercial Interiors (CI) refers to tenant spaces in office, retail and institutional buildings for owners or lesser.

Core and Shell Development (CS) is for developers who control the shell base building and entire core, but has no control over the design and construction of the tenant fit-out.

Schools, New Construction with steell buildings and other Major Renovations (SCH) refer to the certification of new school buildings and renovations of existing ones. Rescheck web 

Retail, New Construction and Commercial Interiors (Retail NC & Retail CI) is for all retail buildings and for tenant spaces in retail buildings.

Healthcare (HC) is for inpatient and outpatient care facilities and licensed long term care facilities. This also applies for medical offices, medical education and research centers, and assisted living facilities. If the renovation is not significant, then they can fall under the LEED EB: O&M category.

Homes, obviously, refers to the mainstream homebuilding industry. Homeowners can refer to a LEED for Homes specialist who can help in designing a home that’s in tune with the LEED rating system.

Neighborhood Development (ND), unlike the 8 categories, refers to entire neighborhoods and groups of buildings. Single-use neighborhoods can apply for a certification.

Several Energy Star® certified products are offered and will help you obtain sustainable design and LEED certification in some of the aforementioned categories.

Remember that there are many benefits to having a LEED building such as: Steel has a longer life cycle than wood or other materials, so they don’t need to be repaired or replaced as often. Some steel buildings have manufacturer structural guarantees of 50 years.

And when the day finally comes for a steel building to be torn down, all of that steel is going to get recycled yet again.

Heating and cooling loss around doors, windows, foundation and roofing can be a lot lower with steel buildings than with other types of building materials, because of how well steel buildings fit together.

Metal roofs are cool roofs, when they are painted the right color or reflective. Check out the Energy Star website and you’ll see a large number of metal roofslisted as Energy Star compliant.

Jon Smithinson,

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