How the New LEED Certification for Buildings is Improving/Affecting

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Transcript How the New LEED Certification for Buildings is Improving/Affecting

How the LEED Certification for New
Construction is Improving/Affecting Site
By Gilberto Rosado, P.E.
EVPP 607
The primary cause of species extinction is habitat
destruction (development, agricultural)
 Grasslands now cover only 12% of Earth’s surface (Used
to be 42%)
 Aquatic ecosystems are been affected by runoff that
contains contaminants because of decrease in pervious
 Deforestation has affected biodiversity around the
 Buildings consume more than 13% of all the water
produced in the United States any given day.
Background (cont’d)
In the United States, buildings consume 40% of total
energy, 72% of electricity, consume 13% of potable
water, and produce 39% of CO2 emissions.
 30% of the water produced in a day (26 billion gallons)
is destined to outdoor uses and landscaping. (EPA, 2009)
 More than 160 million tons of waste is generated by
construction activities each year. (EPA, 2007)
 Impervious surface coverage is 83,347 square
kilometers (75% of the area of the state of Ohio)
(NOAA, 2007)
Green Building Trend
During the last 10 years “green buildings” have become
very popular
Many systems have been developed worldwide:
◦ Green Globes
◦ Green Star
◦ BREEAM (Building Research Environment Assessment
Method Consultancy)
LEED is the most popular in the
United States
What is LEED?
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)
– evaluates the performance of buildings, homes,
schools, etc.
 Assigns certification levels that translate to
environmental friendliness of a facility.
 USGBC (United States Green Building Council)
Types of Certification
LEED areas that can affect site
Site Selection
First Division in the LEED process.
Aims to take pressure off green sites.
Gives Priority to brown fields.
Prohibits construction near wetlands, rivers,
Site Selection Cases
Chicago Center for Green Technology
◦ Constructed on 17 acres of contaminated
soils and debris (after cleaned)
◦ Used as an illegal dump site for chemicals
and construction debris
Site Selection Cases
South Waterfront Redevelopment Project
◦ Developed in 130 acres of contaminated site.
◦ One of the biggest redevelopment projects in
the United States.
Sustainable Sites
How does it help the Ecology of a site?
◦ Protects green areas and its species.
◦ Helps architects and engineers select sites
that can be restored.
◦ New plants and species can be reintroduced.
◦ Gives incentive to select sites away from
water bodies.
Protection and Restoration of
Credit 5.1 limits areas of disturbance around the
building constructed.
 Master plan should be created to protect plants and
 Clearly delineates protected areas.
 If using a pre-developed site, 50% of the area has to be
 Only the use of native species is allowed.
 Priority is given to species requiring no irrigation or
 Help of an Ecologist is “suggested”
Protection and Restoration of
Habitat (Cont’d)
George Mason University
◦ 5 Trees were relocated in 2009 from a
construction site.
Protection and Restoration of
Habitat (Cont’d)
Common measures used in construction:
Tree Preservation
Detention ponds to prevent soil erosion
Protection and Restoration of
Habitat (Cont’d)
How does it help the Ecology of a Site?
◦ Protects areas that are not needed for
◦ Protects trees and species already existing on
◦ Creates a plan to identify species that can be
Water Quantity/Quality Control
Credits 6.1 & 6.2 refers to Quantity and Quality
Aims to minimize sedimentation in storm water
Minimize the amount of water and the rate in which is
Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans and National
Pollution Discharge Elimination Systems are required
Measures Include:
Sedimentation Ponds
Silt Fences
Bio-retention ponds
Sediment Traps
Water Quantity/Quality Control
Silt fence over Inlet
Bio-Retention Swale
Sedimentation Pond
Water Quantity/Quality Control
How does it affect the Ecology of a site?
◦ Reduces turbidity in the water entering
◦ Eliminate contaminants from construction
◦ Reduce the rate of runoff in rainfall events.
◦ Incentivize the use of green areas (i.e. bioretention swale)
Heat Island effect
Heat Island Effect is the difference in temperature that is
caused by materials used in construction as roofing,
asphalt, and others.
 The difference in temperature between a City and a rural
area can be of up to 22 degrees Fahrenheit.
 Credits 7.1 & 7.2 deal with minimizing Heat Island Effect
 Heat Island Effect causes:
Increase in energy consumption
Elevated emissions and pollution
Change in comfort for human and species
Increase in water runoff temperature
Heat Island Effect
Heat Island Effect
How does LEED try to minimize Heat
Island Effect?
◦ Incentivize the use of Green Roofs
◦ Add tree cover to open areas
◦ Use roofing materials with high reflectance
◦ Use cool pavements.
Heat Island Effect
Green Roof
Roof with Hi Solar Reflectance Index
Cool Pavements
Heat Island Effect
How does it affect the Ecology of a site?
◦ LEED helps architects to provide measures to
reduce the temperature of a site, making it
more comfortable for birds and insects.
◦ Pollution and Emissions can be reduced in the
long run, helping the air quality.
Light Pollution
Light pollution is the excessive or obstructive light that
limits the visibility of the night sky.
It interferes with animal physiology.
It affects how insects navigate at night.
Changes pollination in plants that depend on night insects.
For migratory birds, light pollution can cause
For sea turtles, it can change the direction in which new
hatchings swim once born.
Light Pollution
Measure that LEED suggests:
◦ Reduction of light leakage from the interior of
◦ Reduce the amount of lighting used in
common areas
◦ Use light fixtures that redirect its light beam
Light Pollution
Light Pollution
Light poles use for light pollution
Light bollards for exterior
Areas that LEED Cover (Cont’d)
Reduction in Water Use (up to 50%)
 Reduction of Runoff Water (up to 90%)
◦ Protection of marine habitats
Use of native plants in landscaping
◦ Reintroduction of local species
Material Reuse and Recycling
 Certified Wood
 FSC – Forest Stewardship Council
Something Missing?
Initial Ecological Assessment
◦ General Assessment of the characteristics
of the site.
◦ Check for ecological trends.
◦ Identify regional species and goals
Something Missing?
Plant and Animal List
◦ A tally should be made of all the plant species, and insects that
live currently in the area.
◦ Identify how these species will be affected by the construction
◦ Determine if re-introduction of species is feasible/warranted by
the type of project.
Something Missing?
Mitigation Plan
◦ Determine local and regional conservation targets.
◦ Analyze if the project can or will have landscape connectivity.
◦ Identify the spatial extent of the areas affected in relation to its
◦ Identify the additive impact in habitats caused by the project.
◦ Determine what type of mitigation effort shall be included in the
Include Species Inventory in rating system
 Incentivize the re-introduction of native
animal species
 Create a mitigation plan
 Include ecological evaluation in every
project silver or higher
Construction project will always have an effect in the
Ecology of a site.
As determined in a study in the UK, current green
building certification programs found:
◦ There is no common approach to assessment of biodiversity across the principal
sustainability tools.
◦ Sustainability tools could be improved to assess biodiversity in a more meaningful way,
which better assesses the value of habitats that are gained and lost.
◦ Improvements could be made to the tools which focus users on making a genuine
contribution to local ecological value, rather than unintentionally encouraging a ‘tickbox’
◦ Sustainability tools do not encourage the industry to appropriately monitor and therefore
meaningfully maintain and manage habitats created through development.
The LEED certification program is a “good start” towards
being ecologically conscious.
Effort needs to be put towards developing programs that
include ecological assessments.