LEED is eco-friendly
The Carol Stream Park District board voted to seek a LEED silver or gold standard for the new recreation center – so what exactly does this mean?
LEED is a green building ratings system based on a 100 point scale.The building owner chooses from a “menu” of green features or practices they want for the building. Each menu item selected has a point value. The points are totaled up to determine the level of certification, which is available is standard, silver, gold and platinum levels.
Choices on the menu of options range from storm water control to energy efficiency to green building materials, etc. This allows the building owner to select the types of features and systems that will achieve their individual goals for the building.
LEED is cost effective
Achieving a LEED certification will allow the park district to apply for green building grants, and will save money on operating costs. An upfront investment of 2% in green building design, on average, results in life cycle savings of 20% of the total construction costs – more than ten times the initial investment.
|Financial Benefits of Green Buildings Summary of Findings (per sq ft)|
|20 year Net (present value)|
|Energy Savings||$ 5.80|
|Water Savings||$ .50|
|Operations and Maintenance Savings||$8.50|
|Average Extra Cost of Building Green ($3 to $5)||-$ 4.00|
|Total 20-year Net Savings||$10.80|
|20 year savings for 85,000 sq ft bldng||$918,000.00|
|Source: Capital E Analytics, 2007|
LEED has wordwide acceptance
Once considered experimental, the LEED system has gained widespread acceptance. LEED has become the nationally accepted benchmark for sustainable buildings and is recognized worldwide. The number of projects certified each year is growing rapidly. The 8,000th certification will be awarded sometime in 2011. Gold is the most commonly awarded, and fastest growing, level.
LEED is good for the community
In public forums held before the referendum in 2010, being green was highlighted as one of the most important factors for residents.
There are also important health benefits associated with a “green” building.
- Healthy indoor air quality through proper ventilation, minimizing or eliminating exposure to toxic cleaning chemicals and building materials, maximizing use of natural light, and proper temperature control directly affect the health and well-being of the people that use the building.
- Reduced use of fossil fuels, reduced air and water pollution, reduced storm water runoff, and reduced waste directly and positively impact the health of our residents and the environment.