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Commissioning Of Green Buildings

What is LEED™?

Green Buildings

The LEED Green Building Rating System™ is a benchmarking and design assistance tool for building owners, designers, and construction professionals. The system recognizes and rewards choices that improve the environmental performance of buildings, while serving as a method to compare buildings of different types and locations. LEED™ Version 2.0 is divided into six categories that address different areas of a building's environmental performance: Site Selection, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Innovation and Design Process. In each category, LEED™ contains credits that a building project can earn. In most categories, LEED™ also includes a few prerequisites, or mandatory features, that the project must include in order to be considered for a LEED™ rating.

The current Version 2.0 is applicable to new construction and renovation projects for commercial and industrial buildings in any U.S. location.  In total, there are 69 possible credits that a building project may earn. At a minimum, a project must achieve 26 credits to earn an award from the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED™ awards are divided into four levels, ranging from LEED™ Certified starting at 26 credits, to LEED™ Platinum starting at 52 credits.

Why LEED™ Includes Commissioning

To achieve a LEED™ rating, a whole-building approach must be used. There are not enough credits in any one category to reach the 26 minimum, so credits must be earned from several categories to be successful. LEED™ addresses a variety of environmental issues, ranging from farmland preservation and storm water runoff in the Site Selection category to energy efficiency and ozone depletion in the Energy and Atmosphere category. In essence, LEED™ offers a blueprint for creating better buildings, and it allows owners and professionals to decide the extent to which they want to apply it to their particular projects. As those in the commissioning industry are aware, the commissioning process is a highly effective method to improve the performance of building systems and equipment. The U.S. Green Building Council recognized the effectiveness and benefits that commissioning would provide in green buildings, and decided to include commissioning in the LEED™ system.