The building industry is shifting away from traditional methods of construction and towards resiliency by designing for net zero, which ultimately results in lowered operation costs and reductions in a building’s environmental footprint. In 2018, the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) released the LEED Zero rating system, awarding developments that achieve net zero in the following categories:
“Net zero” means that what is produced (carbon and waste) and what is consumed (energy and water) are directly canceled out by lowering building energy use, diverting waste from landfills, generating solar energy on site, and reducing the amount of potable water consumed, ultimately resulting in an environmental balance of “zero”.
In order to qualify for LEED Zero, projects must currently be LEED BD+C and O+M certified or registered under O+M. LEED Zero Waste projects must provide TRUE Zero Waste Platinum Certification, and LEED Zero Carbon, Energy, and Water projects must provide 12 months of building operation data to LEED Online. This information is then analyzed on the Arc platform, which is free for anyone to start new projects or claim existing LEED projects. Arc also allows for a connection to ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, simplifying the data transfer and certification processes. By analyzing real energy use metrics, USGBC provides building owners the opportunity to certify that their developments are truly a cut above the rest and serve as one of the highest standards for the building industry.
If you have a LEED Certified project with exceptional performance and would like to take the extra step to prove it, contact VCA Green below for more information on how to qualify.
Contributing Writer: Alina Bonto, LEED AP (BD+C & Homes)
Moe Fakih, Principal