The topic of building a sustainable world towards a progressive future has remained a top priority for the architecture community. LEED ( leadership in energy and design) has framed a global wholesome set of regulations to achieve the same. The assurance of an overseeing committee with standards set based on the geographical and economical states, helps architects understand the direction in which their said project has to proceed to gain the necessary credits. This article by Ar. Lucy C Willams gives a set of insights on the practical procedure.
Educate your client
Ultimately the decision to derive a LEED certification is possible with the initiation to the client. No point if that’s not settled. As architects, we need to find a ground to educate our clients on how this direction of design is about the gain for the 3 P’s-people, profit and planet. The reduction in carbon footprint, the inclusion of local materials and community, the built-up ratio which may seem generic for those dealing on a daily basis, needs a valuation of expression for the client. The stress on what the building gives back in terms of energy efficiency, waste management and overall productivity has to be pointed out. This also means an explanation on the time involved in the process, to deviate to a certain extent from the conventional planning is owed. It’s a two-way approach. Reaping the sowed seeds of intent and process.
An early integration
The success of acquiring a LEED tick mark is proportional to the amount of preplanning and the team goals set. The different teams have to efficiently communicate to prepare for the project. The design team needed a nod from the budgeting team to initiate the construction team and henceforth. The awareness of each department’s work needs constant surveillance to keep up the pace. This helps eliminate the miscommunicated ideas which may cause mishaps on the site by a large extent.
Back to basics
Identification of the basic good green design strategies fills up the primary course. The site selection, its history (brownfield sites for eg), the proximity to the community, placement, and orientation with the climatological challenges, the summer and winter sciography concern to be sorted. Adapting to such passive strategies helps later saving a lot on the installation of advanced equipment such as turbines and solar cells to save up financially and increase energy efficiency.
The need to plan above the estimated budget is vital for the LEED orientated budgets as these involve a series of documentation as proof for applying for the credits. Based on the aimed standard of certified, silver, gold, and platinum with the corresponding minimum credits, the categories in which they’ve been applied also range the monetary requirements. We need to realize that this is not just done with the completion of the construction. The users of the space with the energy consumption for a stipulated period needs to function to apply. Hence, The maintenance costs cannot go unnoticed. Keeping the owner/client in the loop over the happenings is necessary for smooth professional
It is mandatory to have a LEED AP (accredited professional) in the team to impart their expertise in various areas of the design and planning process. The tests are conducted under the supervision of the USGBC (U.S Green building’s council). The project administration along with the communication with the committee to get the certification is brought about by the LEED AP
Developing the design
The schematic approach towards attaining the goal needs a realistic take. The perquisites are to evolve a built form where people live a healthy and stress-free life. In the later stage, different strategies have to be adopted to earn the required number of credits. The goal of the grading system helps have sorted a vision. The solution to a complex problem can have a simple and obvious solution. For example, if there is a sound proximity to access public transport to the site of the project, the users can make use of the opportunity reducing fossil fuel intake ( indirect impact), reduce the parking spots and material usage, which on a more intricate level reduces the heating without the direct exposure of concrete pavement on the ground level. Such small steps can have a huge effect on the overall functionality of the building and be cost-effective too.
The whole point.
The initial investments for a LEED-certified building may seem overwhelming. But with proper knowledge and apt approach we can attain a space that is having a better impact on the planet. The building life cycle and the user’s experience can see an exponential positive growth. Attaining enough knowledge on the different categories and the budget constraints to sort out a healthy closed-loop cycle is credible.