LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a third-party rating system that promotes the use of ‘green’ principles to contribute towards the building of healthy, efficient and cost-saving buildings. Being LEED-certified provides a boost for a company’s public image and it provides a framework for sustainability.
Of the green principles, energy consumption is one factor that is considered in determining the LEED rating that a building has earned. In this way, companies place more effort towards energy efficiency to achieve a higher rating.
How LEED Companies help reduce Energy Consumption
- Reduce building’s energy requirements
- Meet energy needs with efficient systems
- Encourage energy-efficient living
- Clean and renewable energy
The key to reducing a building’s energy requirements is by considering the use of nature when designing the building. Planting trees around a building can provide protection against the winter wind and shade from the summer sun. Orienting a building to take advantage of the sun’s angle, regardless of season, will certainly help with lighting costs. Proper insulation of the structure can mean significant cost savings on maintaining a comfortable temperature in summer or in winter.
Whatever the mechanical needs of the buildings are, efficiency can be obtained by choosing systems that are manufactured for efficiency, that work together with other systems, and that can be calibrated and monitored easily. Installing a computerized energy management system can make it simple to track loads and make necessary adjustments to HVAC, electrical, heating and cooling systems. The goal is comfort and efficiency.
Encouraging residents on how to adopt an energy-efficient lifestyle begins with education. They may feel that they need to give up a lot but a simple shift in understanding can have a great impact. Something as simple as showing the health benefits of natural sunlight and how to use it can offer an incentive to for the resident make use of it as opposed to turning the lights on.
Clean energy and renewables become easier to adopt once everything else in the building is efficient. There are many ways to incorporate renewable energy as part of the main system. For example, pairing a solar hot water system with an efficient central boiler can cut water costs by up to 70 percent.
O.C. McDonald is willing to commit to helping a project reach LEED certification requirements. Contact us at 408-295-2182 for more information.