FAQs - Green Building and Greenheck
- What is the USGBC?
- Does Greenheck belong to the USGBC?
- What is LEED(tm)?
- How does a building qualify for LEED credit/status?
- Do individual products carry a LEED Certification?
- How many points can Greenheck products help with?
- Do Greenheck products qualify for the material and resource credits?
- Can we say that Greenheck products contain XX% recycled content?
- There are varying LEED programs in place. What are they and what do the suffix letters mean?
Q: What is the USGBC?A:
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a non-profit agency composed of leaders from every sector of the building industry working to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work. More than 10,000 member organizations and a network of 75 regional chapters are united to advance the mission of transforming the building industry to sustainability.
The U.S. Green Building Councilï¿½s core purpose is to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated. These directives will enable an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life.
Q: Does Greenheck belong to the USGBC?A: Yes. Greenheck was one of the first manufacturers to join the USGBC. We joined the USGBC in 2005.
Q: What is LEED(tm)?A: LEED™ stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and is the Green Building Rating System Trade Mark (™), which was developed by the USGBC. It is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings’ performance. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health:
• Sustainable Site Development
• Water Savings
• Energy Efficiency
• Materials Selection
• Indoor Environmental Quality.
Q: How does a building qualify for LEED credit/status?A: Architects and engineers work hand-in-hand as they design a building to ensure that as many elements as possible qualify for the LEED points system. As construction of the building is completed, LEED applications are filed with the USGBC.
As the engineer is designing the building, their specifications may include language that will demand products be "green" compliant. In the case of Greenheck products, ASHRAE has worked with the USGBC to tie the LEED requirements to an ASHRAE standard. As shown on the Greenheck/LEED chart, the ASHRAE standard is referenced, along with the LEED prerequisite or credit that our products support.
Q: Do individual products carry a LEED Certification?A: No. Products that go into a building contribute to the attainment of points within a category as part of the mechanical system. All system elements must comply. If proof of each element is provided, the point(s) for that category are awarded.
Q: How many points can Greenheck products help with?A: The points required for the varying levels of LEED certified buildings are as follows:
• Certified 26-32 points
• Silver 33-38 points
• Gold 39-51 points
• Platinum 52-69 points.
Greenheck products primarily fit within two categories, Energy and Atmosphere (EA) and Indoor Environmental Quality (EQ) (See chart below.) Louver products may qualify for recycled content credits.
Q: Do Greenheck products qualify for the material and resource credits?A: Many companies go after the "locally sourced materials" category which gives credit if the product and the material to produce it are procured from a source within 500 miles of the job site. HVAC materials and related equipment are specifically excluded from this calculation; louvers, sunshades and roof curbs do not meet requirements because we cannot provide the specific origin or raw or reclaimed materials.
Q: Can we say that Greenheck products contain XX% recycled content?A: Louvers and sunshades can be included. Greenheck's mechanical products are specifically excluded from the material and resource credits, recycled content sections.
Why? Louvers and sunshades can be included in MR credit 4.1. Because mechanical systems are not permanently affixed to the building. The LEED rating system for these credits only apply to what is deemed as permanently affixed, or part of the structure of the building.
Q: There are varying LEED programs in place. What are they and what do the suffix letters mean?A: Each category of construction work has a two letter suffix associated with it:
• LEED-NC = New Construction and Major Renovations. This is for high performance commercial and institutional projects and is where Greenheck has chosen to prepare materials for.
• LEED-EB = Existing Buildings. This is focused on updating elements of an existing building for operational efficiency.
• LEED-CI = Commercial Interiors. This category focuses on tenants of buildings and provides credits for individual spaces within an existing building for the portions for which they have design control.
• LEED-CS = Core and Shell. Focused on base building elements such as structure, envelope and building level systems like central HVAC.
There is also a group of residential/home construction codes, which do not apply to Greenheck commercial products.