When your organization is looking to be more environmentally friendly on your next building project, pursuing the LEED certification is a great way to go. This is the most recognized green building certification in the country, and it has some international clout as well. LEED certifications take into account many aspects of the building process through energy use, efficiency and how well the project naturally interacts with the site. You are awarded points for several components of the building, and using green power is one of the ways to earn LEED points.
Accessing Green Energy for Construction
Even though you could produce your own ecologically friendly energy for use during the construction project, this type of a process is usually a lot more cost intensive than most construction companies are willing to try. It would require that you install wind turbines, solar panels, or other renewable energy collection methods and rely on these throughout the construction process.
A much easier way to do it is to simply purchase RECs or renewable energy credits. Each credit represents a large parcel of renewable energy produced somewhere around the world. By buying RECs, you will be offsetting energy needed while in the building process and they count towards your LEED certification.
Green Going Forward
In addition to using green energy during the construction phase of your project, also establish ways to go green in the building’s ongoing energy use. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to do this which all count toward the LEED certificate.
• Install solar water heaters instead of traditional gas or electric powered heaters.
• Take advantage of a wind turbine to produce some or all of your energy requirements your building will use.
• Set up solar thermal or photovoltaic systems to harness the energy of the sun and convert it into electricity for use in the building.
• Harness geothermal energy coming from deep earth water or steam to directly heat the building.
• Purchase renewable energy credits from a renewable energy producer or your power company to offset the additional cost of producing renewable energy away from your site.
These solutions are all valid green energy options to earn LEED points and can provide all the power you need for the day-to-day energy requirements of your building. The higher the percentage of your energy that comes from green sources, the more LEED points you are eligible to earn.
Green power for your building is a great alternative to helping the environment instead of consuming fossil fuels. This not only lessens your environmental impact, but it also helps you earn a prestigious LEED certification.