What is LEED Platinum?
LEED is a world-wide green building certification program developed by the non-profit US Green Building Council (USGBC), which rates how developers and owners design, construct, develop and maintain green buildings, homes and whole neighborhoods. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, sets out to measure two important aspects of the built environment: Energy Usage and Indoor Environment Quality.
Why does it matter?
Energy-efficient and smarter-built buildings bring the good in, like clean air and access to daylight, and keep the bad out, including harmful chemicals found in paints, finishes and more. LEED creates healthy spaces. Buildings that optimize health and well-being provide huge physical and economic benefits and are more important than ever.
Above top, 1508 Summer Ave NW, one of the newest LEED Platinum townhomes in the MetroABQ. Directly above, the new Nob Hill Platinum Apartments- an example of a multi-unit Platinum project.
LEED Platinum is the highest rating available based on a 100-point system. The other certifications are simple LEED Certified, Silver & Gold. I consider that Platinum is like getting a grade-point of an A, Gold and Silver are a grade of B & C, and Certified is simply passing. The 100-point system measures important building concerns, including:
- Site Selection: Will the home block the sun on neighboring properties or allow sunlight for activities like gardening?
- Community Resources/Transit: Is it close to mass transit and/or Greenspaces?
- Landscaping: Are you using native plants or invasive species?
- Heat Island Effects: Are you using a lot of concrete, or heat-absorbing materials?
- Nontoxic Pest Control: Are you using toxic chemical to alleviate pests?
- Development Density: Are you building in a moderately dense or high density area?
- Water Efficiency: Is water being used efficiently or being wasted inside or outside?
- Energy Usage: How efficient are the appliances, and how tight is the building envelope?
- Indoor Environmental (Air) Quality: How healthy is the interior air you will breathe? Studies have shown that green buildings provide better indoor environmental quality with direct benefits to human health in comparison to non-green buildings.