In the process of renovation, the concept of creating an environmentally responsible building was a major priority for the library. Taking that into consideration, several design decisions have been based on the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification program. Below are some quick facts on the rating system:
- LEED = Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design
- Applying for a LEED certification means we are committed to having a green building that is environmentally responsible.
- The LEED certification we are hoping to achieve is for a “New Construction and Major Renovations” project.
- Although we should qualify, we will not actually gain LEED certification until after the completion of the building; this means we are in the application process and several of the construction/design decisions are based on green strategies that may aid in our certification.
- The LEED rating system is based on several categories: 1) Sustainable Sites, 2) Water Efficiency, 3) Energy and Atmosphere, 4) Materials and Resources, 5) Indoor Environmental Quality, 6) Innovation and Design Process, and 7) Regional Priority Credits.
- In each category, there are a number of possible credits – some credits we qualify for, some we don’t, and some we might qualify for.
Now that you have a better understanding of LEED, let’s talk about how it applies to our renovation project. Below is a snapshot of a document that details each credit we qualify for (leaving out the “maybe” ones) and what it means to us/how we are achieving it. The actual LEED application was created by expert architects, but we wanted to translate it into something that made more sense to the public (and us!).
Some of the descriptions point to specific details of our renovation (example: for the “water use reduction” credit we will be using 1/8 gallon urinals to save water), while others are more generic. The goal is to give you more information about our potential LEED certification in a way that anyone can understand, and relate the credits to our specific building. Click on the photos below if you want to know how we’re going green at the library!