As of November 1, 2016, LEED v4, the US Green Building Council’s (USGBC) fourth version of LEED is in effect. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a program designed to change the way buildings and communities are planned, constructed, maintained and operated.
According to USGBC, leaders around the world have made LEED the most widely used third-party verification for green buildings, with around 1.85 million square feet being certified daily.
In addition to previous standards, LEED v4 is highly focused on Energy Efficiency and includes these focus areas:
- Materials – focuses on materials to get a better understanding of what’s in them and the effect those components have on human health and the environment;
- Performance-based – takes a more performance-based approach to indoor environmental quality to ensure improved occupant comfort;
- Smart Grid – brings the benefits of smart grid thinking to the forefront with a credit that rewards projects for participating in demand response programs; and,
- Water Efficiency – provides a clearer picture of water efficiency by evaluating total building water use.
As reported in Commercial Property Executive, LEED v4 is placing more emphasis on energy optimization. During CPE’s interview with Corey Enck, vice president of LEED technical development at the USGBC, Enck said, “The projects must now be at least 14 percent more energy efficient than the previous version, and 20 percent of all points will be centered on energy efficiency. Projects must also have an Energy Star score of at least 75, up from 69, he said, referring to the Environmental Protection Agency-backed rating system that promotes energy efficiency and uses an interactive tool to track buildings’ energy, water and, most recently, waste consumption.”
The Bautex Block underscores energy efficiency for LEEDv4, while it also exceeds 2015 IECC energy code zones 1 – 6. Building owners and architects who want to build with sustainable products can take note that the Bautex Block is a sustainable product, comprised of 28% recycled materials by weight. Buildings built using the Bautex Block Wall System have a tighter building envelope, creating quieter, more comfortable buildings with higher indoor air quality.
Bautex is a member of US Green Building Council, and several of the company’s employees are members of the US Green Building Council Texas Chapter. Bautex is also a Silver Chapter Partner of USGBC Texas. Just like the USGBC, Bautex wants to transform the way buildings, homes and communities are designed, built, maintained and operated in Texas.