U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a consensus driven, committee-based, nonprofit organization started in 1993. The USGBC provides LEED certification and registration for buildings and LEED accreditation for people.
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), Green Building Rating System® is administered by the USGBC to assess building performance and sustainability goals. It addresses facility design considerations for sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. The LEED for New Construction and Renovation (LEEDNC), Version 2.2 was originally developed for new office buildings and is the most common green building rating system used nationwide. LEED Certification does many things for a building including: establishes metrics for the sustainability of a building, holds the design and construction teams accountable for their performance and functions as a valuable marketing tool.
LEED-NC requires seven prerequisites including:
The Green Square Complex will strive for a LEED certification level of Gold for both the DENR Office Building and the Nature Research Center.
In addition to the above prerequisites all LEED Projects are required to achieve two Energy Credits. This requires a 14 percent savings in energy cost over the ASHRAE 90.1-2004 Energy Standard for New Construction projects, and a 7 percent energy cost savings for Existing Building Renovation projects. Energy modeling is required in order to achieve these two points.