LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) is a points rating system to recognize green buildings as prescribed by the United States Green Building Counsel. The latest version is LEED v4, which includes new features and improvements that create more flexibility for projects and a better customer experience, among other benefits of the updated rating system.
Plumbing can be a significant factor in most projects and may provide easy points toward achieving LEED certification with modest cost. For example, making some of the below changes can run about $0.50 per square foot, but the more involved updates come with higher price tags.
Certain prerequisite changes must be made before any LEED points can be earned, such as building-level water metering, energy performance reduction by 5 percent, and indoor and outdoor water use reduction by 20 and 30 percent, respectively. Below are the changes that can be made to accrue points:
- Outdoor water use reduction by 50 percent: 2 points
- Indoor water use reduction by 45 percent: 5 points
- Water metering (sub-metering): 1 point
- Optimized energy performance, plumbing related: 1 point
- Renewable energy production: 2 points
- Advanced energy metering: 1 point
Here are the top four changes that can be made to earn LEED points with plumbing:
- Use smart fixture placement along corridor walls instead of back-of-room
- Use Energy Star equipment and Water Sense certified fixtures
- Harvest and re-use rainwater
- Heat domestic water with solar energy
RTM plumbing experts are available to conduct an AIA continuing education course on the topic of plumbing and LEED certification. Interested firms should contact RTM Engineering Consultants’ marketing manager Jessica Kacmar
at 312-216-0509 or firstname.lastname@example.org.