As tenant demand for green buildings increases, so does the number of building owners seeking LEED Certification for their facilities. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), the internationally recognized certification system designed by the U.S. Green Building Council, provides third-party verification that a building or neighborhood was designed and built using green building strategies. The LEED rating system sets a series of requirements that must be met to obtain certification points. Implementation of a building automation system provides an effective means of meeting many of the rating system requirements, so projects can achieve LEED Certification.
The U.S. Green Building Council has designated nine separate LEED rating systems, each focusing on a different aspect of the built environment, such as New Construction & Major Renovations, Core & Shell Development, and Commercial Interiors. Each rating system requires a designated number of points in several main green building credit categories, and the number of points the project earns determines its level of LEED certification, which can be Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum. The main credit categories are aimed at achieving high performance in key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, indoor environmental quality, and innovation in design. Building automation systems can help projects gain points in several of the main categories:
By managing the lighting, heating, and cooling of unused areas, building automation solutions improve buildings’ energy efficiency. Lighting control systems use time and zone controls to turn off lights in any area of a building that is unoccupied, relying on occupancy sensors to indicate when people move from area to area and switching the lights on or off accordingly. When used correctly, lighting control can reduce a building’s energy costs by 25%.
Temperature control lowers energy consumption by accurately monitoring and maintaining specified set points through building automation. Smart building automation software analyzes energy use to provide energy savings while maintaining the comfort of inhabitants. It also provides the capacity to receive, store and analyze metering and sensor data provided to optimize and track energy use.
Indoor Environmental Quality
A building automation system improves the indoor environmental quality using air quality monitoring and control systems to efficiently reduce carbon dioxide levels, and safeguards building tenants from potential harm due to poor air quality and pollutants. Building automation systems control and adjust humidity, avoiding the danger presented by toxic mold that can flourish in uncontrolled humidity situations. Indoor parking garages can also expose users to poisonous gases when improperly ventilated; even building occupants who avoid the parking garage are at risk because elevators, stairwells, and ineffective ventilation systems can allow dangerous gases to infiltrate an entire structure. Air quality control solutions monitor and eliminate unsafe levels of both CO and NO2 in indoor parking garages to protect the health and well-being of the entire building’s occupants.
Innovation in Design
Building automation systems are on the cutting edge of technology, continually evolving and incorporating new design features. Ongoing technological advances in the building automation industry make building automation systems eminently suited to be applied in innovative ways. In addition to the current monitoring and control applications used today, building automation systems will continue to be expanded to include other sustainable applications.
Are you seeking LEED certification for your building? Advanced Control Corporation can help! Advanced Control Corp has been at the forefront of green building in South Florida for over twenty years. Our specialists have helped thousands of buildings achieve energy efficiency and reduce their carbon footprint, and we are eager to help you enjoy the benefits of green construction, too. Contact Advanced Control today at 954-491-6660 to get a fast start on the path to LEED certification!