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Building Leed in Mt. Adams
By: Russ Ferneding
Two years ago, my wife and I sold our suburban home, in a move that many call downsizing, and moved to Mt. Adams to begin a new chapter in our lives called city living.
We chose Mt. Adams due to the spectacular views and proximity to downtown. But the added value, which we really didn’t realize until we moved here, was the strong “Community” that is present in every way in this “urban oasis”.
After being here for a little over 6 months as renters, we finally decided to take the plunge and build a home here on the “Hill”.
We demolished an older home that had numerous issues that were not resolvable. Working with an architect, we decided to make our new home a “Green-LEED certified home”.
Why did we decide this, and what exactly does Green-LEED certified mean?
Green building is the practice of creating homes out of materials that are environmentally responsible, using processes that create a resource-efficient home — throughout its life.
Also known as “sustainable” or a “high-performance” home, a green home is a highly efficient home. A green home is built with products that are better for the environment such as recycled countertops and composite decking, and also extend into lighting and plumbing fixtures that help minimize the consumption of water, energy and natural resources. Green building also means minimizing environmental effects – such as waste and pollution.
And, at the end of the day, building a green home promotes a healthier living environment.
Many homes can be built using “Green” materials and workmanship, but what sets apart a Green home from a Green-LEED certified home?
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and is simply a certification process that was set up by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to certify green homes. LEED details the code that all parties who touch the home – from architects, builders, developers, and subcontractors will follow.
People often hear that a project is LEED certified Silver or Gold status. There are actually four levels of LEED certification, and projects are awarded points as a project is built. Depending upon the number of points received, the project is awarded certified, silver, gold or platinum status.
There are nine key areas measured by LEED:
• Sustainable Sites
• Water Efficiency
• Energy and Atmosphere
• Materials and Resources
• Indoor Environmental Quality
• Location and Linkages
• Awareness and Education
• Innovation in Design
• Regional Priority
So, a home can be considered a Green Home, but NOT LEED-certified. A completely custom green home can be built, using all of the same products and processes, and yet the homeowners may choose NOT to get the home LEED certified. Some homeowners feel it is enough to know that their home has been built according to green building standards, and is more efficient and well-built, but choose not to go through the process and expense of the LEED certification process.
We did decide to go through the LEED certified process. This requires us to detail the source of our materials, purchase Environmental Preferred Products, establish utility tracking, and ensure that all of the windows, furnace/air conditioner and all plumbing fixtures and water sources meet all ENERGY STAR requirements.
So, we have made a commitment to our new community by getting involved in various facets of community life and we made a commitment to building a home that is environmentally positive.
If you would like additional information on Green Building, and the LEED process, please feel free to visit the following web-site to learn more: http://www.usgbc.org/leed
Information provided Sumeta Sachdeva. Photos by CBT Architects
The Miami University Western Dining Facility is a new 46,000-square-foot dining hall and includes distinct station-style eateries including a teahouse and a new on-site convenience store.
The marche-style dining layout houses a variety of tables, booths, counter seating and high-tops. The south end of the building provides outdoor seating and space for banquet seating, catering and special functions.
Sustainable features include a rooftop rain garden, on-site storm water retention and filtration, and LED downlighting. Exterior finishes, specifically Indiana limestone and western red cedar, flow into the building’s interior to blur the lines between the dining hall and it’s natural setting and large expanses of glass take advantage of surrounding views. It achieved LEED-Silver Certification July 28, 2015.
Other green features include:
- A low heat-island effect roof and hardscapes
- Efficient enhanced commissioning efforts
- 32% energy cost savings compared to a standard ASHRAE 90.1-2007 benchmark building
- Over 75% of waste generated during construction was diverted from landfill
- All low-emitting materials were used consistently throughout the construction process
- Over 10% of the total building materials consisted of recycled content and over 10% was manufactured and harvested regionally