One of the phenomena with the greatest impact in the contemporary world is certainly climate change. The challenges to halting the impact this has on the ecosystem are numerous and require radical transformations, starting from corporate strategies. The building sector is responsible for about half of total energy consumption globally, with a production of about 40% of carbon dioxide emissions and 38% of garbage.
In this context, LEED was born, an incentive system for the design and production of sustainable buildings as a whole through the attribution of a green certification.
ORIGINS OF LEED CERTIFICATION
The “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design”, better known by the acronym LEED, is a system for evaluating the energy efficiency and ecological footprint of buildings, developed in the United States by the USGBC and recognized today at a global level. The LEED® standards define the requirements for the construction of environmentally sustainable buildings, both from an energy point of view and from the point of view of the consumption of all environmental resources involved in the construction process
LEED®, a system based on the will and applicable to any type of building (both residential and commercial), extends throughout the life span of the building, from design to construction, up to the management of green buildings and territorial areas high performance, with the aim of promoting and encouraging the aspects of green building.
BENEFITS AND DISADVANTAGES
Buildings designed with LEED certification in mind use key resources more efficiently than conventional buildings built solely in relation to civil building codes.
The USGBC department has drawn up a list of benefits deriving from the application of a LEED strategy, which consist of an improvement in air and water quality, a reduction in solid waste, benefits closely related to a healthier living and working environment. All of which positively influence productivity gains and improvements in the health and comfort of employees, owners, occupants and society as a whole.
The downside of applying a LEED strategy is higher than standard initial project and construction costs, as sustainable building principles may take longer to research, could lead to misunderstanding by the various design groups and construct the building, as well as the end customer, or lack of availability of materials required by LEED requirements, bureaucratic costs for certification, and so on.
However, although the initial costs are higher, designing a building from a green perspective results in long-term savings, for example thanks to lower operating costs, increased productivity of employees, the use of renewable sources.
The LEED® rating system is structured in a set of protocols based on the type of building to be certified. The setup of all these protocols is the same, i.e. they are all organized in the same areas or chapters.
- Sustainable Sites (SS)
- Water Management (GA)
- Energy and Atmosphere (EA)
- Materials and Resources (MR)
- Indoor air quality (IQ)
Each area is organized into prerequisites and credits. The prerequisites of each section are mandatory for the whole building to be certified, while the credits can be chosen according to the characteristics of the project.
The sum of the credit scores determines the level of certification obtained, which can be:
- Basic (40-49 points)
- Silver (50-59 points)
- Gold (60-79 points)
- Platinum (80 points and above).
The certification constitutes a verification by an independent third party of the performance of an entire building (or part of it) and/or urban areas. The certification attests that the building is a healthy and environmentally friendly place
Although the LEED® rating system certifies the building and not the individual products or components of the building, the latter can contribute to meeting the requirements required by the protocol and consequently to obtaining the relative scores for the building.
Time lapse devices allow to support the LEED certification activity, facilitating the documentation of the works and the compliance with the requirements during the construction phase. Through remote monitoring and control of the progress of the works it is possible to verify the objectives set for the building and in any case the timing and progressive developments, reducing the visits in person and at the same time making the inspection visits more efficient professionals and operators who need to constantly monitor the construction site.
Industrial cameras are, therefore, an efficient tool to support the activity of the professionals who guide the certification, including the Commissioning Authority or the LEED APs, the LEED accredited professionals.