No product, no matter how innovative and environmentally friendly, earns Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) points, or is certified to receive LEED points on its own merits. Yet contractors, architects, and designers rely on these products and services to help their projects earn coveted platinum, gold, and silver ratings by the U.S. Green Building Council (US-GBC), which administers the program.
Interest in environmentally friendly projects is growing. More than 1500 buildings have received LEED certification since the program started in 2000; more than 11,000 are seeking it. Plus, there are many other projects which follow green construction practices but don't seek accreditation.
Some have criticized the current rating system as too rigid, cumbersome, demanding, and costly, and for awarding points illogically. For instance, installing a bike rack gets one point, as does installing a costly HVAC system.
This could change. A modification to the certification process, dubbed LEED 2009, debuts in January. LEED 2009 will reorganize the commercial rating systems. The matrix will consolidate, align, and update green practices into one system that's “simpler and more elegant and committed to continuous improvement,” says USGBC spokeswoman Ashley Katz.
“These changes, giving LEED an umbrella ratings system, will streamline the process and make it less confusing, especially for non-practitioners,” adds Anne Jackson, an associate at architecture firm Perkins+Will of Chicago.
As the rating process becomes more detailed, producers will benefit. The following products provide some opportunities to help a producer's customer achieve his goal of LEED certification. For more information, circle the reader service number.
Dust Control for Concrete
The DB-60 is a fully automated pressure misting system designed to reduce fugitive dust emissions. The oscillating ducted fan features 30 brass nozzles that atomize water droplets to the optimum size of between 50 and 200 microns. The system features an automatic oscillation and a 25-hp motor that can provide coverage for a 200-foot throw and can cover 21,000 square feet. Dust Control Technology. 800-707-2204. www.dustboss.com.
Eco-friendly concrete protection
StarSeal EF is a complete product line of contractor supplies and concrete treatments formulated to be environmentally responsible, while performing to a high level. The product line includes polished concrete treatment, concrete cleaners, moisture control, form treatments, acrylic coatings, protective treatments, hardeners, and densifiers. All formulations are low-odor for better air quality, have low VOC content, and can be used in systems that qualify for LEED points. Vexcon Chemicals. 888-839-2661. www.vexcon.com.
Insulation for walls
The R-ETRO System is a fast, flexible, non-invasive insulation that will add an R-value of 18 to existing wall surfaces. The system easily adapts to the shape of an existing building and around protrusions and openings. Attach it to any concrete, brick, or masonry wall. The system keeps heat inside in colder climates and keeps heat out in warmer climates. Quad-Lock Building Systems Ltd. 888-711-5625. www.quadlock.com.
Conveyor for small footprint sites
Reduce energy costs while placing fill material on a jobsite with the Shooter and P-Shooter mobile conveyor systems. Drivers add the Power Drive Super Shield to the Shooter to place material at more than 100 ft. With an adjustable speed, the belt can be slowed so material merely drops off the end of the conveyor. The P-Shooter is only 10 feet long, stows on the tailgate, and has a shooting distance of more than 75 ft. Gravel Conveyors. 800-842-4887. www.gravelconveyors.com.