HVAC System for a LEED-Certified Building

HVAC System for a LEED-Certified Building

LEED certification is a phrase you see bandied about a good bit in the HVAC industry. What exactly does it mean, and why is it an important consideration? Well, for us it is a vital part of our green philosophy, so let’s look at what it means.

What Does LEED Mean in HVAC?

LEED is an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is a comprehensive set of standards for eco-friendly building design. With more interest in green buildings and energy efficiency, LEED standards are becoming more desirable. HVAC plays a major part in two of the seven areas LEED considers when certifying buildings due primarily to its relatively high level of power consumption.

Why Is HVAC So Important to LEED Certification?

It takes a lot of energy to maintain a building’s internal environment, especially in the face of blistering heat or extreme cold. Two categories of the LEED certification, making up 40% of the total points, are heavily HVAC based: Energy and Atmosphere (EA – 38 points) and Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ – 21 points). That is more than electricity and water combined.

The LEED requirements for HVAC center around approaches like optimizing equipment efficiency, setting up proper zoning and controls, and demonstrating that the equipment has significantly better performance than ASHRAE/IESNA standards.

What Does Being LEED Certified Mean?

LEED certification means that the building in question shows green leadership. That means that it maximizes its use of renewable resources and minimizes its impact on the environment. The higher the building’s score, the lower its environmental impact. This reduced energy usage also translates into lower power bills.

A good way to get an idea of what that means in practical terms is to take a look at the LEED certification checklist. The seven areas scored and their point values are:

  1. Sustainable Sites.
  2. Water Efficiency.
  3. Energy and Atmosphere (which is where HVAC comes in).
  4. Materials and Resources.
  5. Indoor Environmental Quality (which is where HVAC comes in again).
  6. Innovation in Design Process.
  7. Regional Priority.

Is It Worth It to Get LEED Certified?

As a common standard, and one now referenced in more contemporary building codes, having LEED certification is a valuable thing. It shows that you care enough about your facility to keep up with the most modern standards and techniques. As more and more laws go on the books enforcing tighter environmental / energy standards, staying ahead of the curve will become increasingly vital.

Henick-Lane, Your LEED Accredited HVAC Solution

Our LEED-accredited team is ready to work with you to find the best, greenest, most cost-effective solution for your building. For a consultation and quote, drop us a line. Contact us online, via email at info@henick-lane.com, or call (718) 768-7277 to get advice and a quote. We look forward to hearing from you!