If you are building a home or business, it makes sense to make it as energy efficient as possible during initial construction so that improvements need not be made in years to come. Follow the standards and codes listed below and find out if your contractor is aware of his/her educational opportunities in terms of energy efficient construction.
Green Building Design Standards
The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System is a voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. Standards are available for:
- new commercial construction and major renovation projects
- existing building operations
- commercial interiors projects
- core and shell projects, and
The LEED program was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), which is the nation’s leading nonprofit coalition for advancing buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work.
Town of Normal ordinance of LEED requirements for downtown development projects:
SEC. 15.17-14 – ENVIRONMENTALLY SENSITIVE DESIGN.
A. Preamble. The Town of Normal is committed to encouraging the use of environmentally sensitive design techniques in the B-2 District in order to improve community and environmental health. In order to meet the goal of increased environmental sustainability, the Town hereby adopts the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Rating System, Version 2.0 for new construction in the B-2 District. The LEED standards aim to improve environmental and economic performance of commercial buildings using established and/or advanced industry principles, practices, materials and standards. These standards may change from time to time, so the Town reserves the right to adopt future versions of the LEED standards. See Appendix A for a copy of the LEED Rating System, Version 2.0.
The LEED system establishes several levels of environmental “achievement,” from a “Certified” rating (26-32 points) up to a “Platinum” rating (52+ points). The ratings are attained by earning LEED points in the categories of Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere, Materials & Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Innovation & Design Process.
B. Requirements. While the LEED system will generally serve as guidance for developers, the Town mandates that all new construction with more than 7,500 square feet at the ground level in the B-2 District at least achieve enough LEED points to attain LEED “Certified” status. This requirement does not apply to stand-alone parking decks nor to portions of a building that are a parking deck.
USGBC Central Illinois Chapter
For more information contact:Richard L. Schneider, AIA Assoc.
Membership Chair, USGBC Central Illinois Chapter
U. S. Army Engineering Research & Development Center
Champaign, IL 61826-9005