Green Energy Management is led by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC.org), a balanced consensus coalition representing every sector of the green building industry, spent five years developing, testing, and refining the LEED Green Building Rating System. LEED stands for “leadership in green energy management & environmental design,” and when adopted from the start of a project it helps facilitate integration throughout the design, construction, and operation of buildings.
The U.S. Green Building Council is the nation’s foremost coalition of leaders from across the green energy management building industry working to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable, and healthy places to live and work. The mission of this unprecedented coalition is to accelerate the adoption of green energy management building practices, technologies, policies, and standards. The USGBC is a committee-based organization endeavoring to move the green building industry forward with market-based solutions.
Another vital function of the council is linking industry and government. The council has formed effective relationships and priority programs with key federal agencies, including the U.S. DOE, EPA, and GSA.
The council’s membership is open and balanced. It is comprised of leading and visionary representation from all segments of the building industry, including product manufacturers, environmental groups, building owners, building professionals, utilities, city governments, research institutions, professional societies, and universities.
This type of representation provides a unique, integrated platform for carrying out important programs and activities.
The LEED Green Building Rating System™ is a priority program of the US Green Building Council. It is a voluntary, consensus-based, market-driven building rating system based on existing, proven technology. It evaluates environmental performance from an integrated or “whole building,” perspective over a building’s life cycle, providing a definitive standard for what constitutes a “green building.”
LEED™ is based on accepted energy and environmental principles and strikes a balance between known effective practices and emerging concepts. Unlike other rating systems currently in existence, the development of LEED Green Building Rating System™ was initiated by the US Green Council Membership, representing all segments of the building industry. It has also been open to public scrutiny.
LEED™ is an assessment system that incorporates third party verification and is designed for rating new and existing commercial, institutional, and high-rise residential buildings. It is a feature-oriented system where credits, also called points, are earned for satisfying each criterion.
Different levels of green energy management building certification are awarded, based on the total credits earned. The system is designed to be comprehensive in scope, yet simple in operation.
There are several key points in this section:
• LEED is becoming nationally accepted at local, state, and federal levels.
• The engineering community, such as ASHRAE, AEE, IESNA, has the knowledge and skills that can add significant value to a LEED design team.
• LEED has value to the engineering community, both as owners/operators of facilities and as design team members.
• It is a WIN-WIN proposition for us all
• Green energy management buildings are a process, not a collection of technologies.
• Encourage engineering participation/membership in USGBC and its local chapters.
• Encourage professional accreditation and attendance at LEED workshops.
• Encourage building owners/
Sustainable green energy buildings may be our goal, but the most common term used for these high-performance buildings is green buildings. For some, the term green buildings may sound too environmentally focused, but the way it is used here it represents the all-inclusive idea of sustainable buildings.
Characteristics of Sustainable Green Energy Management Buildings
• Optimal environmental and economic performance.
• Increased efficiencies, saving energy and resources.
• Satisfying, productive, quality indoor spaces.
• Whole building design, construction, and operation over the entire life cycle.
• A fully integrated approach—teams, processes, and systems.
LEED Green Energy Buildings
Green energy buildings are designed and constructed in accordance with practices that significantly reduce or eliminate the negative impact of buildings on the environment and its occupants. This includes design, construction, operations, AND, ultimately, demolition. Five fundamental categories constitute the USGBC green building designation.
• Sustainable site planning
• Safeguarding water and water efficiency
• Green Energy Management and renewable energy
• Conservation of materials and resources
• Indoor environmental quality
From: Energy Management Handbook, 7th Edition, The Fairmont Press