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In today’s construction environment, more and more emphasis has been placed on sustainable and environmentally friendly building materials. So how do manufacturers help LEED the way in sustainable building?

What is LEED? 

There are plenty of ways to define a product as sustainable or environmentally friendly. For example, it can come in the form of having a certain amount of recycled material, producing less waste, or using less energy. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and LEED program were formed to help create a standard set of practices and guidelines for this type of work.

The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program is a green building rating system, which gives a variety of credits based on building features, designs, and materials that are environmentally friendly and/or sustainable. For a building to become LEED certified, the builders must apply for the building to become LEED certified, which occurs through a variety of inspections. These inspections are conducted by an independent third-party technical reviewer, who will award credits dependent on meeting certain thresholds for both sustainability and environmental friendliness.  Based on the accumulation of these credits, a building can be placed in four different categories. Larger amounts of credits indicating a more environmentally friendly and energy efficient building. 

LEED Certified buildings are broken down into 4 different categories

Where does Superior fit in?

So where does Superior fit into helping a building become LEED certified? Both Superior’s aluminum railing and columns can help a builder qualify for credits. Most of Superior’s aluminum railing and columns qualify for LEED credits based on the total amount of recycled material utilized in our extrusions. The amount of required recycled material is noted in section MR 4 (Material and Resources) of the LEED guidelines. In fact, railings and columns both exceed the minimum requirements to receive credits, with 50% recycled material or more for both! Furthermore, depending upon location, some Superior aluminum railing or columns may qualify for an additional credit by utilizing regionally sourced materials!

Both Aluminum railing and columns qualify for LEED credits

Why should a builder choose LEED Construction?

Deciding to build using LEED Construction can have many benefits. First is lessening the environmental impact of the building. By choosing LEED Construction, emissions and other harmful building practices that adversely affect the environment are reduced or eliminated. In addition to reducing emissions, LEED Construction also has the benefit of saving a different type of green, money! In fact, LEED certified buildings are estimated to have saved $1.2 billion from 2015-2018 compared to non-LEED buildings (usgbc.org). For more information on LEED Construction vis the United State Green Building Council at www.usgbc.org.