Sustainable construction focuses on reducing the environmental impact of a building over its entire lifecycle, while optimizing its economic viability and the comfort and safety of its occupants.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Green Building Council, construction and operation of all buildings in the United States result in the following consumption of resources:
- 72 percent of electricity resources
- 39 percent of total energy used
- 3 billion tons of raw materials annually (40 percent of raw stone, gravel, sand, and steel; 25 percent of virgin wood)
- 17 percent of freshwater flows
As well, construction and operation of all buildings in the United States result in the following generation of waste materials:
- 25-40 percent of municipal solid waste
- 50 percent of CFCs
- 30 percent of CO2 production
- Other air emissions and water discharges
Given the extent to which buildings affect the environment, the opportunities for improvement through sustainable planning, design, construction, and operations and maintenance practices are significant.
LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an international certification system for green buildings. It was established in March 2000 by the US Green Building Council, an American association dedicated to promoting financially-sound buildings that are pleasant to live/work in and offering good environmental performance. It also provides tools to assist building owners and operators in areas with human and environmental impacts. Its sustainable development-based approach relies on excellent performance in six major areas of human health and environment:
- Environmental organization of sites
- Efficient water management
- Energy and atmosphere
- Materials and resources
- Quality of interior environments
- Innovation and design process.
LEED certification satisfies these fundamental needs while offering recognition for the efforts made to achieve them. It enables the reduction of the building’s impact on the environment while minimizing costs associated to its life cycle. LEED certification is granted to buildings that have demonstrated viability by respecting the highest performance standards in terms of environmental responsibility and energy efficiency.
PRO Building System’s LEED accredited design and construction professionals help our customers plan and implement sustainable design strategies in their LEED construction projects. This team works to evaluate LEED credits and manage the documentation process to ensure successful certification of the project.