Sustainability & LEED Construction

» LEED Certification Considerations

When determining at the onset whether a construction project will be directed toward achieving LEED certification, many variables come into play, including the source of project funding, available grants, existing site conditions and policies adopted by various organizations. The most notable consideration for building owners is the cost associated with becoming LEED certified, as well as the continual record keeping required subsequent to certification.

In most cases, building owners are receptive to LEED construction principles that either do not add any cost to a project, or provide a reasonable financial return. Weigand Construction has identified several of the LEED credits that meet these criteria and will bring them to the attention of the team during the preconstruction phase to consider incorporating into projects. Additional sustainable credits will also be discussed that may involve initial cost, but provide a reasonable financial return in energy usage over time. For example, a large pond in close proximity to a building might be utilized for a heat pump system, a sustainable alternative to traditional rooftop HVAC systems.

LEED Construction Projects completed by Weigand:

Indiana University

Spruce Hall

New Construction / 450 Bed Residence Hall

150,812 Square Feet

LEED Certified from the U.S. Green Building Council

Ball State University

Student Recreation Center

Multi-level Fitness Room

Five-Court Gymnasium / Rock Climbing Wall

LEED Certified from the U.S. Green Building Council

Goshen Hospital

Power Plant

Extensive Renovation

Completed in 2008

LEED Certified from the U.S. Green Building Council

Examples that can be incorporated into a project’s scope of work at little to no cost:

  1. Site Selection – Use of existing property with minimal impact on the environment.
  2. Public Transportation – Project is located within close proximity of public transportation, limiting automobile use.
  3. Provide a high ratio of open space  relative to building footprint, exceeding local zoning requirements.
  4. Heat Island Effect – Use of a highly solar reflective roof system.
  5. Light Pollution Reduction – Minimize light trespass from a building to reduce “sky-glow” during the evening hours.
  6. Water Efficient Landscaping – Reduce or eliminate the need for a landscape irrigation system.
  7. Storage and Collection of Recyclables – Facilitate the reduction of waste generated by building occupants during and after construction. Provide separate dumpsters for different types of recyclable materials.
  8. Use of construction materials made from recycled products.
  9. Regional Materials – Use of building materials manufactured within a 500-mile radius, reducing environmental impacts resulting from transportation.
  10. Minimum Indoor Air Quality – Establish minimum indoor air quality performance standards meeting the minimum requirements as defined by ASHRAE 32.1, 2004 edition.
  11. Environmental Tobacco Smoke Control – Prohibit smoking in the building.

Whether you choose to implement a no-cost option or pursue LEED certification, our team of experts will help you arrive at the best solutions to suit your needs, both now and in the future.