GREEN Projects Utilizing Fabric Buildings from Milestones
Your next project may be a GREEN Building project, and may need to be certified under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of sustainable buildings that preserve the environment, use less energy, last longer and are more comfortable to live and work in and around. Sure sounds similar to our fabric buildings performance.
Milestones Building and Design's fabric buildings can help new commercial construction and major renovation projects, category (LEED-NC), and existing building operations, category (LEED-EB) attain points towards one of the four levels of LEED certification: basic, silver, gold or platinum. The level achieved is based on the total number out of 100 possible points across six categories.
What is LEED?
LEED is a third party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council in 2000 through a consensus based process, LEED serves as a tool for buildings of all types and sizes, including fabric buildings. LEED certification offers third party validation of a project's green features and verifies that the building is operating exactly the way it was designed to.
What types of buildings can use LEED? . . . Fabric Buildings!
LEED certification is available for all building types including new construction, major renovation and even fabric buildings; existing buildings; commercial interiors; core and shell; schools and homes. LEED systems for neighborhood development, retail and healthcare are currently pilot testing. To date, there is over 4.5 billion square feet of construction space involved with the LEED system.
How does LEED work?
LEED is a point based system where building projects earn LEED points for satisfying specific green building criteria. Within each of the seven LEED credit categories, projects must satisfy particular prerequisites and earn points.
The five categories include (and we suggest that fabric buildings are included in al 5)
1. Sustainable Sites (SS),
2. Water Efficiency (WE),
3. Energy and Atmosphere (EA),
4. Materials and Resources (MR) and
5. Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ)
Innovation in Design (ID), an additional category, addresses sustainable building expertise as well as design measures not covered under the five environmental categories.
We suggest that our fabric buildings fall into categories 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
The number of points the project earns determines the level of LEED Certification the project receives. LEED certification is available in four progressive levels according to the following scale:
There are 100 base points:
6 possible Innovation in Design & 4 Regional Priority
Certified 40-49 points
Silver 50-59 points
Gold 60-79 points
Platinum 80 points and above
Following are the Categories that Milestones fabric buildings fall under when collecting points and credits for your LEED Certification:
Fabric buildings have natural lighting - No affect on power grid
Fabric buildings have no groundwater impact
Fabric buildings promote occupant health and improves productivity
Fabric buildings have an aesthetically pleasing environment
Fabric buildings improve air quality - Have effective ventilation and air volume
Fabric buildings are made from recyclable materials
Following are the LEED credits that are influenced by fabric buildings. Each credit is labeled as active or passive; active credits are those that involve product specific performance requirements (i.e. recycled content of product or VOC performance), and passive credits, those that are dependent upon design specific conditions (i.e. designer adding glazing for day lighting).
LEED NC 2009 - Fabric Buildings and Credits
MR Credit 4: Recycled Content (active)
Our fabric buildings utilize steel composed of 56.9% post-industrial recycled steel and 31.4% pre-consumer recycled steel.
IEQ Credit 2: Increased Ventilation (passive)
Our fabric buildings can contribute to a comprehensive plan that provides additional outdoor air ventilation to improve indoor air quality for improved occupant comfort, well-being and productivity.
IEQ Credit 4.2: Low Emitting Materials, Paints & Coatings (active)
The fabric buildings that Milestones provides are manufactured with a selection of coatings that meet or exceed AAMA 2005.
Fabric Buildings, Hot-Dip Galvanizing and LEED
As LEED is the most common method for measuring sustainability, often specifiers question whether hot-dip galvanized steel can contribute credits. The Materials & Resources Credit 4: Recycled Content category specifically focuses on increasing the use of building products with high recycled content, thus reducing impacts caused by extraction and processing of raw metal and ores. The two primary components of hot-dip galvanized steel (steel and zinc) have high recycling and reclamation rates. The recycling rate, which is factored into the LEED rating, considers how much of a particular product comes from recycled sources.
The reclamation rate, which measures how often a product is actually recycled at the end of its useful life, is not currently used in the LEED rating, but is also an important environmental indicator to consider .
All steel in Milestones fabric buildings go through the hot-dip galvanizing process. Because of the high recycling rates, hot-dip galvanized steel contributes points under Credits 4.1 and 4.2 of the Materials & Resources Credit 4: Recycled Content category. LEED requires the following to earn points in these categories:
• Credit 4.1 (1 point) "Use materials with recycled content such that the sum of the post consumer recycled content plus one-half of the pre-consumer content constitutes at least 10% of the total value of the materials in the project."
• Credit 4.2 (1 point) "Use materials with recycled content such that the sum of the post consumer recycled content plus one-half of the pre-consumer content constitutes at least an additional 10% beyond Credit 4.1 (total of at least 20%) of the total value of the materials in the project."
The recycled content of a material assembly is determined by weight, and the recycled fraction is then multiplied by the cost of the assembly to determine the recycled content value. Hot-dip galvanized steel is both the material and the building product (the zinc metallurgically reacts with the iron in the steel, becoming one product); therefore, the value of the steel building product is directly multiplied by hot-dip galvanized steel's recycled content.
With more than 70% combined recycled content, hot-dip galvanized steel easily meets the requirements of Credits 4.1 and 4.2 of the Materials & Resources Credit 4: Recycled Content category, contributing points for both. Our fabric buildings are framed with hot-dip galvanized steel.