What is LEED?
LEED is the designation for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design and is recognized worldwide as the benchmark for green building certification. LEED has various categories of building certification rating systems for different types of structures and four levels of certification: Certified (40-49 points), Silver (50-59 points), Gold (60-79 points), and Platinum (80+ points). Points are awarded based on characteristics of the project and building method that have a positive impact on the health of occupants, while promoting renewable, clean energy.
How can window film help achieve LEED certification?
Window film can provide your project with up to 9 LEED Certification Points in the following credit categories:
Indoor Environmental Quality
Credit 7.1: Thermal Comfort (1 Point)
By reducing overall solar heat gain and eliminating hot spots in front of windows, window film improves interior thermal comfort, therefore increasing the productivity and supporting the well-being of building occupants.
Credits 8.1 and 8.2: Daylight and Views (1 to 2 Points)
The solar control and glare reduction properties of window film can eliminate or reduce the need for closed blinds or drawn shades. This allows the introduction of daylight through the windows and increases the connection between occupants and the outdoor environment.
Materials and Resources
Credit 2: Optimize Use of Alternative Materials (1 Point)
This credit is provided if at least 50% or more of a product needed for construction is harvested or processed within 500 miles of the project. The use of materials sourced locally or regionally reduces the transportation costs, amount of pollution, and total environmental impact associated with the project, specifically with materials being delivered to the job site. If windows on the building are having film applied, the supplier/installer would very much likely come from within 500 miles of the job site.
Energy and Atmosphere
Credit 1: Optimize Energy Performance (1 to 3 Points)
Window films can provide up to 5-15% total building energy savings in the form of reduced strain on HVAC systems, this can also improve the building’s Energy Star rating beyond the standard prerequisite and reduce negative environmental impacts associated with heavy energy use.
Credit 7: Light Pollution Reduction (1 Point)
Most window films reduce light transmission by at least 50%, and in turn reduce the amount of light shining outwards from a building’s windows at night. This helps to improve night sky access and reduce the effect of increased light levels on existing nocturnal environments.
Innovations in Operations and Upgrades
Credit 1: Innovation in Upgrades, Operations, and Maintenance (1 Point)
This credit applies to properties of the structure that provide environmental benefits not classified by a specific LEED category. Most window films provide 99.9% of protection from UVA and UVB radiation, for this reason the Skin Cancer Foundation recognizes window film as an effective protectant against skin cancer. Window film’s UV rejection properties also protect furniture and carpets in direct sunlight from fading. Safety and security films can protect building occupants from injury due to glass shards in the event of breakage caused by natural or physical force, also decorative films can be used on existing glass surfaces instead of replacing them with designer glass and having to dispose of the previous panels.
What is the advantage of LEED certification?
Leed certification offers proven performance and a lifetime of returns. While the title of “LEED Certified” can make a building stand out, it is the steps taken to achieve that certification that really make a difference for property managers, building occupants, and the environment. LEED certified buildings retain higher property values, have faster lease-up rates, qualify for numerous tax incentives, and cost less to operate, freeing up company resources that can in turn be used for a host of possible purposes.
For more information on LEED certification visit: http://www.usgbc.org/leed