Why ECO?: LEED

Professional_LEEDEP Henry's ECO line of permeable pavers can contribute to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Green Building Rating System developed for the U.S. Department of Energy. LEED is growing in use by design professionals and private developers in response to federal, state, and local government agency incentives and regulations.

LEED uses a point rating system to recognize sustainable site and building design. A voluntary rating system, LEED aims to improve both the environmental and economic performance of buildings and sites. Developed by consensus with the participation of a number of organizations, the rating system and certification program is administered by the U.S. Green Building Council. A full description and additional informational downloads can be accessed at www.usgbc.org/LEED.

The Benefits of LEED Certification
LEED certification, which includes a rigorous third-party commissioning process, offers compelling proof to you, your clients, your peers and the public at large that you've achieved your environmental goals, and your building is performing as designed. Getting certified allows you take advantage of a growing number of state and local government incentives, and can help boost press interest in your project.

The LEED rating system offers four certification levels for new construction - Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum - that correspond to the number of credits accrued in five green design categories: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere, Materials & Resources and Indoor Environmental Quality. LEED standards cover new commercial construction and major renovation projects, interiors projects and existing building operations. Standards are under development to cover commercial "core & shell" construction, new home construction and neighborhood developments.

Implementation of permeable interlocking concrete pavers can earn your project points or "credits" in the LEED rating system. Credits are awarded under several categories of use including stormwater management, use of locally or regionally sourced materials, and use of exterior design to reduce heat island effect.

EP Henry's ECO™ Pavers can help in earning LEED Green Building Rating System credits through:

Sustainable Sites (SS)

  • SS 6.1 Stormwater Management: Rate & Quantity
    (1 point) can be earned for building sites where the existing impervious area is greater than 50%. Hardscaping projects constructed with EP Henry ECO® Permeable Pavers can meet this requirement. In some urban areas with this degree of impervious cover, pavements constructed using permeable pavers may be more cost-effective than a separate detention facility due to space constraints. The LEED requirement specifies that runoff rate and quantity be reduced by at least 25%. Permeable interlocking concrete pavements have the capacity to potentially reduce typical stormwater runoff to zero.
  • SS 6.2 Stormwater Management: Treatment
    1 point) can be earned for treatment systems designed to remove 80% of the average annual post development total suspended solids (TSS), and 40% of the average annual post development total phosphorus (TP). The ability of hardscape pavements constructed with permeable pavers to reduce these pollutants is typically greater than these percentages, according to references in the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute's (ICPI) manual, Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavements-Selection, Design, Construction, Maintenance. The ICPI manual notes studies on infiltration trenches (similar to permeable pavement bases) and porous pavements with reductions in TSS as high as 95% and TP as much as 70%.
  • SS 7.1 Heat Island Effect
    Awards (1 point) for the use of landscape and exterior design to reduce heat island effect. Sites can meet this requirement by implementing light colored/high albedo materials with a reflectance of at least 0.3 for 30% of the site's non-roof impervious surfaces, i.e., pavements. An albedo is a unit of measurement indicating the ratio of outbound or reflected solar radiation to inbound radiation. In order to qualify, a paver must be light enough in color to register an albedo of at least 0.3.

Materials & Resources (MR)

  • MR 5.1 and 5.2 Regional Materials
    Awards (1 to 2 points) for the use of locally or regionally-sourced materials. In order to qualify, the site must utilize a minimum of 20% of building materials that are manufactured regionally within a radius of 800 km (500 miles). An additional point is earned if 50% of the regionally manufactured materials are extracted, harvested or recovered within this same radius. Most, if not all EP Henry ECO™ Permeable Pavers will be manufactured within this distance from the project site.

Water Efficiency (WE)

  • WE 1.1 Water Efficient Landscaping
    Awards (1 point) for reducing potable water for irrigation by 50%. A rainwater harvesting system constructed with EP Henry's ECO Pavers can contribute to achieving this credit.

Some Tips for Getting Your Project LEED Certified

  • Set a clear environmental target.
    Before you begin the design phase of your project, decide what level of LEED certification you are aiming for and settle on a firm overall budget. Also consider including an optional higher certification target - a "stretch" goal - to stimulate creativity.
  • Engineer for life cycle value.
    As you value-engineer your project, be sure to examine green investments in terms of how they will affect expenses over the entire life of the building. Before you decide to cut a line item, look first at its relationship to other features to see if keeping it will help you achieve money-saving synergies, as well as LEED credits. Many energy-saving features allow for the resizing or elimination of other equipment, or reduce total capital costs by paying for themselves immediately or within a few months of operation. Prior to beginning, set your goals for "life cycle" value-engineering rather than "first cost" value-engineering.
  • Hire LEED-accredited professionals.
    Thousands of architects, consultants, engineers, building product manufacturers, environmentalists and other building industry professionals around the country have a demonstrated knowledge of green building and the LEED rating system and process -- and can assist you in meeting your LEED goal. These professionals can suggest ways to earn LEED credits without extra cost, identify means of offsetting certain expenses with savings in other areas and spot opportunities for synergies in your project.

Source: Natural Resources Defense Council

NOTE: Project teams interested in obtaining LEED certification for their project must first register online. Visit www.usgbc.org for registration forms and a current fee schedule.