LEED: Green Building Information
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a rating system representing a holistic and environmentally responsible approach to building design. It is overseen by the Canada Green Building Council, which certifies a building project on the basis of a variety of green building criteria.
Under City policy, all large municipal building and retrofit projects must be constructed to the LEED standard. These standards ensure that new City buildings maximize energy efficiency, provide the highest quality of indoor working environment and minimizes any building's burden on the natural environment and long-term operating budgets.
Under the certification program, buildings meet prerequisites and earn credits in a number of categories, including:
- Sustainable sites
- Water efficiency
- Energy and atmosphere
- Materials and resources
- Indoor environmental quality
- Innovation and design process
Most of the credits are performance-based, which means that they measure the degree of improvement relative to a recognized standard. A project can meet the criteria for one of four LEED levels — certified, silver, gold, or platinum — based on its total point score.
City LEED-certified facilities
These new City facilities are designed to achieve at least a LEED silver rating, and will expect to save at least a 40 per cent savings in energy costs:
- Kingston Police Headquarters - certified LEED gold in 2008
- Rogers K-Rock Centre - certified LEED silver in 2010
- Calvin Park Branch of the Kingston Frontenac Public Library - certified LEED gold in 2011
- INVISTA Centre - certified LEED gold in 2011
- Ravensview Waste Water Treatment Plant Administration Building - certified LEED silver in 2012.
- Public Works Staff and Operations Building - certified LEED gold in 2015
- Kingston Transit Garage - LEED-certified in 2015
Recent experience has demonstrated that for certain buildings, the costs to meet LEED certification will achieve a payback in energy savings and efficiencies sufficient to offset the incremental capital costs over a reasonable period of time.
The LEED rating system, initiated by the USBG1994, has now been adopted by more than 30 countries.