What is LEED? Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ is a voluntary, consensus based standard for developing high performance, sustainable buildings.

LEED is an integrated design approach that addresses the potential for water conservation, energy efficiency, renewable energy, material selection and indoor environmental quality. Buildings that can successfully meet LEED requirements can receive certification and may qualify for tax credits.

Approximately 88 projects in Northern California have been LEED certified. Samples are:

  • 555 Mission Street – San Francisco
  • California Academy of Sciences – San Francisco
  • Laguna Hospital – San Francisco
  • Uptown Apartments – Oakland
  • Mills College National Sciences Building – Oakland
  • Frog’s Leap Winery – Napa

Based upon current information thousands more projects have been submitted for LEED certification and more and more state, local and private building owners are encouraging and supporting sustainable building and roofing practices.

LEED allows building owners a program in which design and performance goals are evaluated by an independent third party that can validate their improvements.

Fidelity Roof Company professionals are well versed in the requirements for various LEED certification criteria and are involved in various educational programs to become a Certified Green Contractor as well as keeping up to date with constant changes within the program.

Building Programs

There are different versions of LEED certification programs that are available based upon a specific project type. Some examples are:

  • LEED-NC (New Construction)
  • LEED-EB (Existing Buildings)
  • LEED-CI (Commercial Interiors)
  • LEED-CS (Core and Shell)
  • LEED-H (Homes)
  • LEED-ND (Neighborhood Development)

Each program has a set of criteria that needs to be met in order for a building to achieve LEED level points.

A building requires a minimum of 26 points in order to be considered for certification. Following are the current certification levels:

  • Certified (26-32 points)
  • Silver (33-38 points)
  • Gold (39-51 points)
  • Platinum (52-69 points)

Fidelity Roof Company specializes in helping owners achieve LEED certification through roofing, waterproofing and alternative energy designs. Fidelity Roof also has relationships in the building industry to help owners achieve LEED accreditation in areas where Fidelity Roof may not directly perform the work but can help owners put together a design team to achieve their specific goals.

Credits Associated with Roof Design

The LEED program has a number of points that can be earned as a result of good roof design and types of systems installed.  Following are examples of ways a building owner may receive LEED points when working with Fidelity Roof.

  • Storm Water Management- Owners applying a green roof system can earn a point for storm water management because these types of roof systems do not release rainwater rapidly into drainage systems.
  • Heat Island Effect- Applying a green certified roof system to at least fifty (50) percent of the roof area can earn a LEED point. A point may be earned by also using a number of ENERGY STAR® products on the market by reducing heat gain and heat loss.
  • Minimum Energy Performance- Compliance with ASHRAE Standard 90.1 “Energy Efficient Design for New Buildings except Low-Rise Residential Buildings,” or local energy codes is required. The requirement can be achieved by installing a roof system or other building components that increases energy performance which can gain from 1 to 10 LEED points.
  • Renewable Energy- A point can be earned if at least five (5) percent of the buildings energy use is provided by on-site renewable energy sources such as solar panels mounted on the roof system.
  • Building Re-Use- A point can earned by maintaining at least seventy-five (75) percent of the existing structure. Although roof systems are not in this section, roof coverings can be upgraded to better enhance thermal performance.
  • Construction Waste Management- By diverting at least fifty (50) percent of construction waste from landfills, owners can receive one LEED point. Diversion can be accomplished by recycling or re-using various components of the roof assembly which can be combined with other construction activities to help achieve the required goal.
  • Resource Reuse- One point can also be earned if at least five (5) percent of the building materials are salvaged. Ballast, acceptable metal flashing materials or insulation from other projects incorporated into the new roof would meet these requirements if practical.
  • Recycling- Also a point can be earned for using the proper amount of recycled materials or products that contain a small percentage of recycled material into the construction process. As an example, perlite insulation currently uses enough recycled materials to qualify for this objective.
  • Regional Materials-  If a minimum of twenty (20) percent of building materials are manufactured within a 500 mile radius of the project the building would qualify for one (1) LEED point, if fifty (50) percent are used an additional point can be attained.
  • Innovation and Design Process- One to four points can be earned for exceptional performance above published LEED requirements. LEED gives life-cycle analysis of material choices as an example.  Although not specifically mentioned a properly designed and durable roof system that has a high likelihood of providing a long service life, or if portions of the system can be re-used in the future, this system may be submitted for consideration in qualifying for LEED points.

Excerpts and research information used from an article written by Thomas L. Smith of TLSmith Consulting Inc., Rockton, III.

Owners who retain a roofing/solar contractor as a partner on their construction team have a better chance of obtaining as many LEED points as possible.  Although roof systems are a small part in the entire building process for obtaining LEED certification, the roof system type and design can play a significant part of in achieving LEED points, and Fidelity Roof Company welcomes the opportunities to support our clients in this area.