LEED Certification – The Basics of This Green Building Initiative

The LEED Certification (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) was established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to provide the construction and building industries with a verifiable system to define exactly what a green building is. Using a point system, an eco-friendly building can achieve LEED certification.

The more points a green building accumulates, the more prestigious the LEED Certification. If you think all it takes to get LEED Certified is screwing in a couple of compact fluorescent light bulbs, think again.  The USGBC has put in place a set of strict policies and procedures that must be followed. The good news is that there are various ways that a building project can earn LEED certified.

Here are the various LEED Certification levels:

  • LEED Certified – 40-49 points
  • LEED Silver – 50-59 points
  • LEED Gold – 60-79 points
  • LEED Platinum – 80 points & over

The Materials Resource Credit 7 (MRc7) is a great LEED credit to plan for. The Materials Resource Credit 7 (MRc7) mandates the use of eco-friendly wood. However, not just any eco-friendly lumber will do. The Forest Stewardship Council designates FSC certified wood and the USGBC and LEED has been specifically chosen to work with them to fulfill this crucial LEED credit.

Since the FSC has strict guidelines as to how hardwoods like ipe, tigerwood, garapa, and camaru are to be managed and cultivated, FSC certified wood has become a key component for inclusion in LEED projects. In order to qualify for the LEED MRc7 credit, your green building needs to install a certain percentage of FSC certified ipe or other wood.

The percentage will change depending on the type of building or project. In order to even qualify for the credit, the required minimum of installed FSC wood  must be 50%. You can also earn an exemplary performance Innovation in Design credit if your project contains at least 95% FSC certified wood.

Because every LEED Credit counts, the use of FSC certified wood can be a great help. As an international direct importer of eco-friendly hardwoods, AdvantageLumber.com offers a full selection of quality FSC Certified wood like ipe decking. They can ship anywhere in the United States, or the world.

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