How can Solar Street Lights contribute Credits toward LEED-NC v4 Certification
Understanding the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Certification (LEED) certification is crucial in today’s construction industry. LEED certification is becoming the standard for new building construction projects in order to provide energy efficiency, better marketability, increased employee happiness and reduced negative impact on the environment.
This article will summarize LEED Version 4 for New Constructions (LEED v4 - NC) certification and how smart solar street lights, like those provided by Lightinus, can contribute with LEED credits toward certification.
LEED Version 4 Certification (LEED v4)
What is LEED Building Certification?
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGB) has been striving to standardize a method of scoring a building's impact across a variety of categories. The result is the LEED Certification. Attaining this certification puts in writing your team and your building’s commitment across seven impact categories, showcasing your desire to:
- Reverse Your Contribution to Global Climate Change
- Enhance Individual Human Health and Well-Being
- Protect and Restore Water Resources
- Protect, Enhance, and Restore Biodiversity
- Promote Sustainable and Regenerative Material Resources Cycles
- Build a Greener Economy
- Enhance Community, Social Equity, Environmental Justice, and Quality of Life
Increasing number of legislatures and building clients desire LEED certification as a new construction standard, because of what it represents together with popular professional opinion on its diverse benefits.
Why become LEED v4 NC certified?
Beyond the philosophical values LEED embodies, there are financial implications that make this certification an attractive standard to comply with. Building green buildings with LEED certification in mind can:
- Increase the Marketability of the Building
- Reduce Operating Cost
- Improve Energy Efficiency
- Increase the Return on Construction Investment
- Improve Employee Turnover and Productivity
Add that to the improved well being of your tenants and the decreased pollution of the environment and it becomes clear why LEED is a primary goal for so many builders and architects in their urban planning and design projects.
How are LEED Credits measured?
The LEED-NC certification process scores new construction (NC) designs across the seven impact categories previously listed. Each of these categories has components across which you can accumulate points based on your contribution to achieving the goal of the impact category in question.
There are certain prerequisites that must be satisfied. If you meet those and achieve the required point total, you are certified. Below are the certification levels:
- 40 points - LEED Certified
- 50 points - LEED Silver
- 60 points - LEED Gold
- 80 points - LEED Platinum
Solar Street Lights have "Brain" inside the Pole
What is Smart Solar Street Lighting?
Smart solar street lighting is a system of open space outdoor lighting. It combines multiple new technologies designed with sustainability in mind to provide outdoor lighting with various benefits compared to previous traditional street lighting:
- Safer, better quality lighting of outdoor spaces at night
- Powered by their own solar panels and solar battery systems
- Self-control consumption to provide light for extended periods without sun
- Self-control to be able to conserve energy by dimming light intensity (light on demand)
- Automatically brightens as needed by sensing pedestrian or vehicle traffic
- Extended life cycles for LED light and solar battery performance due to smart control/management functions
- Data network for remote monitoring, real-time maintenance and troubleshooting
- Ability to collect site information (air quality, foot traffic, etc) to inform city planners and urban decision makers
How could Solar Street Lights contribute to LEED v4 Certification?
Of the various categories outlined in the scorecard, the table below details the components that smart solar street lighting has a direct impact on. In total, these components contribute 27 points to the certifications (or 67.5% needed for basic certification).
Note: this should not be taken as an official estimate for using smart solar lighting in your design, as every project works on a percentage and will be scored considering all LEED certification-focused design decisions and assigned a point value below the maximum for that credit.
|Credit Component||Possible Points||Potential Impact from Smart Solar Street Lights|
|Light Pollution Reduction||0-1||
|Optimize Energy Performance||0-18||
|Renewable Energy Production||0-3||
|Building Life-Cycle Impact Reduction||0-5||
Beyond LEED Certification with Solar Street Lights
Part of the financial benefits of green buildings is their marketability and “curb appeal”. The LEED certification certainly contributes to this effect. For instance, imagine the impact of having the first thing guests experience when they enter your building, being at the parking lot or the walkway entrance, lined with solar powered lighting that is intelligent enough to brighten the path just ahead of them and then dim the lights after they have passed.
Additionally, data collection on smog levels, weather patterns, location-specific foot traffic and other factors can provide intelligent information for your green construction project so that you can continue to improve the tenants’ lives every year.
LEED certification is a showcase for your dedication to having a positive impact throughout your building design, construction, operation and even demolition. It’s becoming - if it’s not already - the golden standard of new green building efforts as people realize the importance of sustainability and the financial benefits it can reap for them.
Lightinus smart solar street lighting provides greater return on investment, an environmental cost reduction, more points towards LEED certification and a clear visual showcase (from the curb) of your dedication to building a better and a greener world.