Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is becoming more familiar to Americans. This is particularly the case with those individuals that are concerned with energy-efficiency and other aspects of green, or eco-friendly, building practices. In addition to being followed for new construction projects, LEED standards are used as a guideline for renovations and upgrades to existing buildings and structures.
A Brief Overview of LEED
In order to be LEED certified, a building must conform to a variety of high standards. This includes being well-insulated and free from lead paint and other toxins. Environmentally friendly building products also need to be used along with energy-efficient appliances and fixtures, such as dual flush toilets and sinks.
When commercial and residential buildings have LED lighting systems such as LED tubular skylights, this feature is also considered to be energy-efficient.
It’s been more than ten years since LEED has been available for the following purposes:
- Commercial interiors
- Tenant improvements
- Building operation
- Building maintenance
Reducing Household Water Usage
Recent data indicates that each person in this country uses an average of 88 gallons of water every day. The average family, for example, will accordingly spend over $1,000 a year on their water bills. When old, inefficient toilets are replaced with WaterSense labeled models, however, these households would be able to save 13,000 gallons of water every year.
Furthermore, households will usually be able to save $130.00 a year on their water costs when they upgrade to more efficient fixtures and appliances. When this same average household chooses to retrofit with both WaterSense labeled fixtures and Energy Star certified appliances, they could potentially save over $380.00 a year.
Improving Household Air Quality
Whether they’re at work or at home, the average American spends most of their time indoors. This amounts to roughly 90% of their daily lives. Other Americans, however, may be indoors even more often. Young children, older adults, and individuals with various types of health conditions, such as cardiovascular or respiratory disease often spend even more of their day indoors. As a result, they are more apt to experience a variety of adverse effects from indoor pollution.
Some people may not realize that indoor air quality is usually worse than outdoor air quality. It can, for example, be even more polluted than outside. This can contribute to or otherwise exacerbate a variety of health issues. Studies show that some pollutants may be as much as two to five times higher indoors than outdoors..
Indoor pollution concentrations have actually increased over the past few decades. This is due to a variety of contributing factors. One of these pertains to energy-efficient building construction, which may come as a surprise. If there isn’t enough mechanical ventilation to address air exchange, this can potentially lead to indoor pollution.
There are other factors that contribute to indoor pollution, such as an increased usage of the following materials and products:
- Synthetic building materials
- Home furnishings
- Personal care products
- Household cleaners
Increasing Energy-Efficient Light UsageLED lighting systems are gaining in popularity for this purpose. Furthermore, fixtures, such as LED tubular skylights also last longer than their traditional counterparts. LED tubular skylights can provide an effective way to illuminate various rooms in a house. In addition to having LED tubular skylights installed in the kitchen or other common areas, they can provide an excellent source of light in the bathrooms or bedrooms.
Learn More About Environmentally-Friendly Practices and Product Lines
Whether you’re remodeling your existing home or are having one constructed from the ground up, it makes sense to learn more about creating an environmentally-friendly home environment. In addition to taking measures to improve your home’s interior air quality, you can also save energy and water by purchasing Energy Star certified appliances and WaterSense labeled bathroom fixtures.
Remember that when you live in an eco-friendly building, you’ll be consuming less energy and water. This can amount to 25% less of the former and 11% less of the latter. When you reduce your energy and water consumption, this can obviously make a difference in lowering your household’s bills. What’s even more important, however, is that you’re creating a high-quality environment for yourself and your family.