LEED & Net Zero Design Facilitation
LEED refers to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED is the most popular green building rating system used, which serves to set global standards to create healthy, high efficiency, and cost-saving, green buildings. Utilization of Building Automation Systems can greatly enhance the overall efficiency of a building, such as sensors or timers on lighting and other power sources.
Environmental factors in buildings and workplaces have a significant influence on the health and wellbeing of people and the planet. Implementing LEED building certification in the design, construction, and operation of buildings will assist in maximizing occupant health and productivity, use fewer resources, reduce waste and negative environmental impacts, and lessen costs.
The primary consumer of energy across Canada and the U.S. has been found to be buildings. This is at a time when concerns are rising about energy prices, energy independence, as well as climate change. The facts around energy usage in buildings further underscores the importance of utilizing LEED in buildings, both new and retrofits. The building industry should embrace LEED to reduce energy use across Canada, allowing us to all reduce our dependence on finite sources of energy, such as fossil fuels and natural gas, and instead increase the use of renewable energies.
Net Zero Energy Buildings
Net Zero Energy Buildings can utilize principals from LEED, however, aim to utilize renewable energy as a primary energy source. Net Zero buildings are typically still connected to the electrical grid for two reasons.
First, Net Zero buildings use traditional energy sources from the power grid to be used when renewable energy generation can’t meet the buildings power demand. Essentially, the power grid is a backup power source.
Secondly, and arguably the most important for building owners, when on-site energy generation exceeds the buildings power demand, the excess power can be exported back into the power grid.
Net Zero Energy is achieved through the offset between on-grid energy consumption, and excess energy export to the grid. However, it’s worth to note that each utility provider as well as jurisdiction has their own policies and procedures around energy export, so it’s critical that this information is researched and evaluated from the beginning of the project to ensure eligibility and viability.