Promoting sustainability with LEED ID+C: Green renovation practices
With the arrival of LEED version 4.1, a major evolution has been introduced to meet the specific needs of different types of projects, whether renovation or new construction, and at different scales ranging from interior spaces to cities and communities. Of the six rating classes available, we're going to focus today on the LEED Interior Design and Construction (ID+C) class. This class aims to promote sustainable and innovative practices in the renovation of interior spaces, focusing on specific criteria related to human health, energy efficiency, waste management and the use of sustainable materials.
A reminder of what LEED certification is and how buildings are rated
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is an American environmental rating system for buildings. Recognized in 132 countries, it is the world's most widely recognized green building system, with the most certified buildings to its credit. It is based on the holistic impact of a building, from impacts on human health to impacts on the surrounding environment.
LEED evaluates a building's sustainability according to 8 categories (Site, Transportation and Location, Water Management, Energy Management, Indoor Environmental Quality, Materials, Innovations, Regional Priorities).
The ID+C certification
LEED ID+C certification aims to encourage and recognize sustainable practices in the design, renovation and construction of interior spaces. It offers different modules adapted to each type of project, whether renovation or new construction, and covers various specific sectors:
- Commercial interiors: This module is aimed at interior spaces used for purposes other than retail or hospitality. It covers offices, workspaces, institutional spaces, educational establishments, etc.
- Retail: This module guides the design and construction of interior spaces for retailers offering consumer goods. It encompasses both areas for direct customer service, such as showrooms, and preparation or storage areas that support customer service.
- Hospitality: This module is specifically designed for the interior spaces of hotels, motels, inns or other establishments offering transitional or short-term accommodation, with or without food services.
Each LEED ID+C module offers specific criteria and guidelines for assessing and improving the sustainability of interior spaces in these sectors. By adopting the best practices recommended by each module, developers, architects and designers can create healthy, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly interior environments.
Key points of attention in a renovation project.
The renovation project has the opportunity to adopt environmentally-friendly practices, notably by reducing construction waste. One approach is to implement protocols that divert construction site products from landfill and incineration centers, redirecting them to recovery circuits such as recycling or reuse. By choosing this practice, the project can help extend the life of materials while reducing the environmental impact of extracting new resources. These actions are encouraged by LEED certification, which promotes a sustainable and responsible approach to renovation projects.
In addition, the reuse of non-structural elements such as acoustic panels, chairs and tables helps to meet reuse criteria. Rather than purchasing new elements, LEED ID+C certification encourages the integration of these existing elements into the design of the renovation project. This reduces the demand for new resources and minimizes the amount of waste generated.
This approach promotes waste reduction and encourages the efficient use of existing resources in renovation projects. By adopting these sustainable practices, LEED ID+C-certified renovation projects play an essential role in preserving the environment by limiting the amount of construction waste and promoting more efficient use of available resources.
It's also important to take air quality into account when choosing materials. Among these materials, low-VOC paints play an essential role, and their use is becoming increasingly widespread. Water-based paints and those bearing labels such as Green Seal and SCS Indoor Advantage are good examples. By opting for these low-emission paints and applying the appropriate techniques, it is possible to significantly reduce VOC emissions, thereby preserving air quality and creating a healthier environment for occupants. This approach underlines LEED ID+C's commitment to sustainability and occupant well-being.
In addition, LEED ID+C certification emphasizes environmental quality by requiring the provision of environmental and health declaration sheets (EHDS) for products, such as glulam, textiles or joints, used throughout the project. These sheets provide transparent information on the environmental impact of products, helping to make informed choices in terms of sustainability.
In conclusion, LEED ID+C certification is an essential tool for promoting sustainability and energy efficiency in the design and construction of interior spaces. Thanks to its rigorous criteria and tailored modules, it encourages environmentally-friendly practices, waste management and the creation of healthy indoor environments. By adopting LEED ID+C certification, industry professionals can help build a more sustainable future for all.