What Decides a Building is Sustainable Architecture or Not?

By May 12, 2016Architecture

Eco-friendly buildings. Green-living. Sustainable architecture. Earth-friendly public works architecture. You’ve heard us at SH Architecture repeat these words over and over again, but how do you know we actually practice it?

Any Las Vegas architecture firm can say they love the earth and follow “strict” guidelines, but if you ask them for evidence of this, they may elect not to respond. At SH Architecture, we practice what we preach.

Whenever we construct a new sustainable architecture project or put the final touches on our public works architecture piece, we make sure to follow the guidelines and policies created the United State Green Building Council and get their LEED appraisal.

What is the US Green Building Council

Established in 1993, the USGBC is a non-profit, membership-based organization located in Washington, D.C. The USGBC is the leader in promoting sustainable architecture designs and provides third-party verifications of buildings that practice sustainable architectural designs.

The people who lead the USSBC include seven elected directors, one appointed director and the CEO. They meet in person three times a year and keep up to date with one another through telecommunications. They lead the USGBC Advisory Council, who provides industry leadership and experience and recommend policies to the board. The council is elected and their term lengths last three years.

Together, they vote and evaluate green standard architectural designs. When they evaluate a building, they used the LEED system of rating.

What is the LEED Rating System

LEED Logo for Sustainable Architecture

LEED Logo for Sustainable Architecture

The LEED, otherwise known as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a point system devised by the USGBC. Throughout the various steps of a building’s construction, architects can have their building evaluated through the LEED rating system. A building receives points by being resource efficient. Examples include using less water and energy, reducing carbon emissions and various other sustainable architecture techniques. A comprehensive list can be found on the US Green Building Council’s website.

The LEED can be used for all types of architectural projects, from neighborhood to interior design construction. Once USGBC evaluates the building, the USGBC awards the building with either Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum level of sustainability. Certified is the lowest and Platinum is the highest.

Want to Go For the Gold… or Platinum?

Now that you know the basics of how buildings become certified in sustainable architecture, contact SH Architecture today. We specialize in creating LEED-awarded buildings and designs, from retail to school. Even our founding members are LEED Accredited Professionals, so you’ll know your sustainable architecture project is in safe hands. Consult with SH Architecture and create something that is built to last.


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