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WIndow Film for LEED

WIndow Film for LEED

What is LEED?

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a set of rating systems for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of green buildings, homes and neighborhoods. [1]

Since 2002, the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) and LEED Canada have been redefining the buildings and communities where Canadians live, work and learn.[2]

L.E.E.D certification includes five key performance categories

  1. Sustainable site development
  2. Water efficiency
  3. Energy Efficiency
  4. Materials selection
  5. Indoor environmental quality

One of the five key areas of achievement within the L.E.E.D certification program is Energy Efficiency.  Building owners receive credits toward their certification when they increase their energy efficiency, but they also receive the cost savings associated with energy consumption.

Building owners and property managers look for products and services that offer the greatest return on investment (ROI) considering initial capital needed, how fast will it pay back the investment, ease to implement/install and other value added benefits – to the organization and tenants.

In addition the Energy efficiency, the installation of window film offers possible credit opportunities in other categories, as outlined in this article.

All information provided below is based on current industry trends and an extensive research initiative by Evolution Window Films to formulate a comprehensive study on the relationship between achieving L.E.E.D. points and window film. 

Energy & Atmosphere

Credit 1 – Optimize Energy Performance

Intent

Achieve increasing levels of energy performance above the pre-requisite Energy Star Rated Building standard to reduce environmental impacts associated with excessive energy use.

How window film can play a role

Window film reduces light pollution, also known as “Light Trespassing” which occurs when lighting used within the building is visible at certain luminosity levels in the surrounding external environment.

Indoor Environmental Quality


Credit 7.1 – Thermal Comfort: Design
Credit 8.1 – Daylight & Views: Daylight
Credit 8.2 – Daylight & Views: Views

Thermal Comfort

Intent

Provide a comfortable thermal environment that supports the productivity and well-being of building occupants.

How window film can play a role

A majority of building occupants report a significant improvement in thermal comfort after window film installation, due to reduced solar heat gain.

The credit can be met by demonstrating compliance with data logging temperatures or by survey, were at least 80% of building occupants must consider themselves comfortable in the building climate.

Daylight & Views

Intent

Provide a connection between indoor spaces and the outdoor environment through introduction of daylight and views into the occupied areas of the building

How window film can play a role

Solar-Control and Glare-Reduction properties of window film often helps to significantly reduce the need for closed blinds or shades, thus improving the introduction of daylight and a connection to the outdoor environment – light reduction from window film is LESS than total view and light reduction from closed blinds or shades.

Innovation in Design
Credit 1 – Innovation in Design

Intent

There is also an innovation category you can apply for by making a case that chosen building upgrade, not currently covered under the LEED for an existing buildings standard, has improved the environment of the building.

How window film can play a role

There are two ways that window film can be used to apply for the innovation credits.

  1. Apply for a credit based on the environmental benefits provided by blocking ultraviolet radiation through solar control window film.  Window film blocks 99% or more of harmful UVA and UVB rays, which contribute to skin damage and skin cancer, and are the leading factor causing fading to interiors.
  2.  Apply for a credit if fade reduction can be applied to reducing waste or improved building maintenance, as specified in the materials and resources section of the standards.

What’s Next?

Achieving L.E.E.D certification is a major milestone for a building. Window film offers some very significant improvements, at a relatively low cost, that can contribute to that certification.  Evolution Window Film’s technical team is available to offer recommendations on which window films will best suit the needs of your building.  Contact us for a solution consultation.


References & Resources

[1] LEED Definition – Wikipedia

[2] Going Green with LEED – CAGBC.org

LEED Brand user guidelines – Canada (.PDF)

Note:  This blog post updated Oct. 24 2014

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