Reflecting on LEED Construction in a Post-Pandemic World
As we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day this week, it’s amazing to look back at all we’ve accomplished. Now, in this post-pandemic world it’s important to look ahead to where we want to be.
As a USGBC member, we are proud to support the ongoing environmentally sound efforts of our construction industry. The USGBC recently published an insightful article outlining ways that Indoor Environmental Quality will help us all take the next steps toward healthier workplaces. In fact, the author notes that, “Protecting health and well-being has long been a goal of LEED and in LEED v4.1—about two-thirds of the points relate to this objective.”
Here are some items she suggests that building teams prioritize:
Integrative Process for Health Promotion: Assists new construction teams in more comprehensively addressing health from the beginning of a project. It encourages an early analysis of the interrelationships among buildings systems and requires projects to bring on a public health partner to advise on the implications of strategies and design.
Enhanced Indoor Air Quality Strategies: Managing mechanically and naturally ventilated spaces can help improve indoor air quality in buildings. Enhanced strategies can help teams address entryway systems, interior cross-contamination prevention, filtration, exterior contamination prevention and more.
Contaminant Control: To reduce occupants’ exposure to indoor airborne contaminants, building teams can take advantage of several source control and removal opportunities.
Construction Indoor Air Quality Management Plan: To promote the well-being of construction workers and occupants, LEED helps building teams minimize indoor air quality problems associated with construction and renovation.
Performance-based Indoor Air Assessment in Existing Buildings: By conducting baseline testing and ongoing monitoring of indoor air quality, existing buildings can find ways to reduce potential adverse health impacts to occupants that arise from exposure to indoor air compounds.
Low-emitting Materials: By using products that meet the low-emitting criteria outlined in the credit, project teams are reducing concentrations of chemical contaminants that can damage air quality, human health, productivity and the environment.
Green Cleaning: LEED helps project teams adopt policies that reduce levels of chemical, biological and particulate contaminants that can compromise health, as well as building finishes and the environment. These effective cleaning procedures help address custodial effectiveness, entryway systems and powered janitorial equipment.
– USGBC Supporting occupant health means prioritizing indoor air quality
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