The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System serves as a scorecard for the design, construction, and operation of green buildings. It was designed to encourage the adoption of sustainable building and development practices. Sustainable development tries to balance the needs of people, nature, and the economy.
Pavement type selection (concrete vs. asphalt), on its own, directly contributes to only a few LEED credits. Credits can be earned in these ways:
When all these factors are considered, asphalt pavements can contribute more LEED credits than other pavement types.
How does LEED work?
LEED has grown and evolved from a single standard for new construction to different project development and delivery processes. An entire suite of rating systems has evolved and more are on the horizon. These deal respectively with existing buildings, core and shell, schools, retail, health care, homes, and neighborhood development. In many of these, pavement plays a role in the overall rating. Certification is voluntary, although some city governments and federal agencies now specify LEED certification for buildings.
The rating system addresses six categories:
Under the LEED system, asphalt pavements can earn credits in three areas: Sustainable Sites (SS), Materials and Resources (MR), and Innovation and Design Process (ID). Credits for Sustainable Sites include storm-water management. Under Materials and Resources, credit can be earned for diverting materials from landfills, incorporating recycled materials, and using regionally produced materials. It is possible that credits for Innovation and Design Process may be earned for such processes as warm-mix asphalt and high-RAP (reclaimed asphalt pavement) mixes.
For more information, download the brochure by clicking here.