Ashley Eusey, LEED AP, sustainability manager at architecture and interior design firm Hoefer Welker looks at what experts say about how cooling solutions can contribute to LEED and sustainability initiatives
Evaporative cooling systems and their water treatment strategies help optimise building performance and contribute to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification and other sustainability programmes. Even in areas challenged by hot, arid climates, including most of the Middle East and the southwestern United States, evaporative cooling systems offer economical, energy-efficient solutions for green building design, construction and maintenance.
The following Q&A resulted from a survey of engineers and cooling tower experts inside and outside SPX Cooling Technologies to better understand how cooling towers can contribute to successful LEED projects and other sustainability initiatives.
Tell us about LEED and other sustainability initiatives, and why they are important.
Initially developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and now recognised worldwide, LEED is a rating system designed to evaluate and promote construction of resource-efficient buildings that support sustainable, healthy-living environments. Points are awarded for fulfilling nine separate categories, among them water efficiency and energy savings, with total credits determining a building’s certification level. Four levels of project certification are available: Certified 40-49 points; Silver 50-59; Gold 60-69 and Platinum 80+. It takes a holistic, performance-based approach to sustainability, ensuring that buildings can prove energy and water savings, and that they incorporate environmentally friendly materials and resources. The USGBC also acknowledges environmental standards outside of the U.S. – in over 165 countries and territories – recognising communities in Europe and the Middle East that are among the world’s leading proponents of green building.