What is LEED?
Put simply, LEED is the future. Developed by the US Green Building Council, LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – a first-of-its-kind ratings system for evaluating the sustainability of a building, inside and out.
Get the Facts.
LEED has become an important stimulus in sustainable building networks efforts that no one in the industry can afford to overlook. Learn the benefits of seeking LEED points to your next project and the common myths that surround it. Find out how carpet can work within the LEED rating system to create high performance green buildings. (View the Zeftron nylon LEED brochure).
Architects, designers and building owners may apply for LEED points for their buildings based on a number of criteria. The rating system itself is structured into five basic categories based on design, construction, and operational performance:
  • Sustainable Sites
  • Water Efficiency
  • Energy & Atmosphere
  • Materials & Resources
  • Indoor Environmental Quality
  • Further points may be obtained under the broader Innovation Credit category – including credits for closed-loop recyclable and recycled-content carpet, like carpet made with Zeftron® nylon.
LEED applies to a wide variety of building types, including New Construction (LEED-NC), Commercial Interiors (LEED-CI), Homes (LEED-H), and Existing Buildings (LEED-EB).
Why should I care about LEED?
Two words: space and resources. Space for waste is at a premium. And non-renewable resource supplies continue to dwindle. LEED rewards forward thinking building practices – actions that remain conscious of these issues, and benefit the overall health of our world.
To you, the rewards are more tangible. From an owner's standpoint, in some states, having a LEED certified building can lead to tax benefits. In fact, it may be required in some jurisdictions. (For instance, many Federal Agencies enforce green building polices that require all of their new construction to meet minimum LEED certification requirements.) But perhaps more enticing, LEED can contribute to savings – in water, energy costs, and other resources.
How can I make LEED work for me?
You've already taken the first step. A working knowledge of the LEED rating system is no longer an options – it's a requirement to design, build, and create efficient, environmentally friendly working and living spaces today. Unfortunately, despite its popularity and obvious benefits, LEED can be tricky to understand and difficult to implement effectively. This chart addresses some of the most common myths regarding specific products (like carpet) and LEED point applicability. Read on and learn.
LEED Materials & Resources Credit 2: Construction Waste Management
Myth: A carpet recycling program will get your project a LEED point.
Fact: Encouraging recycling of carpet as part of a construction & demolition waste stream can contribute to a credit under MR 2. However, it must be combined with other waste diversion to achieve a 50% by weight diversion rate of all construction materials.
Opportunity: Remind clients about the 6ix Again® carpet recovery program since this can help projects meet waste diversion goals for this LEED credit.
LEED Materials & Resources Credit 4: Recycled Content Materials
Myth: Carpet with recycled content will get you this LEED point.
Fact: Using recycled content carpet can contribute to points under MR 4. However, it must be combined with other recycled content products with proper proportions of postconsumer and post-industrial recycled content to achieve at least 10% of the total installed cost value of materials for the whole project.
Opportunity: Be sure to inform clients about carpets manufactured with Environ6ix®. Provide supporting documentation such as the Scientific Certification Systems Certificates.
LEED Materials & Resources Credit 5: Local and Regional Materials
Myth: Using locally manufactured carpet will get you this LEED point.
Fact: Depending on the location of the project, carpet can contribute to points under MR 5 if it has been assembled within 500 miles of the project site, and if its raw components have also come from within 500 miles of the site. It must be combined with other local/regional materials to comprise at least 10% of the total material cost of the project in order to receive points under this credit.
Opportunity: Make sure your clients know the points of origin of the carpet manufacturer and Zeftron® nylon products.
LEED Indoor Environmental Quality Credit 4.3: Low-emitting Materials – Carpet
Myth: My carpet meets CRI Green Label Plus requirements, so I can guarantee a point if the project uses my carpet.
Fact: While it's true that this is the only LEED point completely dependent on carpet and supporting products like adhesives and cushions, a project cannot obtain a point under this credit unless all carpet products in the entire project meet the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) Green Label Indoor Air Quality Test requirements for VOC content.
Opportunity: Be sure to inform your clients that the carpet complies with CRI Green Label Plus requirements, and highlight the CRI Green Label on architect folders and other product documentation so that they know your products will meet all requirements for this point.
LEED Innovation Credits
Myth: My carpet has many environmental benefits not presently recognized under the current LEED system. I should be able to get a LEED Innovation Credit as recognition for these benefits.
Fact: As a single component of built facilities, it is typically impossible for carpet alone to obtain an Innovation credit under LEED. However, carpet can contribute to other innovation credits being sought by the project team, including educational programs and interpretive displays, innovative maintenance programs, and others.
Opportunity: Innovative environmental features of carpet, such as recoverability of fiber, refurbishability, and non-toxic or low energy maintenance requirements can also suggest opportunities for innovation credits where similar goals are set for all products used in the project.

Encourage your clients to become familiar with precedents for LEED Innovation Credits, and to look for opportunities to feature the many environmental benefits of Zeftron products as part of their LEED innovation credit submittals.

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