The materials used in construction are increasingly required to fulfil eco-sustainable requirements in order to minimise the environmental impact.
Isolgomma has always been at the forefront in the use of regenerated and recycled materials selected through rigorous processes: indeed, our raw materials are made up of recycled materials for at least 92%. These materials guarantee solutions with limited environmental impact and promote sustainable development, while preserving the natural environment and the quality of life.
Isolgomma implements environmental management systems as set forth in the UNI EN ISO 14001 standard, in addition to safety systems as set forth in the OHSAS 18001 standard.
Our environmental policy does not only target the product, but involves the entire production process through a detailed LCA (Life Cycle Assessment).
LCA is a method used for assessing the potential environmental impact of a product from its creation to the end of its service life.
Careful attention to raw material procurement, processing, limitation of emissions in the environment, packaging, distribution, and the use and disposal of reject material are all designed to limit the use of resources and pollutants.
LEED® is a system for certifying the sustainability of buildings that takes into account their energy efficiency, water efficiency, the site on which the building is constructed, the materials and resources used for its construction and the quality of indoor environments with regard to air quality and thermal comfort. It is therefore important to be able to prove and explain that the products making up the structure and the building's outfitting conform to the standard's criteria and/or their potential contributions in fulfilling said requirements.
The LEED® building certification was introduced in the United States in 1993 by the US Green Building Council, a non-profit association that brought about deep changes in the building sector: in September 2009, it had over 15,700 partners worldwide and the LEED® certification was widely used in over 40 countries throughout the world. This system allows for certifying the environmental and economic sustainability of buildings, by promoting their design, construction site preparation, daily management, materials used and the energy performances.
LEED® identifies specific measurable requirements – including consumption of environmental resources, energy consumption and the quality of the indoor environment – which define the eco-compatibility levels of buildings. Within this system, the corporate world assumes a leading role in promoting sustainable living conditions, comfort and the quality of life.
Furthermore, LEED® is a flexible system structured into 5 different protocols:
The competitive advantages for subjects adopting LEED standards – be they professionals or companies – mostly revolve around the high final quality of the product, the significant savings on management costs that these buildings guarantee when compared to traditional buildings, and the certification on the part of a third party.
Each protocol is structured into various sections based on prerequisites and credits. The prerequisites of each thematic area must necessarily be fulfilled in order for the building to obtain the certification. The credits can be chosen in relation to the project's characteristics.
The LEED® 2009 ITALY NEW CONSTRUCTION AND MAJOR RENOVATIONS protocol, similarly to the LEED® FOR SCHOOLS, GBC HOME and LEED® FOR EXISTING BUILDINGS protocols, is subdivided into 7 different thematic areas:
Each thematic area is structured into prerequisites, central credits and innovation credits.
The LEED certification is issued to the building and not to single products.. The products play a crucial role in determining the final rating assigned to the building, as they help to attain more LEED® credits.
To obtain the certification, it is compulsory to fulfil all the prerequisites and part of the credits: the overall rating thus obtained can allow for attaining the desired LEED® certification level. The total sum of all the credit scores determines the building's certification level. A valid rating ranges between 40 and 110 points and allows for obtaining a Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum certification.
"Product mapping" is the expression used to define the analysis of single products of a company in terms of their energy and environmental sustainability with respect to the LEED® standard. It practically consists in a verification – carried out by a third party – aimed at demonstrating that the single product conforms to one or more of the LEED® requirements and credits. Each company that is interested in being competitive on a market in which LEED® maps its products must gradually adopt a production system geared towards sustainability and energy saving issues.
Isolgomma provides – for each product range – the relevant degree of contribution to LEED® credits in its status of ordinary partner of GBC Italia. Indeed, the company has always been attentive to the construction sector's impact on the surrounding environment, and to the serious repercussions its buildings can have on the well-being of the people inhabiting them.
LEED® CREDITS REFERENCE GUIDE FOR ISOLGOMMA PRODUCTS
|ENERGY & ATMOSPHERE (EA)|
Minimum energy performance
› EA Prerequisite 1
Optimisation of energy performance
›EA Credit 1
Minimum energy performance and opaque envelope energy performance
›EA Prerequisite 2
Advanced performance of the opaque envelope
›EA Credit 2
|MATERIALS & RESOURCES (MR)|
Management of construction waste
›MR Prerequisite 2
Management of construction waste
›MR Credit 2
Contents of the recycled material
›MR Credit 4
Materials that are extracted, processed and produced at a limited distance
›MR Credit 5
|INDOOR ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY (QI)|
› QI Credit 11
|Only for LEED® FOR SCHOOLS|
Minimum acoustic performance
› IEQ Prerequisite 3
Advanced acoustic performance
› IEQ Credit 9
The complete documentation (mapping) relative to the LEED environmental sustainability certification can be downloaded here (PDF file attached): it contains all the information concerning the classification of ISOLGOMMA products with reference to the protocols.
It is important to familiarise with the entire process for obtaining the certification of an eco-sustainable building. This is especially important for the subject developing the project, but also for future purchasers, so that they may know the actual costs involved with the certification level achieved and for which the building was purchased.
All that is required is to observe the instructions issued by the Green Building Council.
Step 1: Online registration with GBCItalia.org
The first step is to register online the building to be certified. To this aim, the GBC website contains a specific page where the user may enter the project's title, the building's location, the scheduled start and end dates of the works and the surface area occupied, and the expected certification level.
Step 2: Preparation of the documentation
Each LEED credit/prerequisite is associated with a single request for documents that must be carefully drawn up as part of the registration process. Once the required documentation has been collected, a formal request must be submitted through the Green Building Italia website; the project manager may then directly upload on the Green Building Italia server the relevant material justifying the LEED® credits, so as to initiate their examination procedure.
Step 3: Submission of the documentation
Prior to obtaining the certification, the project manager must submit the complete documentation demonstrating the fulfilment of all the prerequisites and at least the minimum number of credits required for obtaining the certification, in addition to the general information forms duly completed. Once the application has been completed, it will be subjected to a further formal examination.
Step 4: Revision of the documentation
The verification process varies slightly among the various LEED® standards. Once the application has been examined, the draughtsman can either accept the final decision or oppose it.
Step 5: Certification
All approved LEED® projects will receive a formal identification certificate.
A LEED®-certified building differs from every other building for the fact that is has healthier spaces in which to live and work, for enabling energy saving through the optimisation of resources used and for guaranteeing a reduced environmental impact.
There are several advantages in purchasing a home designed according to LEED® standards, starting from aspects related to personal health. Indeed, we normally dwell in closed buildings – be they our homes, offices or work environments – for 90% of the time, and we often fail to notice just how much more polluted and dangerous these environments can be compared to outdoor spaces. The fault lies with the construction materials used for buildings and the products decorating or contained in these, which are often made with hazardous or toxic substances and created without taking into account the health of people coming into contact with them: in fact, many of these materials can release large quantities of chemical substances which are then inhaled continuously and unknowingly.
A LEED®-certified home is instead designed with the chief priority of safeguarding the health of its inhabitants. The air quality is better than that of other homes, and this aspect is particularly appreciated by all purchasers sensitive to these issues. Healthier closed spaces safeguard human health and contribute to improving the quality of life.
In a LEED® home, the materials used must be entirely or partly recycled, natural or regenerable. The optimisation of surfaces with windows, for increasing the amount of light naturally using sources coming from outside; the use of heat-insulating construction materials, which reduce heat dispersion and thus the need for heating or air conditioning the indoor environment. In a LEED® home, less energy is required for heating, air conditioning and illumination purposes: overall, a well-designed building can consume between 30% and 80% less energy compared to a traditional building!.
A LEED®-certified home, therefore, benefits purchasers and construction companies alike, as the latter may improve their image in the eyes of potential purchasers, by proving to them that the newly constructed or renovated building complies with stringent and verifiable ecological standards, certified by an independent and recognised third party. A LEED®-certified building has an added value and is therefore more attractive commercially; this aspect may indeed justify a reasonable increase in its economic value.