LEED® Certification – Commercial Window Film

Getting LEED certification requires incorporating resources, materials and design concepts that promote sustainability and improved energy consumption. It is estimated that as much as 35 percent of the energy lost within a structure can be attributed to windows. Window films are commonly used in design to qualify for LEED points. Window films are becoming an increasingly common method of controlling light, improving thermal comfort, and reducing energy consumption in both new and existing structures.

Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design

Earning LEED Credits Using Hüper Optik Window Film

As you pursue LEED certification through the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), you will be exploring many options to meet your goals. Hüper Optik window film is a proven energy saving product that can directly help you achieve LEED Credits, usually in the categories of Innovation and Energy Reduction.

According to the Commercial Buildings Initiative, the commercial building industry in the U.S. accounts for 40% of the total amount of energy consumed, 70% of all electric energy, and up to 40% of carbon emissions. LEED is an integral part of retrofitting today’s commercial interiors with energy efficient upgrades, and Hüper Optik can drive this process. All buildings, new and existing, applying for LEED certification must meet the EPA ENERGY STAR” rating of at least 65 minimum, and 69 to meet the Energy Portfolio Manager Tool Requirement.

The energy saving benefits of window film can help companies to achieve the initial rating of 65, and it also can provide additional LEED credits once the base-lines are met. Solar energy saving window film is Florida Atlantic University, school of Nursing covered by the LEED for Existing Buildings Certification. Details can be found in the USGBC LEED for Existing Buildings Reference Guide, version 2.0, available through the USGBC website www.usgbc.org/Store/PublicationsList.aspx.

Energy usage baseline 9% 10 13 17 21 25 29 33 37 41 45 49

LEED points earned Required 1 || 2 || 3 || 4 || 5 || 6 || 7 || 8 || 9 || 10

Window Film LEED Cerification Huper Optik

Window Film LEED Cerification Huper Optik

By applying window film, you can earn up to 4 credits in this category

What are the advantages of having window film installed?

Many companies are investing in window film for their buildings for many reasons. Some recognize the need for reduced light pollution while others are focusing on reducing energy consumption for the structure. Employees working on a computer can see their screens due to a reduced glare. Window films can also protect the furniture from becoming faded by minimizing light penetration. As a much more cost-effective alternative to architectural glass, if it ever needs to be replaced. Energy efficient window films also conforms to Energy Star Ratings standards. Buildings being designed and constructed using window film can also qualify for LEED certification.

Overview of LEED certification program

The LEED certification program awards credit for different building improvements and design features that promote sustainability. The US Green Building Council credit requires a minimum of 40 points to qualify for any level of certification. For the silver classification, a minimum of 50 points are required. A minimum of 60 points are needed to qualify for the gold designation. A building with a minimum of 80 points can be certified platinum.

How new construction points are evaluated

Construction points are evaluated in several ways. Sustainable sites are awarded 14 points. Water efficiency is worth five points. Energy and atmosphere design features are eligible for up to 17 points. Materials and resources used during the building process are worth up 13 points. Indoor environmental quality measures taken are eligible up to 15 points.

How can a window film assist one attempting to obtain a LEED certification?

Installing window film can be beneficial buildings in helping them qualify for LEED certification. The film can be used to get credits for reducing light pollution reduction. It also counts toward optimizing the energy performance for a structure. Improving overall thermal comfort by using window film also improves energy utilization. Credits are also awarded anywhere between one and three points for energy performance. One can achieve up to three points by participating in this program.

The role of window film in green construction

Window film can be used independently to support sustainability in design practices. For LEED certification, the window film can be used in conjunction with other design measures to get credits. The window film combined with other energy efficiency products can qualify buildings for credits.

What are the performance capabilities of window film?

Window films can be anywhere between 2 and 14 millimeters. Certain types of films are capable of blocking up to 99 percent of the ultraviolet radiation. The ability to limit the amount of solar energy capable of penetrating the application makes reduces energy consumption. It is estimated that HVAC efficiency can improve by as much 15 percent if installed. Light passage can be reduced by 50 percent or more. Window film can reject as much as 40 percent of the fading caused by UV rays transmitted.

Energy efficiency can be achieved with a variety of design features. Combining design elements like window film and materials can be used for window applications to promote sustainability. The LEED program offers a generous amount of credits for incorporating smart, eco-friendly materials and design practices to build a qualifying structure.

To apply for LEED Certification, a building must have an EPA ENERGY STAR rating of minimum 40-80 credits (depending on the site and what certification you are pursuing). Window films can help you reach that goal, although it would have to be combined with other improvements. The U.S. Green Building Counsel, who administers the LEED certifications, have a very useful tool for researching what is necessary to achieve a LEED certification. Their website also has information regarding costs, the application process, etc.

Window Film Can Assist with Obtaining up to 9 LEED® Certification Points in the Following Areas:

http://www.usgbc.org/certification (usgbc.org) You will also see their link at the bottom of this message, along with the other links to where i have found this information. The Green Building Counsel also has a Score Card that you can download to see the credits for each section, to make sure you have sufficient credits and to see where you can improve. You can find the score card here (Press the button that says “download score card”): http://fncy.it/1OLKH7B (usgbc.org)

Leed Certification Benefits (and credits) from using window films:

Reduce light-pollution ( 1 point)
The benefit here is that the film keeps the light indoors, instead of shining out into the night. In this sense, the window film is considered to have reduced light pollution.

Indoor thermal comfort (1 point)
Using window film can help control indoor thermal comfort by restricting some sunlight from heating up the spaces.

Optimizing Energy Use (1-3 points)
Window films help optimize energy use by restricting heat from sunlight from heating up the spaces (as mentioned above). This reduces the need for AC, and can thus lower your energy use.

Daylight and Views (1-2 points)
Improving connection between indoor and outdoor through the use of glare-reduction or solar-controlled window film. The basics here are that window film is better than blinds on these points. (1-2 points)

Operations/Upgrades/Maintenance (1-3 points)
Certain window films reduce UV radiation, and can earn you credits for .

Internal Windows (1-3 points)
Operations/Upgrades/Maintenance: Using window film to renew windows instead of replacing and regarding the windows. (1-3 points)

Sustainable Sites
Credit 7: Light Pollution Reduction (1 Point)
• Intent: Eliminate light trespass from the building and site, improve night sky access and reduce development impact on nocturnal environments
• How Window Film Can Play a Role: Window film reduces light trespass from buildings at night since most films reduce light transmission by 50% or more

Energy and Atmosphere
Credit 1: Optimize Energy Performance (1 to 3 Points)

• Intent: Achieve increasing levels of energy performance above the prerequisite Energy Star® Rated Building standard to reduce environmental impacts associated with excessive energy use
• How Window Film Can Play a Role: Window films can provide as much as 5-15% whole building energy savings, enabling improvement in Building Energy Star Rating

Indoor Environmental Quality
Credit 7.1: Thermal Comfort (1 Point)

• Intent: Provide a comfortable thermal environment that supports the productivity and well-being of building occupants
• How Window Film Can Play a Role: A majority of building occupants report a significant improvement in thermal comfort after window film installation, due to reduced solar heat gain

Indoor Environmental Quality
Credits 8.1 and 8.2: Daylight and Views (1 to 2 Points)

• Intent: Provide a connection between indoor spaces and the
outdoor environment through introduction of daylight and
views into the occupied areas of the building
• How Window Film Can Play a Role: Solar-control and glare-reduction properties of window films eliminate or help to greatly reduce the need for closed blinds or shades, thus significantly improving the introduction of daylight and connection to the outdoor environment – light reduction from window film is LESS than total view and total light reduction from closed blinds or shades

Innovations in Operations and Upgrades
Credit 1: Innovation in Upgrades, Operations, and Maintenance (1 Point)

• Intent: Provide the opportunity for LEED® points for additional environmental benefits beyond those in other LEED Rating System areas
• How Window Film Can Play a Role: The up to 99.9% UV Protection provided by many films helps protect occupants and furnishings from harmful and damaging ultraviolet rays. Many window films are recognized by the Skin Cancer Foundation as effective for protection against skin cancer
• How Window Film Can Play a Role: Utilize safety-and security films to upgrade existing glass which help protect occupants from injuries due to glass hazards
• How Window Film Can Play a Role: The application of designer films to interior glass for decorative purposes instead of replacing (and disposing of) the existing glass

Materials and Resources
Credit 2: Optimize Use of Alternative Materials (1 Point)
• Intent: Reduce the environmental impact of the materials acquired for use in upgrades of buildings by using local and regional materials
• How Window Film Can Play a Role: The use of local and regional materials reduces pollution and transportation costs associated with the delivery of materials to the job site. Credit is possible if 50% or more of a product is harvested or processed within 500 miles of the LEED Project