Sustainable Construction Certification
The Earth Charter Center for Education for Sustainable Development at the University for Peace is Costa Rica´s first educational institution whose facility was built following Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) sustainable certification procedures.
The main characteristics of the building´s sustainability include the following: 90% of the construction´s residues was reused or recycled, collective transportation is provided for the building’s employees, natural lighting and ventilation systems, construction use of more than 40% of locally available material, and wastewater treatment technology is on site.
LEED is an independent certification program and it is the internationally accepted reference point for high performance construction, design, and operation in sustainable buildings, developed in the year 2000 by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
LEED follows a points system in which construction projects obtain LEED points by satisfying specific sustainable construction standards. On each of the LEED credit categories, projects must satisfy determined requirements to acquire points.
The categories include: Sustainable Sites (SS), Water Efficiency (WE), Energy and Atmosphere (EA), Materials and Resources (MR), and Indoor and Environmental Quality (IEQ). An additional category, Innovation and Design Process (ID), evaluates the factors in the sustainable construction and design measures that are not covered by the other environmental categories. The amount of points obtained by a project determines the LEED certification level that it will attain.
LEED Certification is available in four progressive levels according to the following scale: a base of 100 points; 6 possible points in Innovation and Design, and 4 points in Regional Priority, for a total of 110.
Certified 40 – 49 points
Silver 50 – 59 points
Gold 60 – 79 points
Platinum – 80 points and above