LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council in 2000 to give builders and owners guidelines for green (environmentally friendly) building design, construction, operations and maintenance. There are a number of levels you can achieve, whether constructing a new building or improving on a present structure. LEED certification is achieved by accumulating points in several areas, two of which are Materials and Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality. But, even if you are not attempting to achieve LEED certification, following many of the guidelines can be advantageous not only to the environment, but to personal health and money savings.
Choosing aluminum door frames are just one way you can adhere to LEED standards. Aluminum frames are lightweight, strong, and generally less expensive than alternatives. While these are positive characteristics, for you to meet LEED standards there are other considerations to keep in mind. For instance, it’s important to choose a local company that uses regional materials – sourced within 500 miles of the building site. Using local materials cuts down on the amount of waste and environmental impact from shipping. Regional materials fall under the Materials and Resources category and can earn you several points toward LEED certification.
It’s even better if your company also utilizes recycled materials in their product, further cutting down on waste and reducing the need for extra manufacturing costs. Recycled materials also help certification in the Materials and Resources category; the higher the recycled content, the better. Think about the money saved and the burden on the environment lifted when you reuse instead of beginning anew from mine, to processing, to manufacturing.
Many builders and designers like to use aluminum door frames because of the flexibility of design and the ability for manufacturers to create custom frames to order. Aluminum frames generally come in a wide range of colors that can match any décor, and unlike wood does not need the maintenance required to keep it looking fresh. To keep in LEED compliance, find a company that uses zero VOC (volatile organic compound) emission materials, coatings and paints. Products with high VOC can cause a myriad of health problems from minor irritation of throat and eyes to liver and kidney damage, even cancer. As the EPA estimates that we spend 90% of our time indoors, keeping your air quality to high standards can be important. Cutting out VOCs falls under the Indoor Environmental Quality category of certification.
There are many elements that go into getting a LEED certification, but whether or not it is your goal, following their guidelines can help you make your home or building a healthier, more efficient environment. Choosing to use aluminum door frames from a reliable company with green practices in mind makes environmental, financial, and decorating sense, along with putting you closer to LEED compliance.