Sustainable Building Certifications: LEED


Sustainable building certifications have been gaining momentum for several years now and data centers are jumping on board in increasing numbers. You have seen data center operators such as RagingWire, Apple and Digital Realty achieve the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Certifications and/or the EPA’s Energy Star for Data Centers. Many data center operators aren’t sure which certification to pursue, or if they should pursue one at all. In order to make this decision a little easier, I have provided a synopsis of each certification and their pros and cons to help guide you toward your sustainable goals.

What is LEED?

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is a third-party certification program developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in 2000. It has undergone many iterations and is now operating under LEED 2009. The certification process provides independent validation of a project’s green features and verifies that the building operates the way it was designed.

LEED Certification Process

LEED uses a points based system to achieve certain certification levels recognizing the effort and commitment by the owner and project team. There are four LEED certification levels with point requirements ranging from Base (40-49 points) to Platinum (80+ points).

At last count, there were 13 data centers that had received LEED Platinum certification.

LEED points are weighted by impact on energy efficiency and CO2 reduction. As an owner/end-user, your first decision is which LEED rating system you intend to pursue your certification under. Data centers will fall under one of the following rating systems:

  • New Construction and Major Renovations: Includes new buildings and projects in which the majority of the building will be modified.
  • Existing Buildings-Operations and Maintenance: Addresses whole building cleaning and maintenance issues. This is generally applied to a building that is in operation, but wishes to make their operational processes more sustainable.
  • Commercial Interiors: Intended for tenant improvements within an existing structure. At least 60% of the gross building area must be modified to the intended use to qualify for this rating system.
  • Core and Shell: This system is complementary to Commercial Interiors and deals with the structure, envelope and HVAC system of the building.

Other rating systems that are not applicable to the data center industry are Schools, Retail, Healthcare, Homes, and Neighborhood Development. For the purposes of data center certification, Commercial Interiors is most frequently used.

Once your rating system is chosen, points are earned through implementing green measures in each of several categories. Each category has prerequisites that must be achieved before any points are earned. The categories are:

  • Sustainable Sites: Focuses on areas related to the overall building site such as storm water run-off, pervious pavement, and availability of public transportation.
  • Water Efficiency: Measures are established related to water conservation.
  • Energy and Atmosphere: Energy efficiency measures account for most of the points in this area, which also has the largest number of points available of any category.
  • Materials and Resources: Points are awarded in this category for using rapidly renewable materials and for sourcing materials that are manufactured within 500 miles of the site.
  • Indoor Environmental Quality: This category focuses on human comfort factors such as the ability to adjust temperature and supply fresh air.
  • Innovation in Design: This is the area in which innovation is recognized for new sustainable applications.

As you see, it is critical that the decision to pursue LEED Certification is made at the beginning of the design phase to eliminate redesign associated with tailoring materials and methods to LEED standards. During design, the project is registered with the USGBC ($450 for USGBC members and $600 for non-members) indicating your intent to pursue certification.

Also during the design phase, a worksheet indicating the credits you intend to pursue is completed. As the design progresses, credits are approved toward certification. This process continues during the construction phase as the sustainable measures are implemented and documented.

Clearly, documentation is the key to gaining credit for all of your efforts and requires constant attention. This effort should not be taken lightly and must be overseen by a LEED Accredited Professional, preferably with a specialty in the rating system you are pursuing. Documentation may take 50% or more of a team members’ time during the duration of the project.

When construction is complete, the project must be commissioned to ensure that the building operates as it was designed. Given that all data centers perform this task, no additional effort is required. Upon completion of the commissioning, all documentation is submitted for final approval and a fee is paid for certification.

The USGBC states that the average cost of certification across all rating systems is $2,000, but can be as high as $27,500 for a large project. After the submission is approved, your building can be included in the LEED registry and you receive the plaque for your building.

(Read More)

(Excerpt of article by Data Center Knowledge. NOT AFFILIATED WITH LAMBOO)

For questions regarding Lamboo, our products, or to schedule an interview please
visit our website at www.lamboo.us or contact us at info@lamboo.us 866-966-2999

“MAKING INNOVATIVE THINKING A STANDARD” – Lamboo Incorporated

Blog by: Dustin Dennison
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‘Abnormally Green’ Means Truly Sustainable Materials


Baltix Sustainable Furniture and Lamboo®, Inc. partner to deliver high performance bamboo for tabletop and countertop applications
August 22, 2012 – Lamboo, Inc. and Baltix Sustainable Furniture announced their partnership to provide the greenest commercial furniture in the industry. Through this partnership, Lamboo, Inc. will supply Baltix with a specifically engineered laminated bamboo product line for tabletops and counter tops. This specific product will be integrated into Baltix’s Green Tables Collection, which is ideal for designers that want to integrate both quality and sustainability within their products without sacrificing aesthetic value. By carefully choosing green materials, Baltix believes in embracing concepts such as weight reduction and sustainable processes aiming to provide products that allow their customers to go green with confidence.

All Baltix products are carefully manufactured utilizing computer driven technology for precision, combined with a touch of human hand for fit and finish. “Baltix recently conducted a search across the country to identify a new partner for our bamboo program. The team at Lamboo, Inc. filled the bill for us with their innovative, structural bamboo panels. It has always been our quest to partner with service oriented and like-minded, innovative and truly green manufacturers” said Baltix’s President, Chuck Lodge. This approach assures the products are of high quality whether it’s one item or one hundred. Their manufacturers are also highly efficient and use minimal waste practices, backed by a 10 year warranty, on time performance & a high level of customer service.

Lamboo offers the LAMBOO® SURFACE™ product line, engineered laminated bamboo product line designed for tabletops and counter top components. As a part of the Lamboo® Design™ series, these premium products are ideal for designers that want to integrate both quality and sustainability within their designs and integration without sacrificing aesthetic value. Lamboo Surface products now offer the perfect solution to visionary architects and designers wanting to replace traditional hardwoods, petroleum based, and synthetic materials with innovative and naturally sustainable solutions.

This partnership is formed to bring innovative solutions to use only the highest-quality raw materials, manufactured on state-of-the-art machinery and shop technology, while maintaining reputation of reliability and quality. Through partnership with Baltix Sustainable Furniture, Lamboo seeks to combine high performance bamboo products with the most innovative designs and products available in the market today.

For questions regarding Lamboo, our products, or to schedule an interview please
visit our website at www.lamboo.us or contact us at info@lamboo.us 866-966-2999
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“MAKING INNOVATIVE THINKING A STANDARD” – Lamboo Incorporated
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Blog by: Dustin Dennison

‘Green buildings’: From LEED to ‘net-zero’


“Green buildings” are structures that comply with sustainable practices throughout their life cycle – from construction, operation, maintenance, renovation and demolition. Though perhaps born in the energy crisis of the 1970’s, the green construction idea has found new urgency recently in relation to climate issues. Gaining more popularity, it is a now a key element in social measures that aim to lessen carbon footprints.

Green buildings use less water, generate energy savings, conserve natural resources, produce less waste and offer healthier spaces for its tenants, far from a conventional building’s features. Generally, they are designed to ease the sore impacts of the infrastructure both on human health and the environment.

More and more stakeholders are getting attracted to the concepts and practices of green buildings, and this has led to the creation of standards, codes and rating schemes by several organizations across different countries. These aid government regulators, developers and consumers in constructing green buildings with assurance.

Green building rating tools such as the United States’ Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design; the United Kingdom’s Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method; Japan’s Comprehensive Assessment System for Built Environment Efficiency; and Malaysia’s Green Building Index, among others, help users find out how green a building is.

They recognize and credit buildings that observe green design in categories like location and site maintenance, water conservation, energy efficiency, building materials sustainability and even occupants’ comfort and health. The number of credits given generally indicates to what level a building achieves its set goals.

The LEED standard of the United States Green Building Council is touted as the most prominent of the green building rating schemes and even as having spearheaded the “modern green building movement,” according to the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, a green industry advocate.

The race to green the buildings

In the race to develop “greener” buildings, countries are taking their concrete steps to be successful.

In the United States, President Barrack Obama took the move to the national level by issuing a memorandum in 2011 that urged all commercial buildings to be at least 20 percent more energy efficient by 2020. The president pledged to invest $4 billion to pave the way for energy upgrades in both federal and private buildings through the Better Buildings Challenge.

Among those that took the challenge was the iconic 81-year-old Empire State. Its ongoing retrofit is said to be the largest of its kind to date in the country, expected to significantly cut emissions by 105,000 metric tons over the next 15 years and reduce energy use by over $4.4 million every year. Overhaul plans for the 102 storey-skyscraper include upgrades of its 6,500 windows, new heating and cooling systems that automatically adapt to the temperature, insulation of the building space, improvement of its existing control system and installation of Internet-based system for occupants’ energy monitoring.

In Asia, countries are also working hard to keep up. China, which rivals the United States in the amount of emissions it sends to the atmosphere, is overhauling the architecture of its buildings. The 128-storey Shanghai Tower, when completed in 2014, will not only stand to be the tallest building but significantly will benchmark the green revolution in the country. It features wind turbines, a complex rainwater collection system, two envelope layers that wrap nine interior sky gardens and an ingenious design that will ease lateral loads from wind and reduces the necessary structural steel by over 20 percent.

India, on the other hand, has been vocal about its intentions to become one of the global leaders in green buildings by 2015. It has been making intensive efforts in greening the buildings across the country – ranging from home projects, factory buildings and LEED-certified buildings in India. To date, the Indian Green Building Scorecard shows that there are about 267 certified sustainable buildings existing, including some hotels, shopping centers, office spaces and state infrastructure such as the Indira Gandhi International Airport Terminal 3.

Net-Zero Buildings: The next big thing in green construction

No doubt, green buildings are booming, as venture capitalists generously invested over $4 billion on them since 2000, another report by Lux Research showed.

The study also found out that the first wave of green building start-ups has reached its maturity, and now these investors want something new and better technologies that will further improve green buildings.

“Early VC investors are looking for exits for the first wave of successful green buildings start-ups and the seeds of the next crop are being sown in on-site generation and sustainable materials,” said Ryan Castilloux, Lux Research analyst.

(Read More)

(Excerpt of article by EcoSeed. NOT AFFILIATED WITH LAMBOO)

In this new era of green construction the industry will have to search and develop innovative practices and materials to replace traditional forms that are no longer sustainable. Bamboo is a example of one of these new ultra renewable resources that will be looked towards to meet the burden of demand in our expanding society.

Bamboo as a resource is unmatched in its potential as a environmentally friendly structurally stable renewable building material. Bamboo produces 30% more oxygen and sequesters 35% more carbon than a like sized timber forest area. With a growth rate of 6-8 years to maturity (compared to timber 25-50) and root structure that eliminates the need for replanting bamboo can be produced on a large scale with much more ease than timber forests cutting costs and limiting energy consumption. Learn more about the amazing attributes of bamboo here.

Additionally incorporating Lamboo (LVB) laminated veneer bamboo into projects can earn LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification under MR Credit 6 – Rapidly renewable materials, IEQ Credit 4.4 – Low-emitting materials; ID Credit 1 – Innovation in Design (Environmentally Preferable Material), and ID Credit 2 – Innovation in Design (Life Cycle Assessment / Environmental Impact).

*Please refer to USGBC for information regarding project requirements

  For questions regarding Lamboo, our products, or to schedule an interview please
visit our website at www.lamboo.us or contact us at info@lamboo.us 866-966-2999
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“MAKING INNOVATIVE THINKING A STANDARD” – Lamboo Incorporated
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Blog by: Dustin Dennison

Eco-friendly substitute to wood, steel and iron


While there is a thriving cement, iron, steel and wood industry, there is no such industry or even a business model to commercialize and popularize bamboo and take it to the masses, writes M. Sai Gopal

After China, India is the second largest producer of bamboo in the world. Despite this, bamboo has never been in the running to become the most sought after material for furniture, interiors and structures. It has always been the less ‘eco-friendlier’ options with wood, iron, steel and cement dominating the market.

People looking for furniture or wanting to do up the interiors have preconceived notions and tilt towards wood as the first choice. There are myriad things one can do with a piece of bamboo, yet availability of information about its versatility is limited.

However, since past few years, bamboo has emerged as a strong alternative to traditional raw materials with a promise of being eco-friendly and a tag of being a more sustainable building material. Till recently, bamboo was synonymous with ladders and scaffolding. However, in the last few years, consumers and manufacturers have started taking a ‘fresh’ look at the various other uses of this plant.

“Some bamboo species can be harvested in one to five years while it takes anywhere from 10 to 50 years for softwood and hardwood. Harvests are possible every second year for up to 120 years. The bamboo yield is 25 times higher than timber hardwoods like oak tree, which takes at least 40 years to mature before harvesting,” explains Prashant Lingam of Bamboo House India.

Technically, bamboo is a grass. And yet, it is popularly known as ‘vegetable steel’ with a tensile strength of 28,000 per square inch. The tensile strength of steel is 23,000 per square inch. When bamboo is cut, new shoots come up and they mature in just five years. While other hardwood species take at least 50 years to grow back.

“There is a definite change in perception among general public towards bamboo in the last few years. They are more positive about it and are gradually realizing that bamboo is an eco-friendly substitute to wood, steel, iron and plastic,” says Aruna lingam, who along with Prashant Lingam have pioneered the many applications of bamboo in daily lives.

So what are the applications of bamboo in our daily lives? According to Mr. Prashant, bamboo can replace wood in nearly every application. “Paper, flooring, furniture, charcoal, building materials and much more can be made from bamboo. What’s more, bamboo fibres are far stronger than wood fibres and much less likely to warp from changing atmospheric conditions,” says Mr. Prashant.

(Read More)

(Excerpt of article by M. Sai Gopal of The Hindu. NOT AFFILIATED WITH LAMBOO)

Lamboo, Inc. is working towards developing the infrastructure to fully utilize this remarkable resource. Traditional building materials can be replaced in nearly any application using Lamboo (LVB) laminated veneer bamboo offering a truly sustainable replacement for both the commercial and industrial markets. From structural systems (recognized by ASTM), window & door, to complete interior remodeling Lamboo is not only a renewable resource but exhibits superior performance and durability over traditional forms of soft and hardwoods.

For questions regarding Lamboo, our products, or to schedule an interview please
visit our website at www.lamboo.us or contact us at info@lamboo.us 866-966-2999

“MAKING INNOVATIVE THINKING A STANDARD” – Lamboo Incorporated

Blog by: Dustin Dennison

The world’s first bamboo tender. Introduced by Lamboo and Sigmund Yacht Design


Lamboo would like to introduce the world’s first tender designed with the rapidly renewable resource of bamboo, the Lamboo® Tender R1.

A tender is a small vessel designed to be lightweight and agile to ferry supplies and passengers between a larger vessel such as a yacht to other ships.

Sigmund Yacht Design
, leading yacht and tender design firm, chose Lamboo materials due to the superior strength and performance attributes of our laminated bamboo.

This showcase is a key example of both companies’ commitment to integration of environmentally responsible methods matched with innovative engineering of performance materials into the nautical market.

Stay connected for future updates on the release of the first R1 model by subscribing to this blog.

For questions regarding Lamboo, our products, or to schedule an interview please
visit our website at www.lamboo.us or contact us at info@lamboo.us 866-966-2999

“MAKING INNOVATIVE THINKING A STANDARD” – Lamboo Incorporated

Blog by: Dustin Dennison

Green Buildings: Boost Business and Neighborhoods


Seems the green building movement isn’t just good for the planet, but for the pocketbook as well.

Developers and commercial building owners are increasingly using sustainable, environmentally friendly and energy efficient practices to lower costs, and the practice is spreading to include entire communities.

The U.S. Green Building Council just announced that the total footprint of commercial projects certified under its LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building program surpassed 2 billion square feet. An additional 7 billion square feet is currently in the pipeline across the globe, the council reports.

Roof gardens, systems that recycle a building’s heat and water, solar panels and drought-resistant landscaping have all been popular upgrades to older properties and built into new ones.

The trend has boosted business for a myriad of professions and industries. Architects and engineers who have embraced the green building movement are busy designing cutting-edge systems that save water, energy and money. Companies that manufacture or install solar collectors and other forms of sustainable energy have also benefitted from the tilt towards green.

The U.S. Green Building Council predicted that green building will support or create nearly 8 million jobs between 2009-2013 and contribute $554 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product.

Another by-product of the greening effort has been its attraction for tenants. Now there is a higher demand for healthier working space, and a recruiting edge for companies headquartered in green buildings. Improved indoor environmental quality in LEED-certified buildings has contributed to reductions in absenteeism and work hours affected by asthma, respiratory allergies, depression, and stress and to self-reported improvements in productivity, according to a study in the American Journal for Public Health.

The green development movement has expanded beyond individual buildings and has spread to include whole communities, with the U.S. Green Building Council’s newest designation, LEED for Neighborhood Development.

The program, funded by a $500,000 grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, aims to reduce suburban sprawl, promote smart growth principles and sustainability, and offers assistance to developers of affordable housing that employ green practices.

(Excerpt of article by Dave Winzelberg of Long Island Business News. NOT AFFILIATED WITH LAMBOO)

Recent trends show that government officials, city planners, architects and even consumers are becoming much more conscious of the environment and how rapid population growth combined with increased consumption is starting to take its toll. As finite building materials such as aluminum, steel and even slow growing timber resources become much more difficult to source and use on a large scale there will be opportunities for rapidly renewable materials to take their place. Bamboo with its extraordinary strength and performance attributes and its 6-8 year growth rate will be looked towards to carry much of the burden.

Lamboo Technologies through species selection, adhesive bonding, and lamination processes have been able to create the first structural grade bamboo material available to the world that is eligible for up to 4 LEED credits. In addition to LEED certification Lamboo has also orchestrated the inclusion of laminated veneer bamboo (LVB) into the 2012 Annual Book of ASTM Standards, one of the most recognizable and respected certification bodies in the world.

For questions regarding Lamboo, our products, or to schedule an interview please
visit our website at www.lamboo.us or contact us at info@lamboo.us 866-966-2999
“MAKING INNOVATIVE THINKING A STANDARD” – Lamboo Incorporated

Blog by: Dustin Dennison

ASTM 11a 5456 – Inclusion of Laminated Veneer Bamboo (LVB) as a Structural Composite Lumber Product


Founded in 1898, ASTM International has grown into a globally recognized leader in the development and delivery of international voluntary consensus standards. Today, over 12,500 ASTM standards are used around the world to improve product quality, enhance safety, facilitate market access and trade, and build consumer confidence.

The 2012 Annual Book of ASTM Standards has one historic addition under “Evaluation of Structural Composite Lumber Products” as it lists laminated veneer bamboo (LVB) as a certified product for structural applications under ASTM 11a 5456. The D07 orchestration of the inclusion of LVB in ASTM Standards has been a goal Lamboo Incorporated President Luke Schuette and Bruce Craig, Director of Certifications have been working towards since 2007.

Craig, with over 32 years of experience in the field of engineered wood product research and development specializes in product certifications, product development, and quality assurance for engineered wood products. Through his efforts and that of Schuette this inclusion marks the first bio-based structural material addition in around 30 years.

“Sustainability is becoming more and more of a focus in commercial construction. Now architects and engineers will be able to specify possibly the most ecologically friendly material to ever be integrated into the most respected international standard.” Said Luke Schuette, Architect, and Chairman of ASTM task group D07.02.03.

Lamboo structural grade components

D5456 is a standard specification for evaluation of structural composite lumber products that is intended for use as an engineering material for a variety of end-use application. (ASTM standards, D5456) Schuette, chairman of the task group ASTM D07.02.03 along with Craig, a 22 year ASTM member, have drafted and revised standards to be set forth, for the future use of Bamboo as a structural application. This specification recognizes the complexity of structural glued products.

This certification is a major step forward in the transition from finite building materials such as aluminum to rapidly renewable resources in the construction and architectural industries. Bamboo has always been touted for its remarkable attributes to grow and replenish much more rapidly than traditional forms of timber (6-8 years) but this certification also showcases bamboo’s superior strength and performance. The necessity for transition from less renewable sources such as steel, aluminum, and even timber is a reality that the industry must come to terms with.

For questions regarding Lamboo, our products, or to schedule an interview please
visit our website at www.lamboo.us or contact us at info@lamboo.us 866-966-2999
“MAKING INNOVATIVE THINKING A STANDARD” – Lamboo Incorporated

Blog by: Dustin Dennison

 

 

Boom in bamboo buildings has green benefits


GIRARDOT, Colombia — Forget steel and concrete. The building material of choice for the 21st century might just be bamboo.

This hollow-stemmed grass isn’t just for flimsy tropical huts any more it’s getting outsized attention in the world of serious architecture. From Hawaii to Vietnam, it’s used to build everything from luxury homes and holiday resorts to churches and bridges.

Boosters call it “vegetal steel,” with clear environmental appeal. Lighter than steel but five times stronger than concrete, bamboo is native to every continent except Europe and Antarctica.

And unlike slow-to-harvest timber, bamboo’s woody stalks can shoot up several feet a day, absorbing four times as much world-warming carbon dioxide. “The relationship to weight and resistance is the best in the world. Anything built with steel, I can do in bamboo faster and just as cheaply,” said Colombian architect Simon Velez.

(Excerpt of article by NBCNEWS.com. NOT AFFILIATED WITH LAMBOO)

As the first manufacturer of certified structural grade bamboo, Lamboo Technologies is preparing for the shift in sourcing of construction materials from traditional sources such as timber to more rapidly renewable sources to meet the growing demand the future undoubtedly will bring. Although bamboo grows remarkably fast and requires much less effort to replenish it is still a natural resource that we must protect and use wisely if it is to be implemented as a sustainable alternative to timber. Lamboo is working internationally to cultivate land management programs across the globe to ensure that bamboo as a resource will one day reach its potential and avoid misuse that can damage the ecosystems where this remarkable plant species grows.
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To learn more about sustainability efforts Lamboo is involved in please visit our website here.
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For additional information about Lamboo certifications including the recent inclusion of LVB (Laminated Veneer Bamboo) in the 2012 Annual Book of ASTM Standards sign up for updates using our “Follow By Email” box at the top right hand side of this page.
For questions regarding Lamboo, our products, or to schedule an interview please
visit our website at www.lamboo.us or contact us at info@lamboo.us 866-966-2999

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“MAKING INNOVATIVE THINKING A STANDARD” – Lamboo Incorporated

Blog by: Dustin Dennison