LEED® is a widely adopted certification for green building and performance management, and its popularity keeps growing year after year. With this in mind, it is an essential consideration in any sustainable building strategy, yet the questions remain: how best to approach LEED® credits? How do the different credits work together? And where does glass fit into all this? We wondered the same things, and we have the answers. Read on to discover how you can design for LEED® v4.1 using Walker Glass products.
Want a quick reference? Jump straight to our checklist of LEED® v4.1 credits available with Walker Glass Products.
Our thanks to Vitro Architectural Glass for their help in the realization of this article.
How glass fits into a LEED® strategy
As an inherently light-transmitting and non-emitting material, glass has great potential as part of green building systems. The specialized finishes and background documentation available with Walker Glass products can open the door to even more credits.
Walker Glass can contribute to a project’s LEED® credits in four categories:
- Energy and Atmosphere
- Materials and Resources
- Indoor Environmental Quality
LEED® v4.1 credits available with Walker Glass products
There are many ways for Walker Glass products to contribute to a project’s LEED® accreditation. Are you making the most of your Walker glazing? Here is a checklist of credits you may be able to achieve with the help of our glass under LEED® BD+C: New Construction v4.1.
Energy and Atmosphere
- Optimize Energy Performance
Option 1. Energy Performance Compliance | up to 18 points
- Project may use a variety of strategies, including building envelope, of which the glazing is part.
- Many Walker Glass products are available with Solarban® low-e coatings from Vitro Architectural Glass on surface 2. These coatings lower SHGC values for the glass, thereby reducing the energy needed to heat and cool a building, which can contribute toward the credit.
- Walker Glass products with low-e coatings:
Materials and Resources
- Environmental Product Declarations
Option 1. Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) | 1 point
- This credit incentivizes the use of products for which life-cycle information is available and that have preferable life cycle impacts on the social and ecological environments.
- Option 1 calls for at least 20 products sourced from at least five different manufacturers that provide qualifying life-cycle assessments and environmental product declarations.
- Walker Glass products can contribute to this credit due to the availability of a product-specific EPD (Type III). Each EPD verified Walker product is valued as 1.5 whole products out of the 20 needed for the purposes of credit achievement calculation.
- To request EPD documentation on our products, write to your Walker Glass architectural rep.
- Environmental data sheets are available here.
- Building professionals can secure an additional 1.5 products with Solarban® coated glass from Vitro, by using Vitro’s processed glass EPD. Therefore, a double-glazed IGU system with Walker product on the outboard lites and Solarban® on the inboard can count as 3 products under this credit.
- Material Ingredients
Option 1. Material Ingredient Reporting | 1 point
- The Material Ingredients credit encourages the use of products with transparent and responsible life cycles.
- Option 1 calls for at least 20 products sourced from at least five different manufacturers that provide specified chemical inventories to at least 0.1% (1000 ppm). Qualifying methods include Health Product Declarations® (HPD®).
- Walker Glass offer HPD® for Walker Textures® acid-etched glass, AviProtek® bird friendly glass, and mirror products. Each HPD® verified Walker product is valued as 1 whole product out of the 20 needed for the purposes of credit achievement calculation.
- To request HPD® documentation on our products, write to your Walker Glass architectural rep.
Indoor Environmental Quality
- Low-Emitting Materials | up to 3 points
- Architects can target this credit by including a variety of low-emitting materials in their designs. Use a greater number of low-emitting materials to achieve more credits.
- As an inherently non-emitting material, glass is a natural contributor to this credit.
- Thermal Comfort | 1 point
- This credit prioritizes human comfort and well-being within a building through the maintenance of proper interior temperature.
- Walker Textures® acid-etched glass and AviProtek® bird friendly glass are available with Solarban® low-e coatings from Vitro. This treatment helps to limit heat flow through windows, contributing to efficient thermal management.
- Daylight | up to 3 points
Note: the 3 options available for this credit reflect different methods of calculating daylight values, rather than different design choices.
- Option 1. Simulation: Spatial Daylight Autonomy and Annual Sunlight Exposure | up to 3 points (2 for Healthcare)
- Option 2. Simulation: Illuminance Calculations | up to 3 points (2 for Healthcare)
- Option 3. Measurement | up to 3 points (2 for Healthcare)
- Using the right glass makes a big impact when targeting this credit. It advocates for a visual connection to the outdoors, natural circadian rhythms, and natural daylighting. This can be accomplished with large, well-placed windows using AviProtek® patterned glass or Walker Textures® full surface acid-etched glass.
- Walker Textures® acid-etched glass can optimize daylighting by reducing glare while maintaining high VLT levels. Etched mirror is another effective way to soften daylight and disperse it evenly through interiors.
- Our article, Solving Daylighting Challenges With Acid-etched Glass & Mirror, illustrates how designers can take advantage of acid-etched glass and mirror’s light-optimizing properties.
- Learn more about this credit in our article on Daylighting: Green building certifications
- Quality Views | 1 point
- Health scientists are increasingly aware of the impact that natural views have on human well-being. This credit encourages architects to build such views into their designs.
- Walker Textures® Nuance decorative patterns and AviProtek® bird friendly glass offer clear sightlines to the surrounding environment. Acid-etched markers on the first surface of AviProtek® glass deter bird strikes without affecting the view.
- The Oregon Zoo Education Center presents an outstanding example of how this glass can be used to seamlessly integrate bird friendly building with a visual connection to the natural world.
- Helen Sanders elaborated on the importance of natural views in her article, We are outside animals: Why windows are crucial for human health
- Innovation | up to 5 points
This credit recognizes exceptional project designs which outperform the requirements for standard LEED® v4.1 credits. The credit may be achieved in three ways:
- Option 1. Innovation | 1 point
Achieve significant, measurable environmental performance using a strategy not addressed in the LEED® green building rating system.
- Option 2. Pilot | 1 point
Achieve one pilot credit from USGBC’s LEED® Pilot Credit Library. Walker Glass products are especially helpful in pursuing Pilot credit SSpc55, Bird Collision Deterrence.
- Option 3. Additional Strategies | up to 3 points
May be achieved by meeting the requirements of option 1 and/or option 2, and by achieving exemplary performance in an existing LEED® prerequisite or credit.
- Option 1. Innovation | 1 point
- Bird Collision Deterrence | 1 point
- This credit aims to reduce bird injury and mortality due to collisions with buildings.
- Projects can earn the credit by using bird deterrent façade materials such as AviProtek® bird friendly glass and Walker Textures® acid-etched glass with full surface treatment. Qualifying products are determined through calculations which use the American Bird Conservancy’s Threat Factor ratings. Please see Table A2 of the Bird Friendly Acid-etched Glass Booklet for Threat Factors on Walker’s AviProtek® products.
- Learn more about the science of bird deterrence in our online resource page, Bird safe glass: an innovative 1st surface solution
LEED® certified projects in the wild
Using the right Walker Glass product can help your project earn Innovation credits in several different ways. Here are some examples of how architects integrated green building strategies into their designs, to stunning effect.
Oregon Zoo Education Center
Opsis Architecture designed the Oregon Zoo Education Center for LEED® Platinum status, which it achieved with the help of energy efficient and bird friendly AviProtek® E. Early building plans placed bird deterrent patterning only in the riskiest areas for bird strikes. However, zoo staff asked for patterned glass everywhere because they loved the look! The final design uses AviProtek® throughout the building for the benefit of staff, guests, and local bird populations.
Walker Glass product: Insulated Glass Unit – 6mm clear glass AviProtek® pattern 211 Surface #1, Solarban® 70XL Surface #2
LEED® v4.1 credits related to glass: 22 points (includes full 18 points for Energy Optimization, of which the glazing is one component)
- Pilot credit SSpc55, Bird Collision Deterrence (1pt)
AviProtek® E pattern 211 has a low Threat Factor of only 23. This Threat Factor helped the building achieve a total building Bird Collision Threat Rating (BCTR) of 15 or less, satisfying the “Building façade and site structures” requirements for the credit.
- Innovation Credit, Building Education (1pt)
Signage in the Education Center explains how patterned glass in the building’s windows helps to protect local bird populations. This strategy creates a public education component related to the sustainable attributes of the building, which helped the project earn its Innovation Credit.
The Garden Room at The National Aviary
The National Aviary’s Garden Room was designed to connect guests with the surrounding environment, including the Aviary’s historic Rose Garden. Architects Perfido Weiskopf Wagstaff + Goettel targeted and achieved LEED® Silver certification for this project. The building has gone on to win design awards including Environment + Energy Leader Top Project award for 2021.
Walker Glass product: 6mm Acuity™ Pattern 213 on position 1 with 6mm Acuity™ Solarban® 72 on position 3
LEED® v4.1 credits related to glass: 16 points (includes full 11 points for Energy Optimization, of which the glazing is one component)
- Daylight (3pts) and Quality Views (1pt)
Natural views and daylighting are a significant part of The Garden Room’s appeal. The wraparound curtainwall offers full visibility into the Rose Garden through bird deterrent acid-etched glass.
Checklist: LEED® credits with Walker Glass products
There’s a lot to digest when it comes earning to LEED® credits. To make the process a little simpler, we’ve prepared a checklist of credits that Walker Glass products can contribute to under LEED® BD+C: New Construction v4.1. Make sure to check the list next time you’re planning or submitting a project for LEED® consideration!
There’s always more to learn when it comes to sustainable building. Here are a few resources to help you become a true green building geek.
- Introduction to LEED® v4.1 from the US Green Building Council: https://www.usgbc.org/leed/v41
- Vitro Architectural Glass on sustainable options with energy efficient low-e coated glass
- A list of available credits: LEED
- Green building resources: https://www.walkerglass.com/resources/
- Daylighting: Green building certifications: https://www.walkerglass.com/daylighting-green-building-certifications/
LEED® projects to inspire you
A few of our favourite LEED® certified projects.
McMaster University – Peter George Center for Living and Learning
- LEED® Silver certification
- Hamilton, ON
- Glass contributed to Optimize Energy + Performance