Window coverings help reduce energy loss and the use of energy efficient plantation shutters can lead to credits in the USBGC LEED rating system. During building or remodeling a house or office facility, an integration of green building design should be considered to decrease operating costs, preserve the external environment and provide benefits to individuals who occupy the residence/facility.
A concept spearheaded by the USGBC, a non-profit organization with a vision of a sustainable built environment within a generation, green building not only has an outstanding impact on the environment but the steps to building green can be simple and in the long run cost-effective too.
According to the USGBC, buildings in the U.S. account for 12 percent of the nation’s water use, 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, 65 percent of waste output and 70 percent of electricity consumption. But a building’s impact can be drastically reduced by following green building practices. On average, green buildings reduce water use by 30-50 percent, reduce carbon emissions by 35 percent, decrease waste output by 50-90 percent and result in a 30 percent energy savings.
The USGBC is also the organization that runs the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program. The program, developed to encourage global adoption of sustainable green building practices through universally understood tools and performance criteria, concentrates its efforts on improving performance in metrics such as:
* Energy Savings
* Water Efficiency
* CO2 Emissions Reduction
* Improved Indoor Environmental Quality
* Stewardship of Resources and Sensitivity to their Impacts
Under these criteria, certain steps can be taken to earn certification, for example, the use of interior window shutters.
Energy Efficient, Green Option for Interior Window Shutters
Windows represent a major source of unwanted heat loss, discomfort and condensation problems. They are often one of the largest sources of heat loss in winter due to their low insulating ability and high air leakage rates, and generally the major source of unwanted heat gain in the summer. As a result, windows are typically net energy losers, and can be responsible for 25 to 50 percent of the energy used to heat and cool facilities. However, improved windows, combined with environmentally safe and energy efficient interior plantation shutters, such as those produced by Eclipse Shutters, can result in windows that provide a net energy gain.
Designed to help the customer save money on its heating and cooling bills year-round, Eclipse Shutters’ have pockets of air designed into the louver and frame parts. This construction eliminates solar heat gain during the summer months and provides excellent insulation during the winter months, making the plantation shutters extremely energy efficient. Elliptical louver design helps the suns strong rays reflect back instead of being absorbed into the facility. Additional benefits from the use of interior plantation shutters include regulation of light and personal climate control as well as many design options to improve the indoor atmosphere and the workspace.
Earn USBGC Credits through the use of Interior Window Coverings
Using energy efficient interior plantation shutters by Eclipse Shutters can facilitate the process of obtaining USBGC LEED Green Building certification. Opportunities for credit exist in categories, such as:
* Indoor Air Quality – due to Greenguard certification
* Interior Daylighting – the use of permanent shading devices to control incoming light and reduce the need for lamps and other power hungry lighting devices
* Regional materials – the use of building materials that have been manufactured within 500 miles for 20 percent of total materials. Eclipse Shutters are manufactured in over a dozen locations in the US and Canada. There is a good chance that one of them is within 500 miles of your project.
Interior window coverings are often an afterthought during the planning stages for building development and construction. If these products can be considered during the process of design it will allow for a more functional green environment for all inhabitants while also possibly providing needed credits to achieve LEED certification in the silver, gold, or platinum categories. Bringing greater awareness of the role interior window shutters can play in this process can lead to a cleaner, greener world for us all.
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