Fully responsive to the growing consumer understanding of the advantages of environment-friendly buildings and materials, building owners, commercial painting contractors, paint manufacturers, and building industry stakeholders willingly undergo qualification tests and certifications to ensure their compliance to existing environment-safety building and material standards.
The U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) ratings system has the most definitive standards for a “green building. LEED comprehensively examines factors like the building’s energy consumption and water usage, as well as the source and quality of building materials used in building construction. The overall quality of the environment in and around the building is also examined in the LEED system.
The LEED rating system has a point-earnings mechanism from which different certification levels are based on. LEED looks for the appropriate level of compliance and sustainability in building and commercial painting contractor projects, be they new or existing constructions, either commercial or residential in nature. LEED has rated nearly 3.9 billion square feet of commercial property since 1990. This translates to roughly 7% of the commercial construction market, and still increasing. Residential projects are also gaining ground, with LEED certifications already awarded to some 1,000 properties. The interest to participate in the LEED rating system is huge, with nearly 13,000 registered projects awaiting certification.
LEED also has a specific rating system for paints and coatings. This is the Indoor Environmental Quality Credit 4.2, aiming to reduce VOCs in paints, coatings and primers. Commercial painting contractors and facility owners prefer to use LEED-accredited high-performance paints that have low-emission capabilities and leave as little environment damage as possible in their building projects.