How composites can help achieve LEED certification
In our Architecture and Infrastructure group, BFG is leading the way, helping our clients to achieve full LEED certification for new green buildings by incorporating the latest composite components into their designs. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is one of the world’s most popular green building certification programmes developed by the US Green Building Council. Its goal is to enhance environmental performance, improve wellbeing and enhance the economic returns of new build facilities, and covers design, construction, operation and maintenance.
By incorporating FRP materials in your structures in place of oldfashioned building fabric, you can make a positive impact to securing LEED certification for your next project.
Low resource requirement
Lightweight FRP materials have low ecological and carbon footprints. The overall materials and resource requirement in FRP production is significantly lower than for traditional building materials.
FRP uses less energy in the production process from the raw materials stage all the way to product delivery.
Long product life cycle
FRP is a durable, low maintenance, long lasting material, with a long life cycle as determined by Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies. This reduces the need for replacement, repair and repainting over time.
Natural, non-depleting materials
Glass, the main ingredient of the fiberglass reinforcement in FRP, is made from sand which is a natural, nondepleting resource.
Resistance to damage
FRP materials are resistant to damage by moisture, weather conditions, salinity, as well as by termites and other insects, which reduces the need for toxic pesticides.
LEED certification standards
To attain LEED certification, a building project must satisfy all the LEED requirements and earn a minimum of 40 points (or ‘credits’) out of 110 on the LEED rating system scale. The number of points determines the overall LEED certification level:
|80 points||Platinum Certificate|
|60 points||Gold Certificate|
|50 points||Silver Certificate|
|40 points||Minimum for Certification|
Building up your LEED Credits
Using FRP components in building fabric can contribute to LEED credits in a number of key categories:
SS Credit 7 (12 points)
To minimise the impact on microclimates by reducing heat islands thermal gradient differences between developed and undeveloped areas.
BFG’s FRP roof structures such as domes and roof panels are custom made to a range of SRI values to meet project requirements. SRI values tested as per ASTM C 154909 are >49
EA Credit 1 (119 points)
To achieve energy performance above the baseline standard and reduce the environmental and economic impacts associated with excessive energy use.
Uvalue, the fundamental unit of heat flow, is used to define the thermal transmittance of systems. In a typical FRP sandwich structure composed of two fiberglass skins and a PET core the Uvalue is 1.65 W/m2/°K for a 20mmthick core and 1.32W/m2/°K for a 25mmthick core.
MR Credit 2 (12 points)
To minimise construction debris and divert it away from disposal in landfills or incinerators, redirecting recovered resources back to the manufacturing process and reusable materials to the appropriate sites.
For most projects, BFG’s FRP components are custom moulded to size and shape and assembled at the factory, minimising waste on site.
MR Credit 4 (12 points)
To use products that incorporate recycled materials.
At BFG, we use a green grade PolyethyleneTerephthalate (PET) core, which is made of 100% postconsumer recycled PET packaging material. The PET core weights 15% of the total weight of a typical FRP sandwich panel, exceeding the minimum qualification level (10%) required for LEED credit award.
MR Credit 5 (12 points)
To promote the use of materials which are extracted, harvested and manufactured locally.
Most of the ingredients used in the production of FRP at our Bahrain site are made in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries within 500 miles of the factory location.
EQ Credit 3 (12 points)
To provide workspaces promoting the occupant’s wellbeing, productivity and communication through effective acoustic design.
BFG’s FRP sandwich panels reduce the transferred sound by >30 db and make a significant contribution to improved acoustic performance.
EQ Credit 4 (13 points)
To reduce the concentration of chemical contaminants that can damage air quality, human health, productivity and the environment.
The high quality gel coat finishes that can be applied to FRP products reduce the need for painting at site and therefore lower the volume of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) released.
EQ Credit 10 (1 point)
To reduce the potential presence of mold through preventive design and construction measures.
FRP materials do not absorb moisture and do not contribute to mould growth.
IN Credit 1 (15 points)
For exceptional performance above the requirements set by the LEED New Construction Green Building Rating System.
BFG has a 40 year track record of supporting innovative ideas. With a dedicated innovation hub in Strasbourg, we welcome opportunities for future collaboration in all manner of pioneering FRP applications.
LEED is a sustainable build ratings system developed by the US Green Building Council.