The LEED rating system is continually evolving. First released in 2004, the current version is LEED v4 which has many changes from the previous version (LEED 2009), particularly in the category of Materials and Resources (MR).
In fact, the majority of the MR credits are new, replacing LEED 2009 credits on material attributes (e.g. recycled content) with new credits focused on building product transparency and reporting.
It is important to recognize that the credits in the LEED rating system are focused on assessing the building as a whole. As a result, no one product or material alone can earn LEED credit points, but rather, building products can contribute toward earning LEED points on a project.
Fire-rated glass is one of those building products that can potentially contribute towards earning LEED points. Below are the categories where fire-rated glass may apply:
Energy & Atmosphere
- Prerequisite – Minimum Energy Performance: Fire-rated glass can be part of a strategy to help achieve the required energy performance because they can incorporate low-E or energy performance glazing.
- Credit - Optimize Energy Performance: Fire-rated glass products can be customized to meet required U-values, SHGCs, etc. to further reduce the amount of energy consumed by the building. Because this credit also includes interior lighting energy demands, using fire-rated glass can help maximize light penetration, even from artificial lighting, by providing light transmittance in areas where opaque walls are the norm.
Materials & Resources
- Credit – Building Product Disclosure and Optimization – Sourcing of Raw Materials – Option 2: Awards a point for using materials that contain recycled content or those that follow other responsible extraction criteria for at least 25 percent, by cost, of the total value of permanently installed products. The steel and aluminum used in fire-rated framing systems contain recycled content that can potentially contribute to this credit.
- Credit – Building Product Disclosure and Optimization –Material Ingredients – Option 1:
Awards one-twentieth of a point for each product used having a Health Product Declaration (HPD) or other compliant ingredient report. Currently, HPD v2.0 reports are available for SAFTIFIRST’s SuperLite fire-rated glass and GPX Fire Rated Framing products.
- Credit – Construction and Demolition Waste Management: Awards points based on construction waste diverted from the landfill, and new in LEED v4, also for reduction in total waste material if total waste generated is no more than 2.5 pounds per square foot of building floor area. Fire-rated glazing systems are supplied to the construction site in the exact quantities needed. They typically have no waste, and can contribute to the construction waste avoidance.
In addition to Energy & Atmosphere and Materials & Resources, fire-rated glass and framing can also apply to Indoor Environmental Quality. To learn how (and for a detailed description of each credit), download SAFTIFIRST’s LEED v4 Brochure and Scorecard here.