The Sound Advice Blog

  • Sustainable Series Acoustical Products: Earning LEED credits and Greening Buildings

    For years Acoustical Solutions, Inc. has offered products that help businesses earn Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) credits. This year, however, we set out to offer a cohesive line that takes advantage of all recyclable and sustainable materials available, earning more credits and easing the decision of builders to choose green products.

    “We have always been conscious of the need to offer ‘green’ or environmentally friendly products, and LEED has made them more appealing to our client base,” said Dave Ingersoll, Sales Manager at Acoustical Solutions, Inc., “but I think that the Sustainable Series we released this year will draw even more businesses and builders to LEED certification because they earn so many credits and are affordable”.

     Acoustical Solutions has an extensive client list that ranges from top broadcasting companies such as CNN and HBO to colleges and universities such as Richmond’s own Virginia Commonwealth University. Many of these clients are beginning to look closer at obtaining LEED certification, like corporate client, Best Buy: “With LEED certification, Best Buy gains the advantage of third party verification,” said Danielle Tallman, associate development manager at Best Buy, in an interview with USGBC, “we like that stamp of approval. It sets us apart from other retailers and allows us to promote the very tangible difference that we’re making”.

    What is LEED?

    LEED was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in March 2000 and provides building owners and operators with a set of guidelines for building or converting existing structures into green spaces. What is appealing about being LEED certified are not only the ethical issues, although the public anxiety over environmental concerns is certainly not decreasing, but the fiscal as well. According to a 2010 study conducted by McGraw Hill Construction, green building improves the property owner’s return on investment 9.9% for new construction. For existing building projects that figure is 19.2%.

    According to the USGBC website, the goal of LEED-certified buildings is to:

    • Lower operating costs and increase asset value
    • Reduce waste sent to landfills
    • Conserve energy and water
    • Be healthier and safer for occupants
    • Reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions
    • Qualify for tax rebates, zoning allowances and other incentives in hundreds of cities

    How does your building become certified?

    LEED projects fall under five different categories:

    • Commercial Interiors
    • Existing Buildings
    • New Construction
    • Core and Shell
    • Schools

    Each project category has 100 credits available, dispersed between five key areas of human and environmental health:

    • Sustainable sites
    • Water efficiency
    • Energy and atmosphere
    • Materials and resources
    • Indoor environmental quality

    When a project earns at least 40 of these credits, it is eligible for certification. If it earns greater than 50 it is eligible for Silver, Gold, and Platinum Certification. Learn more about certification

    The Sustainable Series line of Acoustical Products includes Wall Panels, Ceiling Tiles, Cloud Mount Panels, and Baffles. They all use Ecose Fiberglass inserts, which are made with post-consumer bottle glass and are 100% recyclable, and covered in a Sustainable Eco-Fabric, the industry’s first ‘no-compromise’ eco-friendly wallcovering platform. Sustainable Series products do not compromise on aesthetics, functionality, or price. They are just as affordable as traditional acoustical treatment and the fabric is available in a true, clean white, as well as many other patterns.

    Sustainable Series Fabric can be used for LEED projects in the following categories:

    Category: Materials and Resources:

    MR 5.1: Regional Material:1 20% manufactured locally – for projects within a 500 mile radius of Elyria, OH
    MR 2.1: Construction Waste Management: Divert 50% from landfill
    MR 2.2: Construction Waste Management: Divert 75% from landfill
    Category:  Indoor Environmental Quality:
    EQ 4.1: Low emitting Materials: Adhesives & Sealants
    1 Applies to both New Construction and Commercial Interiors projects.
    2 Wallcoverings featuring Sustainable Series Fabric are 100% recyclable. Applies to Commercial Interiors (CI) projects only.
    3 Applies to both New Construction and Commercial Interiors projects. Low emitting adhesives are recommended for installation of wallcoverings featuring Sustainable Series Fabric.

    Sustainable Series Ecose Fiberglass can be used for LEED projects in the following categories:

    Category: Materials & Resources:
    MR 4.1:
    Recycled Content 10%
    MR 4.2:
    Recycled Content 20%
    MR 5.1
    Regional Materials: 10% Extracted, Processed and Manufactured Regionally: For projects within 500 miles of Shelbyville, IN, Lanett, AL or Shasta Lake, CA.MR 5.2: Regional Materials: 20% Extracted, Processed and Manufactured Regionally: For projects within 500 miles of Shelbyville, IN, LAnett, AL or Shasta Lake, CA.Category: Energy and Atmosphere:strong>EA 1: Optimize Energy PerformanceCategory: Indoor Environmental Quality:EQ 3: Acoustical PerformanceEQ 3.2: Indoor Air QualityEQ 7.1: Thermal ComfortEQ 9: Enhanced Acoustical PerformanceEQ 10: Mold Prevention

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