LEED-Certified Green Building



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Know everything there is to know about our LEED Certified Green Building. The LEED rating system allots points for the design and construction process in each of the following categories:

1. sustainable sites
2. water efficiency, energy and atmosphere
3. material and resources
4. indoor environmental quality
5. design innovation

NVAR broke ground for its new NVAR Headquarters building on Monday, May 4, 2009. NVAR’s members work every day to help citizens of Northern Virginia realize their dream of homeownership, and now NVAR has a home of its own.

LEED is a third-party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. To be LEED Certified means that the NVAR building meets the construction requirements of the U.S. Green Building Council and qualifies to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards.

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Steps to Achieving Sustainability


Sustainable Building and Site Design:

  • Project site selected to have minimum impact on natural environment and to be near public transportation.
  • Premium parking spaces set aside for low fuel vehicles and bicycle storage; changing rooms provided for occupants who bicycle to work.
  • Open space exceeds local requirements by 54%.
  • Half of parking is underground to reduce impervious site area allowing for more natural water absorption and less run off.
  • Building materials were selected for high recycled and low VOC content.
  • Use of native plant materials on site allows for minimum site irrigation and maximum water savings.
  • Indoor air quality improved by increasing fresh air intake; outside air system design provides 25 percent higher outside air quantities than required by applicable code

Sustainable Construction Practices: 

  • Prevented pollution during construction by careful stormwater management and erosion control.
  • Protected construction materials during construction to prevent contamination and mold. 
    Protected cavities and ductwork from dust and debris after close-in to provide uncontaminated airflow upon occupancy.
  • Gave preference to construction materials harvested and manufactured locally (within a 500 mile radius.)
  • 75 percent of construction waste generated by project will be recycled.

Energy and Water Conservation:

  • Energy efficient building envelope and efficient heating and cooling systems contribute to far greater than average energy savings in the operation of the building.
  • HVAC system is "chilled water"-based as compared to "self-contained packaged" system.
  • Higher efficiency translates to lower overall operating costs and lower energy consumption; calculations show performance that is 40 percent more efficient than current code requirements.

Operational Sustainability:

  • Many sustainable operational practices already in place.
  • Housekeeping will be “green,” using non-toxic cleaning products.
  • Tenant guidelines have been established to enforce recycling and other sustainable practices.

(Information provided by Marlene Shade and Justin Prosser)

What Does It Mean To Be LEED Certified?

The NVAR  headquarters was built green and is LEED certified. Developed by the USGBC, LEED provides building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.

LEED is flexible enough to apply to all building types – commercial as well as residential. It works throughout the building lifecycle – design and construction, operations and maintenance, tenant fitout, and significant retrofit. And LEED for Neighborhood Development extends the benefits of LEED beyond the building footprint into the neighborhood it serves.

For more information, please visit usgbc.org.

Sustainable Construction and Design

Underground Parking:
  1. Reduces non-porous concrete area
  2. Permits more natural water absorption
  3. Added grassy coverage creates oxygen
  4. Reduces Footprint
Green Roof
  1. Plants cool the air through evaporation
  2. Reduces "urban heat island effect"
  3. Soil filters and slows rainwater runoff
Eco Friendly Materials:
  1. Rubber rooftop produced with recycled materials; white color reduces heat output
  2. Exterior recyclable brick made with abundant natural components 
  3. Low- Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) floor coverings and paints minimize indoor air pollutants
  4. Steel components made from recycle content
  5. Woodwork sourced from local manufacturer
  6. Bamboo Flooring
Passive Solar & HVAC
  1. Natural light reduces energy requirements
  2. Sunlight helps heat and cooling building
  3. Low - e windows reduce radiant heat gain
  4. Energy Recovery Ventilators recover more than 90% of energy and filter air
Light and Plumbing
  1. Lighting is LED, fluorescent or HID halide
  2. Dyson Airblade hand dryers use 80% less energy
  3. Automatic facet sensors and low flow toilets
  4. Showers with low flow shower heads
  1. More than 75% of construction waste recycled