LEED Compliance For Locksmiths

Oct. 3, 2019

The need for locksmith involvement in construction projects requiring green technologies increases with each passing day. The need and subsequent mandate for sustainability is one of the hallmarks of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification as it pertains to the numerous products that we, as locksmiths, install.

LEED, developed by the USGBC (United States Green Building Council), is a benchmark-driven, global standards program designed to create high-performance green buildings. This pertains to mechanical locks as well as electronic access control products.

“According to the USGBC, each year, buildings are responsible for 39 percent of CO2 emissions in the U.S. and 36 percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Buildings also consume 70 percent of U.S. electricity; use 15 trillion gallons of water; and consume 40 percent of raw materials globally... Green buildings use 36 percent less energy than conventional buildings, and reduce CO2 emissions by 30 to 50 percent” (engineers newsletter, Volume 36-4, TRANE).

LEED Certification Centers on Sustainability

For the locksmith, LEED compliance is synonymously and harmoniously an environmental responsibility. As we look at the types of materials used in manufacturing and the energy usage aspects that parallel that of energy-safety devices, such as electrically-operated hardware and other control systems used to regulate access to and from the facilities we protect, it should be obvious that such a program is intrinsically important to the survival of the planet, or so many believe..

LEEDS also pertains to the materials used in the making of the products we use. This includes where they are obtained and utilized in the manufacturing process, as well as other factors, such as recycling of recyclable goods and the use of materials conducive to maintaining the quality of the atmosphere within LEED certified buildings (more on this later).

Examples of goods that security professionals often utilize in their everyday work includes door strikes, electromagnetic locks, solenoid locks, electrified rim latches, mechanical locks, closers, latch plates, and more. For those of us who offer electronic security, add cameras, alarm devices, and control systems to the list.

In this Locksmith Ledger story, we’ll discuss the issues surrounding LEEDS. These products may add to the overall price tag of the project, but in the end, they provide a corresponding ROI (Return on Investment).

How LEED Certification Works

LEED uses a rating or grading system involving the earning of points for new construction and properties under significant renovation. LEED certification relies on third-party verification that a structure -- be it commercial or residential - -is built according to methods and products that promote sustainability. This enables these projects to achieve high performance in the areas of environmental sustainability as well as human health, energy efficiency, water quality, and more.

According to TRANE, a well-known manufacturer of heating, cooling, and other products, those that apply for LEED certification must meet certain standards, including the accumulation of points for a variety of design criteria, all of which assists them in attaining LEED Certification.

There are six official categories that apply to this mission. They are:

  1. Sustainable Site Development
  2. Water Efficiency
  3. Energy and Atmosphere
  4. Materials and Resources
  5. Indoor Environmental Quality
  6. Design Process

Finding LEED projects to bid on isn’t all that difficult. Some of the most prominent building types that fall under the LEED Certification program include                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            :

●   School Buildings

●    Healthcare Facilities

●    Airports

●    Retail Stores

●    and more…

Among the many stakeholders:

●    Architects

●    Electrical Engineers

●    Facility Managers

●    Structural Engineers

●    Building Contractors

●    Interior Designers

●    Landscapers

●    Real Estate Agents

●    and more…

For locksmiths, a good portion of our involvement centers on the use of low-energy systems that includes electrically operated locking hardware. This includes hardware that complies with the Energy and Atmosphere specifications as well as recycled content and environmental quality.

Center Stage: Energy Conservation

Central to LEED Certification in the area of new construction and retrofit is the issue of energy efficiency. According to the USDOE (United States Department of Energy), 39 percent of the energy produced nationally is consumed by buildings, which accounts for 74 percent of all the electrical energy generated. Thus energy related strategies in access control –o ne of several categories where LEED Certification requires special attention in hardware and system selection, is extremely important to contractors and property owners if they expect to earn LEED Certification.

When looking for hardware for a LEED project, one way to search for products is to look for the manufacturer’s LEED Declaration. These brochures or statements will bear a title such as “Sustainability,” USGBC LEED Rating Statement,” “LEED Compliance Declaration,” or something similar.

The products themselves cannot be LEED Certified -- only the projects on which they are to be installed.

“Product manufacturers become involved in the LEED Certification process when it comes to showing LEED compliance of a product. In other words, product manufacturers can show that use of a specific product helps in earning points toward a desired LEED Certification label,” says Everblue. “Therefore, demonstrating a product’s compliance to LEED standards can be an important tool for marketing. Please note, however, that LEED-related labels may not be placed on product packaging under any circumstances” (LEED Jobs: Product Manufacturers, http://bit.ly/2ZlYmQ4).

In Kaba’s LED Declaration, for example, individual products are not LEED certified. However, with that said, choosing the right products will assist those planning and executing a LEEDs project in achieving LEED points.

Sustainability and Raw Materials Selection

There are aspects to the selection of raw materials that comprise the access control devices we use that can assist our proposed clients in the LEED Certification challenge. Let’s use Kaba’s USGBC LEED Green Building Rating Statement for their safe and container locking systems (http://bit.ly/2Zt9RBg) as an example.

The two categories where points may be acquired through the use of Kaba Mas products are:

1.  MR Credit 5.1: Regional Materials: 10% Extracted, Processes & Manufactured Regionally (1 Point). Use building materials or products that have been extracted, harvested or recovered, as well as manufactured within 500 miles of the project site.

2.  MR Credit 5.2: Regional Materials: 20% Extracted, Processes & Manufactured Regionally (1 Point), in addition to MR Credit 5.1. Use building materials or products that have been extracted, harvested or recovered, as well as manufactured within 500 miles of the project site for an additional 10% beyond MR Credit 5.1 (total of 20%).

As you can see, both categories pertain to the raw materials used in the manufacture of these KABA/LA GARD products.

Where to Find LEED Compliant Products

The following is a list of manufacturers involved in providing sustainable products that you can use in your effort to assist prospective clients in gaining LEED Certification:

●    Adams Rite

●    Aiphone

●    Corbin Russwin

●    Dormakaba

●    HES


●    PEMKO

●    Sargent

●    Securitron

●    Security Metal Products

●    Stanley Security

●    Yale