- What are the advantages of using LEED for manufacturing facilities?
- What issues are unique to industrial projects?
- How many manufacturing facilities are registered and certified under LEED?
- How do manufacturing facilities earn LEED certification?
- How does the latest version of LEED address the unique challenges of industrial projects?
- How can multiple buildings and structures in a campus setting earn LEED certification?
- How does the LEED performance platform relate to manufacturing?
- What are the various LEED resources available for manufacturing?
- Where can I find owner profiles and case studies on manufacturing?
- Does USGBC offer any education for project teams wanting to learn more about manufacturing facilities pursuing green building measures?
- Who can I contact for more information about this?
- Is there a document I can download and send to my team?
What are the advantages of using LEED for manufacturing facilities?
LEED‐certified manufacturing facilities are the triple bottom line in action, benefiting people, planet, and profit. LEED certification leads to healthier, more productive places, reduced stress on the environment, impressive savings through reduced utility costs, and enhanced building value. LEED-certified manufacturing facilities are designed and operated to consume less water, less energy, fewer natural resources and are ultimately aimed to reduce the overall impact of the development on the local, regional, and global environment. Factories across the world are using LEED to ensure a more efficient, equitable, and sustainable future.
For manufacturers, efficiency equals a healthy business unit and can save owners and operators millions 1 on an industrial scale. Green buildings also ensure that manufacturers are good stewards for their communities and help protect residents and workers, promoting a healthy environment and economy.
What issues are unique to industrial projects?
Manufacturing and industrial facilities often have different energy and water needs, unique ventilation requirements, high equipment loads, 24/7 operations, and programmatic relationships with other buildings that make pursuing strong efficiency measures challenging. Recognizing the unique challenges that often exist in manufacturing facilities, USGBC has developed industry-specific guidance and certain LEED credits were adapted to reflect the needs of the industrial sector.
How many manufacturing facilities are registered and certified under LEED?
As of June 2023, there are 4,915 total LEED‐certified and registered industrial manufacturing facilities across the globe representing 1.44 billion square feet (134 million square meters) of built space.
How do manufacturing facilities earn LEED certification?
Manufacturing facilities can be certified under different LEED rating systems at different stages of the building’s lifecycle.
- LEED for Building Design and Construction (BD+C): New Construction and Major Renovation is the most appropriate rating type for buildings that are new construction or major renovation. At least 60% of the project’s gross floor area must be complete by the time of certification and must include the entire building’s gross floor area in the project. For manufacturing spaces, this may include areas dedicated to administrative, warehouse and distribution, and production-related functions.
- LEED for Operations and Maintenance: can be applied to existing buildings that are fully operational and occupied for at least one year. The project may be undergoing improvement work or little to no construction and must also include the entire building’s gross floor area in the project. Unless otherwise noted in the credit‐specific requirements, this includes process‐related operations and performance metrics.
How does the latest version of LEED address the unique challenges of industrial projects?
In developing LEED v4 and LEED v4.1 certain prerequisites and credits were adapted to reflect the specific needs of the industrial segment. Incorporating feedback from our manufacturing stakeholders, LEED has published industry-specific guidance in the form of LEED Interpretations (LI), Alternative Compliance Paths (ACPs) and pilot credits.
For example, LI 10493 allows LEED v4 projects with more than 50% unregulated process loads and whole building energy simulation to use the Core and Shell energy performance improvement thresholds in lieu of the New Construction thresholds. How to document the input assumptions for receptacle and process loads when conducting an energy model is now included in the LEEDv4 BD+C Reference Guide. See additional technical resources below.
How can multiple buildings and structures in a campus setting earn LEED certification?
Manufacturing and industrial facilities often operate on a large scale with multiple buildings spread across a single site. All these buildings, people, and processes are interconnected with each other. To address this, the LEED Campus Guidance was introduced for projects that are on a shared site under the control of a single entity. Its application to manufacturing developments represents the complexity of buildings and infrastructure on a site. LEED Campus Guidance is a useful tool for industrial and manufacturing campuses with multiple buildings, common utilities, and site‐wide management policies. By utilizing LEED Campus Guidance, factory owners and project teams can benefit from an increase in streamlined review process, and reduced certification fees under the Master Site approach, leading to successful implementation of LEED project.
How does the LEED performance platform relate to manufacturing?
The LEED v4.1 O+M Rating System offers a unique performance-based pathway to certify your existing buildings and interior spaces. This new rating system uses Arc, a state‐of‐the‐art platform designed to collect, manage, and benchmark your building across five performance categories: Energy, Water, Waste, Transportation, and Human Experience.
And what does this mean for manufacturing? In the manufacturing industry, LEED v4.1 can be used to compare industrial facilities within your company to other similar facilities pursuing high-performance measures from around the world. Facility managers and owners can continuously monitor the data and make informed decisions to optimize the building performance based on real-time data and analytics. This performance pathway can then be used to certify and recertify the project every 3 years. Learn more about LEED v4.1 O+M.
What are the various LEED resources available for manufacturing?
There are many resources available for manufacturing facilities pursuing LEED Certification. Here are a few examples:
- Energy Jumpstart Pilot Credit available for O&M projects with very high process loads (at least 60%) and unable to meet the Minimum Energy Performance in LEED v4 O&M Rating System.
- LEED Interpretation 10493 allows LEED v4/v4.1 BD+C projects using whole building energy simulation, and documenting >50% unregulated (process) load to use BD+C: Core & Shell energy performance improvement thresholds in lieu of the New Construction thresholds.
- Whole Project Water Use Reduction Pilot Credit allows LEED v4 BD+C projects to quantify water use with whole‐building water balance modeling, similar to the compliance path for whole‐building energy modeling. It also allows projects to include potentially significant water savings that previously went unrecognized, such as process water.
- Additional LEED Interpretations for Manufacturing Facilities can be found in the LEED Addenda database by entering the term “manufacturing” or “manufacturers” in the main search bar.
- Five myths about using LEED for manufacturing facilities (5 series articles)
- Manufacturers use LEED to boost the well-being of their workforce
- Experts weigh in on LEED and industrial facilities
Where can I find owner profiles and case studies on manufacturing?
- Intel Ocotillo Campus Case Study
- Colgate-Palmolive New Jersey facility - world's first project to achieve LEED Zero certification in all four categories: carbon, energy, water, and waste
- Sunstar Headquarters and Manufacturing
One can view additional LEED manufacturing projects in the USGBC Project Directory by searching for the keywords ‘manufacturing’ or ‘industrial’ in the search bar. This will show non-confidential projects with such terms in their project title.
Does USGBC offer any education for project teams wanting to learn more about manufacturing facilities pursuing green building measures?
Yes! Check out the following sessions in the USGBC online course catalog:
- LEED and Manufacturing Facilities Educational Resources
- Busting Five Myths for LEED and Manufacturing Facilities
- LEED and Industrial Facilities: Meet four of the top users of LEED [videos]
- C&I Production facility case study: Uncovering energy savings
Who can I contact for more information about this?
For more information about LEED and manufacturing facilities, contact us.
Is there a document I can download and send to my team?
Yes! Click the link below.