LEED Contribution to Green Design

Sustainable Sites | Energy & Atmosphere | Materials & Resources | Indoor Environmental Quality | LEED Projects

Earning LEED® v3 2009 Credits through the use of Translucent Daylighting Systems

The green concept has been advanced by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a coalition of building industry leaders working to promote environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work. Light, airy, open environments are the key. And these are building environments that have been proven to boost worker productivity, reduce absenteeism, help students learn and increase worker satisfaction.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) has become a cornerstone of sustainable design among building owners, architects, engineers and contractors. Many municipalities across the country have mandated that all new public buildings, even if not actually submitted for LEED certification, must at least be designed and built with the goal of achieving certification.

One of the easiest ways to gather LEED credits revolves around lighting. Kalwall's translucent skylight, window and wall systems, plus Clearspan skylights and pool enclosures from Structures Unlimited, Inc., are uniquely suited to achieve the desired results.

Possible LEED credit contributions as a result of incorporating into your design Structures Unlimited's unique, self-supporting aluminum structure technology blended with Kalwall's translucent skylight and wall systems include:

Sustainable Sites

Credit 7.2 – Heat Island Effect, Roof (1 point) "Use roofing materials with a solar reflectance index (SRI) ... for a minimum of 75% of the roof's surface."

Steep-sloped roof > 2:12 = 29 SRI

• Depending on design configurations, the Kalwall panel meets SRI requirements listed in ASTM E1980, ASTM E408 and ASTM E903 to reduce Heat Island Effect for roofs.

Credit 8 – Light Pollution Reduction (1 point) "All openings in the envelope with a direct line of sight to any nonemergency luminaries must have shielding (... for a resultant transmittance of less than 10% between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.). Meeting ... ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2007 ..."

• Without the need for additional shielding, Kalwall's light-diffusing characteristics can reduce light transmittance to less than 10%, preventing direct-beam illumination from leaving the building interior.

Energy & Atmosphere

Prerequisite 2 – Minimum Energy Performance (prerequisite) "Demonstrate a 10% improvement in building performance rating for new buildings or a 5% improvement for major renovations. Calculate the baseline building performance ... Appendix G of ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2007... using a computer simulation model ..."

• Kalwall is the most highly insulating, diffuse-light-transmitting system available. With insulating values up to and exceeding R-20 (.05 U), conductive winter heat loss is kept to a minimum. Additionally, Kalwall's low solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC), as low as .05, significantly reduces summer heat gain, greatly reducing tonnage requirements for air conditioning systems, while lowering utility bills. Daylight Modeling is available from Kalwall.

Credit 1 – Optimize Energy Performance (up to 19 points) "Demonstrate a percentage improvement in the proposed building performance rating compared to the baseline building performance rating ... according to Appendix G of ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2007..."

• Kalwall provides superior winter and summer energy efficiency while transmitting diffuse daylight.

Credit 2 – On-Site Renewable Energy, 1% to 13% (up to 7 points) "Use on-site renewable energy systems to offset building energy cost. Calculate project performance ... as a percentage of the building annual energy cost (1%, 3%, 5%, 7%, 9%, 11% or 13%) ... "

• Since the 1950s, Kalwall has been involved with both passive and active solar technologies. Kalwall's window systems, as well as skylights from Structures Unlimited, Inc., can accept BIPV panels.

Materials & Resources

Credit 1.1 – Building Reuse-Maintain Existing Walls, Floors and Roof (up to 4 points) "Maintain the existing building structure … and envelope (the exterior skin and framing, excluding window assemblies and non-structural roofing material) … upgrade components that would improve energy and water efficiency such as windows…"

• The thermal performance of Kalwall translucent window, skylight and curtainwall system replacements can result in over 500% more energy efficiency than insulated glass by reducing solar heat gain and saving on HVAC costs.

Credit 3 – Materials Reuse (up to 2 points) "Use salvaged, refurbished or reused materials, the sum of which constitutes at least 5% or 10%, based on cost, of the total value of materials on the project."

• Kalwall panels may be reused or refurbished. The design of the Kalwall Clamp-tite framing system allows for removal of the entire window, curtainwall or skylight. These panel systems may then be installed in similar applications.

Credit 4 – Recycled Content, 10% or 20% (post-consumer + ½ pre-consumer) (up to 2 points) "Use materials with recycled content such that the sum of post-consumer recycled content plus one-half of the pre-consumer content constitutes at least 10% or 20%, based on cost, of the total value of the materials in the project."

• A typical Kalwall system contains ± 20% post-consumer/pre-consumer recycled content, primarily in the aluminum extrusions used in fabricating the Kalwall panels and in the aluminum Clamp-titeTM installation system. Structures Unlimited's clearspan skylights and pool enclosures have an even greater recycled content, up to 30% or more, due to the aluminum box beam structure inherent to these systems.

Indoor Environmental Quality

Credit 6.2 – Controllability of Systems (1 point) "Provide individual comfort controls for 50% (minimum) of the building occupants to enable adjustments to suit individual needs and preferences. Operable windows may be used in lieu of controls..."

• Kalwall wall and window replacement systems can have project-in and project-out windows for fresh air ventilation.

Credit 7.1 – Thermal Comfort, Design (1 point) "Design ... building envelope to meet the requirements of ASHRAE Standard 55-2004 ... Thermal Comfort Conditions for Human Occupancy.

• Unlike traditional glazing material, Kalwall's thermally broken technology all but eliminates undesirable thermal gain and loss. It also prevents condensation that builds up when exterior and interior temperatures vary.

Credit 8.1 – Daylight & Views, Daylight (1 to 2 points) "Option 1: Demonstrate, through computer simulation, that 75% or more of all regularly occupied spaces achieve daylight illuminance levels of a minimum of 10 footcandles (fc) and a maximum of 500 fc in a clear sky condition on September 21 at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m."

• A computerized daylight modeling analysis is available to assist in achieving proper footcandle levels within a building. The daylight simulation (RADIANCE) shows compliance with LEED daylighting requirements. Annual Daylight Autonomy levels can also be shown, using real-world weather files for project location. Both methods show the impact of daylight design on any building space. Visit DaylightModeling.com.

"Option 2: Provide sunlight redirection and/or glare control devices to ensure daylight effectiveness."

• Kalwall's unique translucent systems diffuse sunlight and transmit controlled daylighting into any building without shadows, glare or hotspots and without the need for external solar controls or internal shelves, blinds and/or curtains.

Credit 8.2 – Daylight and Views, Views (1 point) "Achieve a direct line-of-sight to the outdoor environment via vision glazing ... for building occupants in 90% of all regularly occupied areas."

• Kalwall wall panels, curtainwall and window replacement systems can easily and effectively integrate fixed and operable windows glazed with glass for connection to the outdoors. Skylights from Structures Unlimited, Inc. can integrate fixed-glass panels as well as operable roof systems for natural ventilation.

LEED v3 Score Sheet Click to view and print a v3 Score Sheet, in PDF format, of possible LEED credit contribution for Kalwall/Structures Unlimited products.







LEED Projects

Kalwall has been used in many LEED certified projects. Read more about a sampling of these projects:

Platinum – Yale Sculpture Gallery; New Haven, CT
Gold – element Hotel (Starwood); Lexington, MA
Gold – Far Hills Country Day School Gym; Far Hills, NJ
Gold – The School of The Future; Philadelphia, PA
Silver – Bozeman Public Library; Bozeman, MT

LEED Accredited Professional
Michael Crowder, LEED AP BD+C, Kalwall/Structures Unlimited Marketing Manager, has demonstrated his knowledge of integrated design and his capacity to facilitate the LEED certification process by becoming a LEED Accredited Professional. Crowder brings his understanding of green building practices and principles and his familiarity of the USGBC and LEED requirements, resources and processes to projects for both Kalwall Corporation and Structures Unlimited.


Kalwall Corporation and Structures Unlimited, Inc., are strategic partners.

Copyright 2012.