LEED Credit Portfolio

Approved Plantings For Biofiltration of Indoor Air

“I have long advised the interior plantscape industry to seek the inclusion of plants as part of the LEED certification process. During the years of my early research with NASA and the following years with the then ‘Plants for Clean Air Council’, we lacked sufficient research to fully substantiate our claims of the benefits of interior plants to human health. However, now I believe that our claims have been fully vetted. These additional research efforts have provided a deeper understanding of the mechanisms through which plants and their root-associated microbes contribute to improving indoor air quality.”

Dr. Bill Wolverton, May 16, 2010 in an email to GPGB’s Joe Zazzera

Green Plants for Green Buildings Presents the following LEED certified building projects which have successfully earned credits based upon the inclusion of indoor plants.

Unlike Australia’s Green Star green building rating system, to date the USGBC’s LEED system does not yet offer a specified direct credit for the inclusion of plant programs. Within the current LEED section titled “Innovation in Design” it is possible for plants to be part of a specially developed use of plants or a the use of plants within a type of educational design.

FEATURED PROJECT: Wesst Corporation Gets LEED Credit for Use of Indoor Plants

Project Title: Wesst Corporation, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Wesst photo1

LEED Credit Awarded for Plants

Wesst Corporation was recently awarded Silver LEED Certification in part through the use of indoor plants, only the second project to do so in the U.S.

Please click the link below to review the details about the amazing project.

Read Full Credit Narrative

Project Title: Ecology and Environment Headquarters building in Lancaster NY


LEED Credit Awarded for Plants:

Innovation In Operation and Maintenance credit under LEED for existing buildings 2.0. The specific credit is for the Biophilic connection and the narrative below features a plant list, environmental benefits and references to research found elsewhere on this website (see News and Research sections).

Please Click the links below to review the details about this amazing project including the project narrative as submitted by project coordinator, Linda Thomas for E &E, the LEED Scorecard and a photo selection.

Note: Presenting this project is particularly rewarding for GPGB. Not only did the project coordinator glean elements of her research from the Green Plants for Green Buildings website, she even quoted the group (under it’s former name) in the body of the submittal.

Read Full Credit Narrative – Innovation in Upgrades, Operations & Maintenance (IUOM) Credit 1.2; Biophilic Connection

Read Full LEED Credit Checklist (‘Scorecard)

Introduction to LEED Credit Featured Profile Narrative

Innovation in Upgrades, Operations & Maintenance (IUOM) Credit 1.2
Biophilic Connection

Description of Achievement
E & E’s Headquarters Building provides a connection to the natural world through the use of indoor plantings, the use of natural and local materials, proximity to animals, or other biophilic design attributes.

The designs of Frank Lloyd Wright, several of which can be seen here in Western New York, provided the inspiration for E & E’s Headquarters. Wright’s designs are characterized by a distinctive harmony with nature. They blend with their surroundings and bring in the outdoors by incorporating natural themes, patterns, and ornament.

The Managed Landscape
“Inside Out – Outside In, the Environment and Building are One”
— Frank Lloyd Wright

It is fitting that E & E chose to emulate the Frank Lloyd Wright approach for the design and management of its Headquarters Building. The structural design is in harmony with the interior and exterior landscapes. Biological function and value are evident throughout the complex.

Environmental Benefits
Human beings need to feel connected to the natural environment to promote a sense of psychological, physical and social well being. Biophilia directly confronts the issue of aesthetics and our evolved sense of beauty. The patterns, forms, textures and colors of nature provide abundant models that can be used in building and product design to enhance their aesthetic appeal, not just their functionality and efficiency. Incorporating this natural sense of beauty into our buildings will make them not only greener in the environmental sense, but also greener in a human sense. Buildings in natural areas can provide outdoor trails and eating areas, as well as views to the landscape from spaces throughout the building.

Since the majority of our time is spent indoors, views to the outside provide a relaxing and calming effect in an increasingly stressful and complex world. Studies have consistently found stress reducing and health promoting outcomes associated with passive viewing of nature scenes through windows. A view to the outdoors is an important consideration when placing buildings on the site and positioning rooms in the building. The size of a view window should be proportional to the depth of a room in order to provide an adequate view from a deep room. Outdoor views will be maximized to the extent possible in buildings such as schools, hospitals, retail spaces, unsecure office spaces, and housing. Designing for views is closely linked with daylighting. It has been demonstrated that the incorporation of daylighting into interior spaces increases worker productivity, improves attentiveness and learning ability in school children, and shortens recuperation time for patients, as well as lowering energy costs.

This is the essence of biophilic design.

More photos can be found here.