Understanding LEED and how SEM can help you achieve certification

December 5, 2019 at 1:10 pm by SEM

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a third party certification program and the internationally accepted benchmark providing a framework for the design, construction, maintenance, and operation of high performance green buildings. (USGBC.org)

While most people know that SEM provides the intelligence community with NSA approved security products, most people do not know that SEM builds environmentally preferable security products that provide increased sustainability, energy efficiency, enhanced environmental indoor quality, and produce zero landfill.

In October of 2010, the U.S. General Services Administration upgraded their requirement for LEED Gold as a minimum in all new federal building construction and substantial renovation projects in order to move the government’s federal inventory into a more sustainable future. The US Department of State, FBI, and all major branches of the Department of Defense have mandated LEED certification levels. For more information, visit www.gsa.gov/sustainabledesign.

LEED is a point based system where existing buildings, new construction, and renovation projects earn LEED points for satisfying specific green building criteria. Within the seven LEED credit categories, projects must satisfy a number of unique prerequisites in order to earn points. SEM green destruction systems meet those prerequisites in several categories to earn valuable points toward certification levels. The more points earned, the higher the certification level a project will receive.

Certification levels are based upon points, and regional credits are another way LEED projects can earn “bonus points” based upon the importance of local conditions in determining the best environmental design practices. Zero landfill and recyclability of classified material waste are major factors of concern in most every region. Eco-friendly oil-less office shredders completely eliminate the impact of oil on our local environments.

There are three major LEED categories in which SEM green destruction products and services best apply in earning accreditation points:

Materials and Resource: During both the construction and operations phases, buildings generate a lot of waste and use a lot of materials and resources. This credit category encourages the selection of sustainably produced products and materials. It promotes the reduction of waste as well as reuse and recycling, and it takes into account the reduction of waste at a product’s source.

SEM briquetting systems for classified paper applications promote a stewardship of resources, providing a 10-1 reduction ratio of waste at source, zero landfill and zero hauling costs, and a recyclable, eco-friendly waste product additionally providing a monetary return.

SEM hard drive shredders and recycling services further provide for a secure recyclable waste product while providing monetary returns. SEM oil-less eco-shredders like the 1201CC are manufactured with built in lubricating renewable natural resources that eliminates the need for oiling throughout the lifetime of the machinery. This is not only environmentally-friendly, but saves cost of ownership as well.

Indoor Environmental Quality: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that Americans spend about 90% of their day indoors, where the air quality can be significantly worse than outside. The Indoor Environmental Quality credit category promotes strategies that can improve indoor air as well as providing access to natural daylight and views and improving acoustics.

SEM utilizes ASHRAE filtration, which is an adopted measurement standard for LEED certification, on all industrial destruction systems. Briquetting systems further reduce dust by reutilization in the briquetting process. Our industry leading noise reduction package consists of MX steel sound enclosures and acoustical conveyor sound shields and tunnels that provide noise level reductions by up to 25 dBa at source.

Energy and Atmosphere: According to the U.S. Department of Energy, buildings use 39% of the energy and 74% of the electricity produced each year in the United States. The Energy and Atmosphere category encourages a wide variety of energy strategies: commissioning; energy use monitoring; efficient design and construction; efficient appliances, systems and lighting; the use of renewable and clean sources of energy, generated on-site or off-site; and other innovative strategies.

SEM energy efficient designed disintegrators utilize five blade solid rotors to achieve more efficient throughput and create greater cutting inertia with less horsepower than open rotor designs. Our eco-saver shredders are standardized with full auto shutoff, unlike normal sleep modes, for zero amperage draw when not in use. And briquettes produced from our briquetting systems can be utilized as an alternative fuel source, with 50% less carbon emission produced as compared to coal. They are also 100% recyclable, as opposed to loose paper shreds (recyclers typically will not accept paper shreds).

Understanding LEED and investing in green products are important for sustaining and protecting our environmental future, and also the right things to do. So, when considering your classified destruction requirements think GREEN and think SEM.