Like every March 5th since 1998, the World Energy Efficiency Day is celebrated this Saturday. The initiative, which emerged in Austria during the First International Meeting on Energy Efficiency, aims to sensitize all people on the need to reduce energy consumption by reasonable and sustainable use of energy.
Contrary to what many people think, boost energy efficiency does not mean compromising comfort and quality of life by decreasing the use of energy we use in our daily lives. Enhancing energy efficiency is based on optimizing production processes and energy consumption, using renewable energy sources to the detriment of fossil fuels, promoting responsible consumption and recycling, among others.
So how we can contribute to energy efficiency? There are many simple actions we can do all year long, not only on March 5: use daylight hours for our tasks that require more lighting, turn off lights and electrical devices when we're not using them, replace old appliances for A certification new ones and use them rationally, prioritize public transport or bicycle, etc. In addition to the environmental benefits, these actions will lead to economic savings for our pocket.
What are LEED and BREEAM certifications?
This World Energy Efficiency Day is an excellent time to meet LEED and BREEAM certifications. They are two systems designed to verify aspects of sustainability and energy efficiency in buildings, and although they have many similarities, they also differ on some issues.
First, the LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) bases its assessment on the analysis of six environmental impact areas:
- Sustainable Sites
- Water Efficiency
- Energy and Atmosphere
- Materials and Resources
- Indoor Environmental Quality
- Innovation in Design
LEED certification, designed in the United States, is also flexible enough to be applied to any type of construction, both residential and business.
For its part, the BREEAM certification (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology) has its origin in the United Kingdom and evaluates buildings according to ten indicators:
- Health & wellbeing
- Land use and ecology
Both methods are used to identify sustainable buildings, which after the inspection are scored: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum in the case of LEED and Pass, Good, Very Good, Excellent and Outstanding when it comes to BREEAM.