Building designers who reach for sustainable, high-performance goals have a number of decisions to make. As always, they can choose either to design independently, not tethered to a pre-established “best practice” framework; or they can elect to follow an established rating system to benchmark the attributes of their design against those of others. The best-known and most widely used certification system is the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), but several other systems are gaining traction within the green building industry.
Industrial hygienists often focus on the indoor environmental quality aspects of running the building, including indoor air quality, mechanical system operation, and sometimes acoustics. Certification systems can introduce best practices early in the design, with consistent reminders throughout, so that the measures actually make it into the building and the building users take note.