LEED Credits: How They Affect Construction Worker Safety
- John Gambatese (Oregon State University) | Nicholas Tymvios (Oregon State University)
- Document ID
- American Society of Safety Engineers
- Professional Safety
- Publication Date
- October 2012
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 42 - 52
- 2012. American Society of Safety Engineers
- 0 in the last 30 days
- 37 since 2007
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The number of buildings certified by the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC’s) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system continues to grow. According to USGBC (2010), more than 34,600 LEED- certified and -registered construction projects have occurred as of August 2010. An increasing number of federal, state and local agencies are augmenting their policies to mandate that the design and construction of public buildings in their jurisdiction be LEED certified or equivalent (Environment and Human Health Inc., 2010).
To achieve LEED credits, owners, designers and con-tractors incorporate green features into site selection and project design, and complete the construction work using green materials and practices. Examples of green elements are the use of alternative materials containing low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOC), the use of reclaimed materials from demolished buildings, the implementation of green roofs and the use of alternative sources of energy to power the facilities. For example, one site used temporary protection of HVAC ducts during construction as part of the LEED efforts on a project to eliminate contaminants within the HVAC system and improve indoor air quality. The intent is to reduce the project’s energy and environmental impacts.
As the number of LEED-certified projects grows, there has been increasing awareness and concern about the potential effect that green features have on occupational safety and health (OSH). Com-pared to traditional design and construction practices, green features may pose additional or new risks to worker safety and health through the introduction of alternate materials, as a result of different or additional work, or by creating an expanded or unintentionally hazardous work environment.
|File Size||462 KB||Number of Pages||11|