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Sustainable Building Products for Self-Storage

Paul Nutcher Comments

Manufacturers of building products for the self-storage industry will be under greater pressure in the coming years to report the sustainable attributes of its products to developers and building teams. Until now, green building projects have only represented about 10 percent of the construction market, but several factors will ensure growth in this market segment.

More local, state and federal governments are mandating sustainable designed, built and maintained facilities within their jurisdictions. Many of these regulations have included adopting outright the once-voluntary green building-rating systems developed by one of several non-governmental organizations (NGOs), such as the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) or The Green Building Initiative (GBI).

In 2000, the USGBC introduced the leading national benchmark for sustainable buildings, the LEED (Leadership for Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System. Several years later, the GBI followed with the Green Globes program.

Manufacturers that target the self-storage community can no longer ignore these rating systems. LEED has been required for all new construction within several U.S. cities, and Canada now requires all buildings be LEED-certified, including self-storage facilities. To design for the largest landlord in the country, the U.S. General Services Administration, project teams are required to produce a LEED Silver Certified federal building, or any government storage facility that falls under the agency’s responsibility.

The Point System

LEED and Green Globes represent third-party verification of the sustainable performance of a building. Each rating system has a point system with categories representing the major element of a building project, with a performance measurement tool within each of those categories. Points toward certification are gained within each category.

LEED has six categories:

  • Sustainable Sites
  • Energy and Atmosphere
  • Water Efficiency
  • Materials and Resources
  • Indoor Environmental Quality
  • Innovation and Design Process
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