Innovation and Design Process - Credit 1

Innovation in Design (1-5 points)

Back to LEED Checklist


These points can be applied for if an innovative green design strategy is used that does not fit into the point structure of the five LEED categories or if it goes significantly beyond a credit requirement in one of the existing credit categories. For example, if the project team used materials on the project such that 30% of the materials were extracted, processed and manufactured regionally then the project could receive an extra point in going significantly beyond the requirements of Materials and Resources Credit 5. Concrete contributes significantly to this credit category and therefore could be used to achieve an Innovation in Design credit.

Another example would be if the design team used materials on the project such that they have over 30% recycled content thereby exceeding Materials and Resources Credit 4 by 10 percentage points. Concrete made with some percentage of recycled aggregate in combination with supplementary materials can contribute significantly to this credit.

One strategy that has been used to obtain a LEED point in the Innovation in Design credit category is to reduce CO2 embodied in concrete by 40%. One way to accomplish this is by using high volumes of fly ash, slag or silica fume in concrete such that the result is a decrease in embodied CO2 by 40% over typical mixes in the area.

Another potential innovation is to use exposed concrete for walls, floors and ceilings. This strategy would eliminate a significant quantity of wall and floor coverings along with ceiling materials, all of which are common sources of volatile organic compounds (V0Cs) that can degrade indoor air. This strategy could significantly improve indoor air quality, 1-5 points are available under the Innovation in Design credit.