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Expert Tips

  • Buying refurbished cubicles is a no-brainer for earning LEEDS points, often through the “materials reuse” area.
  • Buying low-panel cubicles of any kind - new, used or refurbished - helps towards earning LEED points for “daylight and views.
  • Carefully choosing the materials of your furnishings can help you get LEED points through the “rapidly renewable materials, certified wood or low-emitting materials” sections of LEEDS.  Recovering cubicle panels with low-emitting materials is a great way to earn LEED points when you refurnish your offices.

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EARN LEED POINTS for Office Furniture

What is "LEED"?
"LEED" is rating/certification systems developed and administered by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).  LEED is an acronym for "Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design".  The LEED program is a voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing and recognizing high-performance, sustainable buildings. Members of the USGBC representing all segments of the building industry developed LEED and contribute to its evolution.

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General LEED logo LEED "Gold" is the second highest certification level. LEED "Platinum" is the highest certification level.

How does LEED apply to office furniture?
"LEED for Commercial Interiors" (formerly LEED-CI) is a rating system that addresses the specifics of tenant spaces primarily in office and institutional buildings. LEED for Commercial Interiors provides the opportunity for building tenants to design and certify high performance, healthy, durable, affordable, and environmentally sound workplaces. This is the category of LEED certification most directly applicable to the office furniture industry, i.e. for products purchased from Office Furniture NOW!

Where do I get more information about LEED?
More information on these programs is available on the USGBC website.

Areas LEED ratings address
Based on accepted energy and environmental principles, LEED emphasizes state of the art strategies for sustainable site development, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials & resources, and indoor environmental quality. There is also recognition for innovation in design which rewards strategies that exceed or are not covered in the existing rating system. Finally, additional recognition can be achieved for designing to meet regional requirements.

LEED rating systems applicable to office furniture purchases.
Besides LEED for Commercial Interiors projects, there are several other LEED rating systems through which our clients may earn LEED points when they make purchases from Office Furniture NOW!  There are LEED programs for:
  • New Construction
  • Core & Shell
  • Schools
  • Neighborhood Development
  • Retail
  • Healthcare
  • Homes and Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance
Specific categories to earn LEED points when buying from Office Furniture NOW!
Office Furniture NOW! products can support several areas of the LEED for Commercial Interiors requirements. Specifically, these are:
  • Materials reuse
  • Recycled content
  • Regional materials                                     
  • Rapidly renewable materials
  • Certified wood
  • Low-emitting materials
  • Daylight and views, and
  • Innovation in design
All LEED points are based on the total project scope, so the actual point contribution of Office Furniture NOW! to a project will vary on a case-by-case basis. Office Furniture NOW!  has staff to assist in evaluating specific project contributions, but this will ultimately be the responsibility of each project's LEED coordinator upon submission of the certification application.

How can I use Office Furniture NOW! to earn LEED certification ?
Office Furniture NOW!  products can support points for LEED certification, since many of the requirements are readily met by Office Furniture NOW! The question of to what degree Office Furniture NOW!  can assist in meeting LEED will always be based on case-by-case evaluation of each specific project and the design and planning of the furniture. Office Furniture NOW!  can support enough LEED for Commercial Interiors points to be substantial for any Commercial Interior project pursuing certification.

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How many points are required for certification?
The following table shows the number of points (of 100 total) required for various levels of LEED for Commercial Interiors certification:
  • Certified: 40-49 points
  • Silver: 50-59 points
  • Gold: 60-79 points
  • Platinum: 80 and above points


Which specific points can Office Furniture NOW!  support?
The following represent specific LEED for Commercial Interiors point possibilities for purchases from Office Furniture NOW! :

1 point*: MR Credit 3.2 Materials Reuse - Furniture and Furnishings

  • Requirements: Use salvaged, refurbished or used furniture and furnishings for 30% of the total furniture and furnishings budget.
  • Remarks : Office Furniture NOW!  workstation replacement surfaces or table tops can be integrated with existing system frames, panels and table bases to support this point.
*Potential of additional point for exemplary performance at 60%.

1-2 points*: MR Credit 4 Recycled Content
  • Requirements: Use materials with recycled content so the sum of postconsumer recycled content plus one-half of the pre-consumer (also termed post-industrial) content equals at least 10% (1 point) or 20% (2 points) of the total value of the materials.
  • Remarks: Percentage determined by weight.
*Potential of additional point for exemplary performance at 30% content or above
green office furniture leed certification 1 green office furniture leed certification 2
Buying refurbished rather than new cubicles can significantly impact your LEED points. By selecting low panels for your cubicles, you allow more natural daylight into your offices, which is a LEED point-earning strategy.

1 - 2 point*: MR Credit 5 Regional Materials
Requirement:
  • Option 1 (1 point): Use a minimum of 20% regionally manufactured materials. Option 2 (2 points): Meet option 1 requirements plus use a minimum of 10% regionally extracted, harvested or recovered manufactured materials.
  • Remarks: Measured in dollar value. These points can be supported with appropriate Office Furniture Now! material choices. NOTE: These points are only available for projects within 500 miles of central Texas.
*Potential of additional point for exemplary performance at 20% content for option 2.

1 point*: MR Credit 6 Rapidly Renewable Materials
  • Requirement: Use minimum 5% rapidly renewable materials, defined as materials made from plants that are typically harvested within a 10-year cycle or less.
  • Remarks: Measured in dollar value. This point can be supported with appropriate Office Furniture NOW! material choices.
*Potential of additional point for exemplary performance at 10%

1 point*: MR Credit 7 Certified Wood
  • Requirements: Use minimum 50% wood-based materials certified in accordance with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) guidelines.
  • Remarks: Measured in dollar value. Office Furniture NOW!  can support this point with appropriate manufacturer material choices.
*Potential of additional point for exemplary performance at 95%.

1 point: IEQ Credit 4.5 Low-Emitting Materials - Systems Furniture and Seating
  • Requirements: Use systems furniture and office seating that is Greenguard certified or registered or meet similar emissions testing as specified in LEED for Commercial Interiors document.
  • Remarks: Office Furniture NOW!  sells many products (e.g., seating and cubicle panels) that meet this requirement. Additionally, we can refurbish cubicles and seating using these materials. The policy of Office Furniture NOW!  is to source manufacturers' products which promote a healthy work environment regardless of LEED requirements.
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Carefully selecting fabrics on your chairs and cubicle panels can lead to both healthier employees and LEED points. Bamboo is an example of a rapidly renewing material and just one that you can buy from Office Furniture NOW!

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Using Greenguard certified products from Office Furniture NOW! can help you earn LEED points for good indoor air quality. Buying office furniture made of wood certified in accordance with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) guidelines can help earn LEEDS certification.
1 point*: IEQ Credit 8.2 Daylight and Views, Views for Seated Spaces
  • Requirement: Views in 90% or more of all regularly occupied spaces have direct line of sight to outside environment (75% for private offices).
  • Remarks: Strategies include using lower partition heights, transparent/translucent panels, and open space design.  Office Furniture NOW's Furniture Consultants are well-versed in these LEEDS-earning options.
*Potential of additional point for exemplary performance.

1 point: ID Credit 1 Innovation in Design
  • Requirements: Identify intent of proposed innovation in sustainable building strategies and practices not specifically addressed by LEED for Commercial Interiors.
  • Remarks: This is an opportunity for generating points above and beyond the rating system - new materials or strategies and/or exceptional performance are possible targets.
*Potential of additional point for exemplary performance at 30% content or above.