The primary goal of the Energy and Atmosphere is to minimize the use of fossil fuels.

  energy and atmosphere      energy and atmosphere  

The LEED Certification category of Energy & Atmosphere  promote better building energy performance through innovative strategies.

Achieving goals in Energy and Atmosphere require consideration in the following areas:

Energy and Water Saving Appliances: 

The refrigerator, microwave, range, and dishwasher should be EnergyStar.


Every building has a need for indoor lighting. In order to reduce the need to use indoor lighting, thus the energy to run them, exterior walls should include windows can greatly decrease the need for artificial lighting. 

Low-Mercury Fluorescent Light Bulbs:

Low-Mercury bulbs combined with energy-efficient lighting design, can reduce the building’s average annual mercury waste by 600 milligrams.

Occupancy and Daylight Sensors: 

Occupancy sensors throughout the building turn lights off when rooms are vacated. 

Rooftop Skylight: 

Skylights can illuminate top floor rooms block heat flow, thus reducing energy needed for cooling or heating. 

Emergency Exit Signs: 

Energy-efficient exit signs throughout the building use flat, one-quarter-watt, solid-state electro-luminescent light “bulbs” or lamps. 


Low-E glass windows assist in preventing excess heat from overheating the interior when it’s warm outside.

Cooling and Heating:

Efficiency can be achieved with the use of vegetation, windows, light-colored roofing, natural ventilation, operable windows in every office, and rooftop monitors using louvers and fans to draw warm air up and expel it outside. Installing more thermostat units the temperatures can be better monitored and regulated for smaller spaces.  

Cooling units that utilize natural air and not ozone-depleting refrigerants are less expensive and do not pollute the air. 

Water Heater: 

The building’s tankless water heaters conserve energy by burning gas on demand, only when hot water is needed. Two of these units are provided for space heating, and one serves hot water needs. The system eliminates heat loss associated with conventional storage tanks and the need to continually heat a large tank of water. 


The roof is covered with light-colored material that reflects the sun’s heat.

Points for Energy and Atmosphere

  • Prereq 1 – Fundamental Commissioning of the Building Energy Systems
  • Prereq 2 – Minimum Energy Performance: 10% New Bldgs or 5% Existing Bldg Renovations
  • Prereq 3 – Fundamental Refrigerant Management
  • Credit 1 – Optimize Energy Performance: 12% – 48%
  • Credit 2 – On-Site Renewable Energy 1%-13%
  • Credit 3 – Enhanced Commissioning
  • Credit 4 – Enhanced Refrigerant Management
  • Credit 5 – Measurement & Verification
  • Credit 6 – Green Power

For more articles on specific LEED Categories click the links below.

LEED Categories Home

Sustainable Sites

Water Conservation

Energy & Atmosphere (you are here)

Material and Resources

Indoor Environmental Quality

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