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Green/LEED Projects

ARXX products provide a cost-effective way to support your green building objectives.

In new commercial construction, ARXX can contribute towards several LEED points, and save substantially on monthly energy costs (see project examples in our project gallery). Both of these mean higher building value and the opportunity to charge higher rent by your clients, as well as to showcase their true green choices to their customers.

Homeowners see energy savings, and benefit from improved indoor air quality, less exposure to outdoor pollutants and allergens, and no volatile organic compounds. ARXX walls and foundations are also mold- and mildew-resistant, decreasing risk from those irritants. And their energy-efficient home’s better ‘HERS’ score or EnerGuide rating (and lower utility bills) are likely to improve their home’s resale value.

And because your project will use less energy, its carbon footprint will be reduced – less fuel will be used to heat and cool it, reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

A number of core issues form the basis of “green building”. These include energy efficiency, air and water quality and the responsible use of materials and resources. In recent years, the inclusion of a wider set of planning, social and economic considerations has been incorporated into green building. The greater picture of sustainability involves not only material choices and construction practices but also the social sustainability of our communities.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) was developed by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) in 2000, as a comprehensive rating system to quantify green buildings. The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) followed this lead, and their first version of LEED was released in 2004. LEED has grown to become the most prominent rating system for sustainable buildings in North America.

ARXX ICF contribution to LEED Credits

A detailed review of ARXX ICF contribution to achieving specific LEED credits (as a high performance building product for exterior and interior walls)  is provided in the following summary table. This summary is focused on the USGBC LEED NC 2009, but can be applied to LEED Core and Shell and LEED for Schools, and similar LEED systems in North America.

Click here to download this table as a pdf document

LEED section LEED Credit LEED Points Relevant benefits of ARXX ICFs
Sustainable Sites SSc5.1 - Site
Development:
Protect or Restore
Habitat
1 Enabler - On a greenfield site, this credit can be achieved by limiting site disturbance around the building perimeter
(plus roads, trenches, and some other constructed features). ARXX ICF wall systems are typically braced from the interior. Accordingly, they allow minimal excavation area, enabling reduced site disturbance around the building perimeter.
SSc7.2 - Heat
Island Effect, Roof
1 Indirectly Enhanced - ARXX wall systems are capable of withstanding higher structural loads, and could support the added load of a green roof. A green roof can reduce heat island effect and bring more natural spaces into an urban location.
Energy &
Atmosphere
EAp2- Minimum
Energy
Performance
Prereq 2 Contributor - The credits for energy performance relate to energy use of whole building. Use of ARXX wall systems can directly contribute to energy reduction.
EAc1- Optimize
Energy
Performance
Up to 19 Contributor - The credits for energy performance relate to energy use of whole building. Use of ARXX wall systems can directly contribute to energy reduction by providing superior air tightness, insulating value and thermal mass benefits.
Materials &
Resources
MRc2 -
Construction Waste
Management
Up to 2 Enabler - the credits for ensuring debris from construction are recycled or redirected back to the manufacturing process. The nature of ARXX wall systems is such that very little waste is produced during construction, and what is produced, can typically be fully recycled. ARXX can be a zero waste system.
MRc4- Recycled
Content
Up to 2 Enabler - ARXX ICFs contain between 25% to 50% recycled content material. Rebar typically has greater than 90% recycled content. Additional benefits are achieved by use of concrete products that substitute part of the Portland cement content with supplementary cementing materials (SCMs), such as fly ash, slag and silica fume.
MRc5- Regional
Materials
Up to 2 Contributor - 80% of a material must be locally manufactured (within 500 mile radius) to qualify under this credit - ARXX currently has 11 manufacturing facilities throughout North America; concrete itself is locally manufactured.
MRc8- Durable
Building (Canada
only)
1 Enabler.
Indoor
Environment
Quality
EQc3.2 -
Construction IAQ
Management Plan:
Before Occupancy
1 Enabler - ARXX ICFs do not deteriorate indoor air quality. They are insignificant contributors to VOCs, particulates, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and 4-PC. Accordingly, they can help lead to a pass of the air testing required for this credit.
IEQp3, IEQc9
- Acoustical
Performance (LEED
for Schools)
1 Contributor - ARXX ICFs have superior acoustic properties, providing sound attenuation rates at or over the minimum requirement levels of STC 50.
IEQc10 - Mold
Prevention (LEED
for Schools)
1 Enabler - ARXX ICFs are mold, mildew and rot resistant unlike building materials such as wood and cellulose based alternatives. ARXX ICFs can therefore contribute to the required IAQ management plan related to mold.
Innovation and
Design
IDc1- Innovation in
Design
Up to 5 Contributor to the LEED reward points for exemplary performance when projects achieve an additional level of performance on other LEED credits. The use of ARXX ICFs can contribute or enable many LEED credits in this category. Primary examples of how ARXX ICFs can contribute include:
  • Acoustic performance: Innovative strategy to provide acoustical privacy.
  • Air leakage: Not readily measured in most energy simulation tools. Benefits include energy use reduction. Reduced risk of mold, and improved occupant comfort.
  • Thermal mass: Not readily measured in most energy simulation tools. Can also contribute to occupant comfort.
  • Security and durability: High mass concrete will provide superior resistance to excessive loads possible during extreme weather events or explosions.
  • Recycled content: Contribute to achieving exemplary performance.
  • Regional materials: Contribute to achieving exemplary performance.
  • Waste reduction: Contribute to achieving exemplary performance.
Regional Priority Regional Priority Up to 4 Regional priority credits are identified by the USGBC from the existing set of LEED credits noted above. They represent additional credits that are deemed more important for the specific region in which the project is located. As they are drawn from the current set of LEED credits, ARXX ICFs can contribute to regional priority credits.


  In the analytical review process for LEED credits, ARXX ICFs, as a high performance building product for exterior and interior walls can be classified into three categories for the application of credits:

  • Contributor – directly and significantly contribute toward the credits within the specifics of the category. Using ARXX ICFs will either singularly achieve or be a primary contributor towards achieving a LEED credit.
  • Enabler – enable the application of design and operational credits by using the functional advantages of ARXX ICFs or are a contributor to achieving a credit. ARXX ICFs will be one of several factors that could result in achieving a LEED credit.
  • Indirectly Enhance – by utilizing the structural capabilities or the other natural characteristics of an ARXX ICF installation and design, may indirectly enhance or make feasible some aspect of the project design to apply for more credits. An example of this category is the excess structural capacity of ICF walls which enable a green roof to be more easily utilized.

Click here to download the overview of the differences in points awarded between LEED-NC v2.2 and LEED-NC v3.

 ARXX ICF contribution to green building

ARXX Insulating Concrete Forms (ICF) have many benefits that can contribute LEED credits to projects, making ICFs an ideal choice for green building:

  • Air tightness: Independent third party studies have demonstrated that ICF buildings typically achieve superior air tightness characteristics compared to conventional wall constructions. A 60% reduction in air infiltration associated with ICF wall construction can lower a building’s peak heat and cooling loads by 57% and 16% respectively.
  • Thermal mass performance: Thermal mass is the ability of a material to retain heat and slowly release it back into the environment. The concrete’s thermal mass evens out temperature fluctuations and provides a thermal buffer between indoor and outdoor conditions. This thermal mass effect in an ICF wall reduces building heating and cooling loads, particularly where large daily fluctuations in exterior temperature occur.
  • Standard EPS foam based ARXX forms (ARXX Edge, ARXX Prime) are by weight between 40% and 50% recycled material. The polypropylene webs or connectors are recycled from post industrial plastic. ARXX Steel forms with galvanized steel webs are by weight 25% recycled content.
  • ARXX ICFs are manufactured in eleven locations in North America(USA and Canada), thereby reducing the environmental effects associated with long distance transportation.
  • ARXX ICFs allow for use of higher percentages (50% or more) of supplementary cementing materials (SCMs). The common issues related to SCMs, such as aesthetic quality and cure time, are inherently reduced when ARXX ICFs are used.
  • ARXX ICFs are a modular system, which allow cut material to be used in other areas, eliminating construction waste. All materials in an ICF are recyclable prior to installation providing the potential for near zero construction waste.
  • EPS and concrete (the main components of an ARXX ICF walls) are mold, mildew and rot resistant unlike building materials such as wood and cellulose based alternatives.
  • ARXX ICFs do not emit VOCs or off-gas.
  • ARXX ICFs provide sound attenuation rates at or over the minimum requirement levels of STC 50.

There are also several other indirect advantages of incorporating an ARXX ICF wall system that contribute towards achieving LEED credits:

  • An ARXX ICF exterior wall eliminates a number of associated products that are required on a conventional wall. i.e. air barrier membrane, vapor barrier membrane, sealants and tapes, to provide an energy efficient comparable wall.
  • The structural capacity of the reinforced concrete wall within an ARXX ICF may eliminate steel columns and miscellaneous steel for lintels and cross ties.

Click here to download the document pointing out some of the ARXX green and energy efficient features and benefits that are not directly measured in the LEED rating system.

 The bottom line

Based on the data shown on the LEED Credit Summary table, building with ARXX ICFs can enable, indirectly enhance or contribute up to 38 LEED points for your project. The actual LEED point contribution will be project specific, and should be determined by a LEED Accredited Professional for each project seeking LEED accreditation.

 Visit ARXX Project Gallery or call us at 1.800.293.3210 for examples of the ARXX projects certified for all
levels of achievement: LEED Certified, LEED Silver, LEED Gold and LEED Platinum.

Featured Project

Sunrise Church

From 50 feet in the air where Pastor Rod Chaney is placing the ARXX ICF forms for the new Sunrise Church in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the outlook keeps getting better. “With this building we focused our finances on top  quality material – not labor,” Pastor Chaney says. With a budget of $650,000 for a new church, the short-term goal was best value possible. The longer-term goal was a lasting structure to accommodate future growth.

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ARXX Corporation
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