Modern. Downtown. Living.
Facebook Twitter


The LUX LEED Educational Series

The LUX anticipates being the first commercial building in Wichita to achieve LEED® Gold Certification. So what does that mean?

Welcome to THE LUX LEED EDUCATION SERIES. We've decide to hold "classes" on our site to give a little more information on what it means to be LEED Certified and how it pertains to The LUX. Class is now in session!

601: Indoor Environmental Quality

Welcome back to class! We hope you enjoyed your break, now let's get to it! The criteria of the USGBC LEED rating system we will discuss today is Indoor Environmental Quality. This addresses the subtle issues that influence how we feel in a space. At The LUX, we believe that buildings can enhance people's lives and experiences when they allow individuals proper circulation, comfortable temperatures and clean air.

Low-Emitting Materials are an important part of this section. The intent of Low-Emitting Materials is to reduce the quantity of indoor air contaminants that are odorous, irritating, and/or harmful to the comfort and well-being of installers and occupants. This applies to Adhesives & Sealants, Paints & Coatings, Carpet and Composite Wood.

The LUX will utilize materials that are free of formaldehyde and have low VOCs (those headache-inducing contaminants mentioned before). In addition, the entire building will be "flushed out" before people move in to remove any contaminants that may have slipped past our guard on that last bit of glue or chair cushion.

Daylight and Views is another key area of Indoor Environmental Quality. This credit intends to provide a connection between indoor and outdoor spaces through introduction of daylight and views into regularly occupied areas of the building. At The LUX, a direct line of site to outdoor for occupants will be provided for at least 75% of the areas where people live and work.

Indoor Environmental Quality is an important criteria to LEED. We believe that a part of responsible construction is to consider the environmental impact of the materials and also the physical health of the building's future occupants.

Next class, we will discuss "Innovation in Design"! Can't wait!

If you have any questions about Indoor Environmental Quality or about LEED in general, speak up here!

501: Materials and Resources

Welcome to class! We are so excited to share what we are doing with Materials and Resources at The LUX. From careful planning in construction to an Art Show made of recycled materials from the building, The LUX is setting the bar high for green construction in Wichita.

Materials and Resources is a fourth key area of LEED, with 13 possible points toward the overall 60-79 points The LUX is attempting for a LEED Gold status rating. The intent of the Materials and Resources credits is to reduce the amount of waste from the building sent to the landfill both during construction and after everyone moves in.

It is required of LEED-certified buildings to provide an easily accessible dedicated area that serves the entire building for the collection and storage of materials for recycling (including paper, corrugated cardboard, glass, plastics and metals). The LUX has set up such an area from the beginning of construction. During demolition and construction, materials have been placed into separate piles to help determine which pieces are reusable.

Other credits mandatory for a high LEED rating include maintaining existing walls, floor and roof, recycling and/or salvaging at least 50% of non-hazardous construction and demolition debris, using regional (within 500 miles of the project site) products for a minimum of 10% of total materials used and using a minimum of 50% wood-based materials for components such as structural framing, wood doors and finishes.

The LUX has been creative with the Materials and Resources area, going beyond simply selecting sustainable materials for construction. Coming up for November 2012’s Final Friday is an Art Exhibit, ReMades, which features local artists’ work utilizing recycled materials from The LUX. The show is a nod to LEED construction and The LUX’s dedication to art and character in Downtown Wichita.

Next class, we’ll discuss Indoor Environmental Quality. If you have any questions or comments about LEED, contact us.

401: Energy and Atmosphere

Welcome back! We’ve missed you. Are you energized for this next class?!

Energy and Atmosphere is the third key area of LEED, with 35 possible points toward the overall 60-79 points The LUX is attempting for a LEED Gold status rating. The intent of Energy and Atmosphere is to verify that the building’s energy related systems are installed, calibrated and perform according to the owner’s project requirements, basis of design and construction documents.

We know, that may as well have been in a different language. In simpler terms, LEED Energy and Atmosphere encourages energy efficiency through upgrades such as better insulation, improved daylighting design and high-efficiency HVAC systems.

One of the prerequisites for Energy and Atmosphere is to establish the minimum level of energy efficiency for the proposed building and systems. For The LUX, a whole building energy simulation will be done using computer modeling of the existing building including windows and HVAC system. This will provide the "baseline" that the renovated and improved building will be compared to. The minimum improvement to existing building baseline performance is 5%.

After meeting prerequisites, there are six credits to meet, including Optimize Energy Performance. This involves improving energy performance above the baseline by using energy strategies. At The LUX, the single largest energy improvement will be replacing the existing single pane glazing with new double-pane, thermal break Low-E windows. The window replacement has the potential to provide a 24% energy performance improvement versus the baseline. Other improvements include new pumps with variable speed drives for the cooling system and high efficiency lighting.

Questions, comments? Contact us.

Next class, we will discuss Materials and Resources. We can't wait to tell you about all the materials we are reusing and recycling!

301: Water Efficiency

What’s in a toilet? (No, not that.)

A toilet is a necessary appliance in any residential or commercial space. But why would choosing a toilet be a big decision? You’ll understand when you realize its water reduction potential.

Water Efficiency is the second key area of LEED, with 10 possible points toward the overall 60-79 points The LUX is attempting for a LEED Gold status rating. The intent is to increase water efficiency within buildings to reduce the burden on municipal water supply and wastewater systems.

For a true green building, water efficient choices and practices should be employed. This requires strategies that use at least 20% less water than the typical new building using current building codes. These baseline calculations utilize estimated occupant usage for items like toilets, urinals, restroom faucets, showers and kitchen faucets.

The toilet is the largest daily user of water in a residential space. Older toilets use between 3.5 and 7 gallons of water for each flush. The toilets at The LUX will need to use less than 1.6 gallons per flush, which is the current baseline volume. This would end up saving over 100,000 gallons of water per year at The LUX.

Some of the possible credits for Water Efficiency are: Water Efficient Landscaping (The LUX is attempting to save 100% of potable water used for landscaping), Innovative Wastewater Technologies and Water Use Reduction (choosing plumbing fixtures like toilets that use less water).

So, what’s in a toilet, a faucet, a shower head? Purposeful choices and design to use even less water than a typical new building. You can call us overachievers, but to us it just makes green sense.

Questions, comments? Contact us.

You won’t want to miss the next class. It will surely “energize” you!


Sustainable sites is the first key area of LEED. As a prerequisite, Construction Activity Pollution Prevention is required to reduce pollution from construction activities by controlling soil erosion, waterway sedimentation and airborne dust generation. We've lost some of you haven't we? So what does this mean?

When a building is being built or renovated - the construction crew must take into account how they are polluting the air and land at the site. Why not start being environmentally conscience in the very first stage? It's genius.

Before any construction can begin, however, the site must be selected and the building designed and rated. How are buildings rated you ask?

Different rating systems apply to different project types, which include New Construction, Core & Shell, Schools, Commercial Interiors, Retail, Healthcare, Homes, Existing Buildings and Neighborhood Development. The New Construction rating system is the one most often used and will be the basis for this class.

There are 26 possible points in the Sustainable Sites area of LEED (New Construction & Major Renovation) alone. These points go towards total credits, which determine:

  • LEED Certified (40-49 points)
  • LEED Silver (50-59 points)
  • LEED Gold (60-79 points)
  • LEED Platinum (80 points and above)

Some of the possible credits for Sustainable Sites are:
Site Selection, Development Density & Community Connectivity, Alternative Transportation (from public transportation, bicycle storage and fuel efficient cars to parking capacity), Site Development (protect or restore habitat and maximize open space), Stormwater Design and Light Pollution Reduction. For detailed information on Sustainable Site credits, please click here.

Renovating a quality building in a downtown area goes a long way towards LEED Certification. The density of the site, proximity to public transportation, and other surrounding businesses really gives the project a sustainable boost. It's a testament to Wichita's urban scene that some of these credits are attainable at all for us!

In the next class we will discuss “Water Efficiency,” so dress accordingly! See you then!

If you have questions or comments on Sustainable Sites or LEED, contact us here.


Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, involves redefining the way we think about the places we live, work and learn.

LEED certification provides verification that a building was designed, built or renovated using strategies aimed at sustainability, water saving, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality - in effect it becomes a Green Building.

Over the semester (no worries…it won’t actually take that long), we will cover the following areas:

  • Sustainable Sites
  • Water Efficiency
  • Energy and Atmosphere
  • Materials and Resources
  • Indoor Environmental Quality
  • Innovation in Design
  • Regional Priority Credits

In the next class we will discuss “Sustainable Sites”. See you then!

If you have any questions - please raise your hand… or contact us here.

U.S. Green Building Council - LEED Remades
Buildings Use

click to enlarge image