296 The Leed Process

• Design Team Integration

• Project Registration

• Project Certification

• Documentation

The LEED Design Process:

When does a Green Design Begin?

"It Begins in the Beginning"

Critical to success is the integration of the design TEAM on Day 1 of design. LEED is a marketplace transformer. It is a paradigm shift away from top down, minimum first cost emphasis. The hierarchical old-fashioned way was design, bid, build.

But the LEED design process is one of integrated, holistic building design, construction, operations and maintenance. All participate as equals on a construction roundtable:

Owner Operations Personnel Owner Architect Engineer

Construction Manager Contractors & Subcontractors Equipment Suppliers & Manufacturers Commissioning Authority—Watchdog Role

During the very early stages of a green building's development, a design charette should be held. This refers to meetings that are held over the course of a day or two, wherein the entire team, the construction roundtable group, gets together to develop the roadmap to successful green building.

• The ENTIRE team joins in—all stakeholders, including the owner, designers, commissioning authority, and operations.

• Gain buy-in and consensus.

• Explore environmental issues.

• Propose alternatives.

• Identify modeling and resource allocation.

• Use the LEED checklists as guide for level of green desired.

• Use an outside facilitator who specializes in integrated design.

• Present examples of resources and ways to trace costs and benefits of modeling.

• Establish a task/responsible team to track and manage compliance with the process.

• Determine an LEED Leader who will be the "watchdog" over points. The commissioning authority can be a good choice for this.

29.6.1 The Energy Engineer's Goal: Get Invited!

It is during the design charette which occurs at the earliest moments of a project, that the energy engineer can provide the maximum overall benefit to the project. It is during this time that key choices are made about the lighting, HVAC, and building envelope. The energy engineer can help guide the team to the most appropriate energy efficient design strategies based upon the team's energy goals and the available energy sources.

On an LEED project, a major concern of the design team is simply, "How do I get the points?" Commonly called "points chasing," it is an effort by the design team to achieve the maximum available points at the minimum cost and effort. However, this can be ameliorated or driven by the owner. During the design charette, it is the owner's responsibility to clearly identify the goals and objectives of the project. If it is simply, "get me the most points," the team will point chase. If the goals are, for example, to have the highest energy efficiency possible, or the most daylighting possible, then other choices, alternatives, and evaluations may be examined.

29.6.2 Example and Discussion on Obtaining LEED Points on a Project

The following is an example of how in an integrated green building design, a "simple" decision such as to have a computerized building automation system (BAS), can have substantial overall impact on acquiring points.

Knowing that LEED buildings will generally require sophisticated controls, the BAS can have a major role in obtaining and facilitating points. The following is a summary of the impact a BAS may have on LEED points. The design team can use this example to guide them in the same process for other techniques and/or technologies. Again, the emphasis is on integrated design. We are designing an integrated building, not a collection of parts and systems. Some Examples of BAS Influence on LEED Credits:

• Sustainable Sites—Light pollution reduction through use of controls.

• Water Efficiency—use of metering to document water consumption—although not a credit itself, it can facilitate credits in this category.

Energy & Atmosphere—many credits and much influence here:

• Energy Prerequisite and Optimized Energy Performance—ten credits are in play here. The BAS as an integral part of the energy consuming systems including lighting, HVAC, load management, etc., and helps earn credits through performance improvements that will be quantified in the building energy simulations required by ASHRAE 90.1

• Commissioning—BAS aids the commissioning authority in performing their duties, a time saver.

• Measurement and Verification—one prescriptive credit—provide for accountability & optimization of energy and water consumption over time.

• Optimize Energy Performance—in LEED CI, up to four prescriptive credits for lighting and power controls. Other credits in energy performance, an additional four.

• Energy Submetering—in LEED CI, measure for energy accountability. Up to two prescriptive credits.

• Building Operations & Maintenance—three prescriptive credits, relating to staff education, building systems maintenance, and building systems monitoring.

• Performance Measurement—enhanced metering and emission reduction reporting—up to four credits prescriptive.

Indoor Environmental Quality

• CO2 Monitoring—one prescriptive credit.

• Increase Ventilation Effectiveness—BAS can aid in earning this credit.

• Controllability of Systems—up to two prescriptive credits.

• Thermal Comfort—up to two prescriptive credits— comply with ASHRAE Standard 55 and permanently monitor temperature and humidity.

• Outdoor Air Delivery Monitoring—one prescriptive credit.

The conclusion is that a BAS can directly add to points accumulation, but indirectly has a great deal of influence on other points. The intent of these examples is to demonstrate how design decisions flow through the entire integrated design, having direct effects on some credits and indirect effects on others.

29.6.3 Marketing LEED and Sustainability to the Community, Owners, and Designers

LEED offers a great deal of value to various members of the community. The owners benefit by having high performance buildings that are cost efficient and provide for better employee productivity. The design community benefits by now having a way to craft a stronger value message for superior architecture and design. LEED provides a way for designers to qualify and quantify their competitive advantage over other non-green designers. The community benefits by having a program such as LEED that promotes urban and brownfield development, reduces demands on infrastructure such as roads and waste disposal, improves the environment, and provides for a healthy living style.

Elaborating as to why a design team should be pro moting LEED design, let us examine the overall life cycle cost of a typical commercial office building.

Ownership Cost Breakdown—40 Year Life Cycle Costs

Construction or First Cost is 11% Financing is 14% Alterations are 25% Operations are 50%

It is interesting that the cost that most design teams grapple with, first costs, and keeping them low, is actually the least significant cost element in the overall life cycle costs of a building. Thus, those decisions to keep first costs low by specifying cheaper designs and equipment can have a serious negative impact on the overall life cycle performance of a facility.

Additionally, considering that first cost is only 11% of the total life cycle cost and that A/E fees are only 6% to 8% of that 11%, or .88% of the total costs, could it be beneficial to the owner to pay more for superior architecture and engineering? This is because the designs and selections made by the design team have a great deal of leverage on the total costs of life cycle ownership costs.

29.6.4 Credits that Engineers can help in acquiring

Many times it is believed that the architectural profession has the most potential to aid in acquiring LEED credits. However it is the engineering profession that in fact influences the most points. For example:

• Energy & atmosphere and indoor environments are 40% of available points.

• Minimum energy performance is a prerequisite!

• Energy modeling is required.

• Energy measurement and verification is a credit.

• Commissioning is required.

Other benefits engineers bring to the design team

• Requires creativity vs. CAD commodity design. Creativity is desired and rewarded.

• Promotes investment in A/E design $ to value engineer before, not after.

• Promotes the collective wisdom of the integrated design team.

• This is the interplay between professions that occurs during the design charette.

• Catalyst for the design team to do the high performance job that it is capable of.

• Provides a value message of premium engineering and design to the owner—this may be the path to higher fees and/or more work?

29.6.5 Impediments to Green Acceptance

Typically, the first and possibly most serious impediment to the wide-scale adoption of LEED is the perception that it costs more. The facts are that it may add cost, from 1% to 5%, depending upon the level of green the ownership team has identified in that design charette. But it does not necessarily cost more if the design team is clever about making design decisions and using all available resources that may be at hand.

Hint: If trying to promote LEED, look to identify market conditions in the project's locale that supports LEED. Many states have various programs to incentiv-ize energy efficiency and other marketplace conditions which can affect the viability of a green project. The following uses New Jersey as an example of "market conditions" that can drive LEED adoption:

The Case for LEED in New Jersey:

First cost is less of an issue because of high efficiency equipment incentives. There is a program through the NJ Board of Public Utilities called NJ Smart Start Buildings, which provides rebates for high efficiency equipment such as lighting, HVAC, boilers, and chillers, as well as commissioning and design team meetings. Essentially much of the cost differential between cheap inefficient equipment and high efficiency equipment is offset by the rebates.

Renewable energy sources are promoted by statewide programs such as the Clean Energy Program. Similar to Smart Start, renewables such as wind, solar PV, and biomass projects are rebated up to 50% of the initial installed cost.

ASHRAE Std 90.1-1999 is the State Energy Code as well as the prerequisite for energy and atmosphere LEED credits. So there is no additional cost for NJ buildings to comply with this. In other states that may not have this code requirement, compliance with ASHRAE 90.1 would add cost.

Many brownfields are available for development with incentives from the NJ Economic Development Administration, NJEDA. This can be a simple prescriptive credit.

Mass transportation is generally adjacent to the brownfields, which aids in acquiring more points. NJ, as the most densely populated state in the nation, has many former industrial sites which are in inner city areas close to mass transit and part of urban renewal. Thus a brown-field site can facilitate a number of other credits.

Environmental—voluntary LEED adoption decreases need for additional regulation. NJ is one of the most regulated and legislated states, but if we have more adoption of LEED, many of the goals of environmental legislation can be achieved voluntarily.

High energy costs in NJ promote equipment and operational cost efficiencies. Paybacks on high efficiency equipment are quicker than in other states, which helps drive the recognized value of energy efficiency versus low first cost equipment.

Other states and regions may have similar incentives and programs. New York and California are two that come to mind. In addition, the Energy Policy Act of 2005, promises to encourage energy efficiency through various programs.

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