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LEED 2012 - 4th Public Comment and Ballot Forum

Although it carries relatively few points, among the most noteworthy changes in LEED 2012 are those in the MR category.
May 11, 2012

Editor's note: USGBC has taken your comments and opened the fifth public comment period with the new draft of LEED v4 (note the name change from LEED 2012). Please post your thoughts on our LEED v4 fifth public comment forum!

The LEED 2012 fourth public comment period will be open from May 11 to May 28 (11:59 p.m. ET).

Information on the 4th public comment draft of LEED 2012 is available on the USGBC website.

LEEDuser's analysis of the current draft is below, and we encourage the LEED user community to post your analyses and opinions here in this forum. Here are some useful links:

Under USGBC's process for development of the rating systems, any substantive changes must be followed by a comment period. This 4th comment period had not been planned—indicating that there are some noteworthy changes from the 3rd public comment period. However, any changes between now and the version that wil go out to ballot on June 1st are going to be superficial, making this comment period a warm-up for the balloting process.

LEEDuser's Analysis of the 4th Public Comment Draft

By Nadav Malin – LEEDuser

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With a special fourth public comment period, USGBC is now—through May 28—seeking input on the latest changes to the LEED 2012 family of rating systems. Only credits that have changed significantly since the 3rd public comment draft are open for comments this time. If you haven’t been paying attention, it’s time to wake up, because LEED 2012 is by far the most fundamental revamping of LEED in its history.

LEED has been through several iterations since it was originally launched in March 2000. It has also spawned additional rating systems over the years—the LEED that started things off in 2000 was just for “New Construction and Major Renovations” (NC); LEED for Existing Buildings, Commercial Interiors, Schools, Retail, Healthcare, Neighborhood Developments, and Homes all came later. But most of those changes trickled in: one rating system at a time, and relatively minor changes to credit requirements from one version to the next. LEED 2009 gave LEED a new point structure, with all the rating systems on a 100-point scale (plus bonus points), but the actual credit requirements didn’t change all that much.

LEED 2012 includes a fresh look at credits across the board, and introduces the first more specialized versions of LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (EBOM), with EBOM for Schools, Retail, Data Centers, Hospitality, and Warehouses. While many in the LEED community have complained that the changes are too much too fast, few would argue that most of the old requirements have gotten old and tired.

Responding to those concerns, however, the fourth public comment draft continues a trend of backing off on some of the proposed changes:

  • The credit for electric vehicle charging stations and preferred parking has been reinstated in this draft, with minor adjustments.
  • A distinction between heavy and non-heavy construction and demolition waste was deemed too difficult to track on the job site and has been removed from this draft.
  • A requirement in the commissioning prerequisite to include building envelope commissioning was removed in an earlier draft, and now applies only to the credit.
  • Minimum energy performance over ASHRAE 90.1-2010 was lowered from 10% to 5%, recognizing that 90.1-2010 is already about 20% tougher than 90.1-2007, making the cumulative change too challenging.
  • An “angle of view” requirement that would have greatly restricted the indoor spaces that could count towards the views credit was eliminated.

Among the biggest changes in LEED 2012 are those in the Materials and Resources (MR) category. Even though this category carries relatively few points (about 10% of the total in most Building Design & Construction rating systems), it has the most direct impact on major building material markets with their associated economic and ecological impacts, so this category is a lightening rod for commentary.

USGBC has stuck with its strong commitment to the Forest Stewardship Council as the minimum standard for wood product certification. It has, however, backed off in this draft from a credit that included PVC—the plastic most widely used in buildings—among the substances to be avoided. That’s a function of a decision to reference the European REACH list for that credit. PVC remains among the substances that would have to be disclosed, based on the lists in Clean Production Action’s Green Screen Benchmark.

LEED 2012 introduces a more sophisticated approach to many of the materials credits, replacing simple proxies for environmental benefit, such as recycled content and rapidly renewable materials, with requirements that call for life-cycle assessment, disclosure of ingredients, and avoidance of problem chemicals.

These new approaches are challenging because tools and protocols for meeting these requirements are not yet widely available. USGBC is responding to this situation in several ways:

  • Introducing a pilot projects program and extended phase-in period for all of LEED 2012, so that only project teams that want to knock themselves out pioneering these new practices have to do so;
  • Pointing out that building commissioning and energy modeling were also not widely used when LEED began requiring them in 2000, so there is precedent for LEED creating this kind of infrastructure; and, to support that process,
  • Offering credit in some cases for merely reporting on ingredients and LCA results, regardless of how good those results are. This approach amounts to a big vote for transparency and support for developing data sources and tools, in the hopes that future versions of LEED will be able to make use of widely available data to set rigorous thresholds.

While the methods are far from perfect, moving to include mining impacts in the mix, and introducing some filters to the old blanket endorsement of any rapidly renewable material, are clearly big steps forward. Similarly, in the arena of indoor pollutants from materials, USGBC has determined that the market is finally ready to move from documenting VOC content to measuring VOC emissions. An attempt to do that when LEED for Schools was released in 2008 proved premature, but I think we’re ready now.

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Comments

June 4, 2012 - 4:44 pm

We have two hospitals that are certified under NC v2.2, one Certified, and one Silver. Hospitals are quite difficult to certify, and clearly benefit by strong and early participation of all design and construction team members.

I can understand some of your point Marcus on descending percentages if we have a universal or random selection process, but by definition, only motivated teams and owners (mostly) are going to pursue, so I feel the levels achieved will be skewed to the Gold. Platinum is still hard, at least they have been for our firm…hard fought and well worth the effort.

What worries me is the step. Right now I feel that with only the change to ASHRAE 90.1-2010, projects are moving down a step…in other words, what is a Gold today, is a Silver tomorrow. With proper market penetration, that feels about right. While mostly concerned with energy as a consulting engineering firm, from the conversations I have been hearing and having with colleagues in architectural firms, v2012 might be two steps? A Gold project today is a Certified project tomorrow?

June 4, 2012 - 3:57 pm

It was actually a hospital that is part of the prison system so not your typical hospital and it was a LEED v2.0/v2.1 project.

June 4, 2012 - 3:34 pm

You're right, Susan, about costs - there's incentive to reduce HVAC system sizes by reducing peak loads (up to a point).

I think that LEED HC is a good example of an appropriate level of change for market penetration.

June 4, 2012 - 3:15 pm

What is interesting to me is that while the HC sector itself has lagged behind other sectors (office, schools), the HC reference guide actually anticipates LEED 2012. LEED Silver and Gold Hospitals are still noteworthy and celebratory anywhere in the US from my point of view.

The other interesting statistics on LEED Hospitals is the costs ($/SF) are less for LEED Gold than for LEED Certified (Guenther/Vittori). As I recall, this has been attributed to integrative planning and early adoption of HVAC efficient designs. What 'Natural Capitalism' called "tunneling through the cost-barrier."

June 4, 2012 - 3:04 pm

That's really funny! What's the project? I’m not familiar with many other inpatient/D&T facilities with LEED ratings in that area, so I must have missed it. The project I'm thinking about is targeting Silver by contract but will likely deliver Gold. In this case LEED of any kind is a definitely a big stretch for many of the parties involved, who shall remain unnamed. Believe me, they haven't all caught up! (This is also a seven building campus under one certification, which poses its own challenges.)

June 4, 2012 - 2:49 pm

We did a LEED Silver hospital in Indiana in 2006! :)

Heck of a coincidence you selected that example but I think that they have even caught up. How many project announcement have you seen lately where the target was Silver and the team "really came together" and delivered Gold? This is the sound of the market having caught up.

I do get your point about differences in markets and that certainly exists.

June 4, 2012 - 2:49 pm

I have never heard anyone say in a design/project meeting "Let's go for SILVER!”. Larger floor area projects have an incentive to certify at the highest level possible, as quickly as they can, and to actually earn that rating, perhaps that is why there is such a high percentage of Gold certified projects? Many of the early projects were "prestigious and landmark" projects / corporate headquarters, not exactly Silver targeters... Maybe it says something that projects want to earn a higher level certification, even if it's "harder".

June 4, 2012 - 2:06 pm

I love "SQEED" - I will definitely borrow that one!

The fact that we're increasingly moving toward Gold means that LEED is working. It also means that it's time to raise the bar. One of the challenges I see is that we're still trying to drag some sectors of the market along... while LEED Gold on an office building in San Francisco probably represents the status quo, a LEED Silver hospital in Indiana may actually be groundbreaking. The latter project type will still want to hang on to 2009 for a while, whereas the former will hopefully push into 2012.

June 4, 2012 - 2:00 pm

The stats above even show the imbalance in the system. If it were perfectly balanced against the market one would expect to see a decreasing percentage of achievement as we move up the certification levels. Rob's idea of restructuring the points would potentially help even things a bit but probably not all the way. I think most of us believe that the bar should be raised so we are back to how far, how fast.

June 4, 2012 - 2:00 pm

I saw a discussion on the difference in project timelines for EB vs. NC, which to me is a significant factor in version frequencies. I would also include CI in the EB category.
Within v2009 total projects, there are twice the number of EB (and CI projects) as there are NC. Only 483 NC projects(USA=405) have been certified under 2009 compared to 901 CI & 717 EB. Especially with the recent economic impact on NC starts, it certainly feels like we are just beginning to use/understand NC2009 much more than EB or CI.

June 4, 2012 - 1:55 pm

My point is that the rate of gold projects has been steadily increasing as a percentage of the total each year to the point where we are now around 50%. Percentages since the beginning of LEED time are going to be different.

June 4, 2012 - 1:52 pm

All Projects - All Systems ~
Certified - 21%
Silver - 33%
Gold-40%
Platinum-6%

If we go by the floor area metric then ~:
Certified - Area-21%
Silver - Area-27%
Gold-Area45%
Platinum-Area-6%

June 4, 2012 - 1:00 pm

Marcus,
I excel magiced the 4/19/2012 Public LEED project directory and for all certified projects (all systems) the certified percentage is 39.83% (4,992 out of 12,553) Gold with about 4,516 of them in the US.

June 4, 2012 - 12:56 pm

Hi Marcus--the 39% is based on certified floor area through the end of 2011. Project counts--in terms of almost everything that matters in LEED: market penetration, environmental impact, economic impact--is largely irrelevant. The only thing that matters in this case is floor area.

The percentage is historical from the release of LEED in 2000. The numbers for Gold certification under LEED 2009 are slightly higher than the historical averages, also addressed in the GBMIR report.

Most of this unbalance would vaporize if we tightened the certification bands as I have suggested (Certified 50-59%; Silver 60-69%; Gold 70-79%; Platinum 80% plus.

We STILL have not cracked 10% certification percentages for Platinum which means to me that the overall bar is not too bad, but that the distribution of points needs tightening.

June 4, 2012 - 12:44 pm

Lorne,

I think LEED rightly rewards projects that do not encourage sprawl.

June 4, 2012 - 12:42 pm

Eric,
I wish I could. I can't take credit for creating the map. Only researching to find it. Perhaps you could emails the blog creator Bob.

June 4, 2012 - 12:39 pm

Not sure what the 39% is based on. The stats I am referencing come from USGBC staff and are annual values over the past three years or so.

June 4, 2012 - 12:37 pm

Dylan,

Awesome link! Could you do a map for international projects? Maybe one comparing the number of projects pursuing LEED, BREEAM, DGNB, HQE?

June 4, 2012 - 12:32 pm

Map of LEED Certified Projects in the US by Certification Level:
http://energy-models.com/tools/leed-certified-buildings-state
California, has the most LEED Gold, Platinum Building total, however, adjusting by population reveals that Maryland is the most certified state state and Oregon has the most LEED Golds and Platinum:
http://energy-models.com/blog/8-15-11/true-greenest-leedest-state-usa

June 4, 2012 - 12:18 pm

Lorne,
Download the GBCI certified project directory and you can filter your way to the answer. According to Rob's last Green Building Market report the percentage of certified Gold projects is 39%.

June 4, 2012 - 12:13 pm

Marcus,
Starting the minimum energy points at 24% savings in 2009 would probably stop the growth of SQEED without an upgrade to the system. :)

I think 2012 will/would be harder to achieve on the projects we've worked on, but using it probably wouldn't be an absolute deal breaker. The surge in registrations for 2009 before the deadline however might crash the GBCI server permanently.

The goal at the end of the day should be about getting a lot of buildings to improve rather than just a few to improve a lot. LBC is great, but it’s a long way from 12,000 buildings certified. I guess at the end of the day the decision to hit the "pause" button should be determined by which path (delay 2012 or implement it) improves the most buildings. I don’t know the answer, in my market I would probably rather try and certify projects for another year or two under 2009 with the option to go for 2012 with clients who really want to be green.

June 4, 2012 - 11:37 am

Hi Marcus,

Very valid comment. I agree change is difficult, but in this industry entirely necessary. The 50% BD+C Buildings is a statistic I was unaware of. I am not sure if I should be impressed with the stat or rather if it is as you say, just an indicator of needed change.

A little off-topic: I was curious if these 50% of BD+C LEED GOLD projects are concentrated in a specific which has the same building code (IE. SOCAL etc..). Do you think that the next version of LEED should make more credits available for projects that do not fit into a 'mainstream' LEED project (IE. Very low density or Climate extreme variances) ? Or rather, that LEED is set-up in such a way to deter any remotely low-density construction and in special circumstance, enough points are up for grabs through RPc and ID credits?

June 4, 2012 - 11:25 am

Change is hard and difficult but that is not a valid reason to avoid it.

For me the imperative for change is to maintain LEED as an actual leadership standard. Right now, in my opinion, it has become a give-a-plaque to the status quo standard. I have jokingly referred to this situation as SQEED - Staus Quo in Energy and Environmental Design. When LEED becomes SQEED it looses its meaning.

Too far, too fast - maybe a valid argument but with 50% of BD+C projects getting LEED Gold I think the imperative for some change is pretty clear.

I also agree that EBOM should be leading the way but it never will if we exclude over 50% of the market out of the gate.

June 4, 2012 - 10:02 am

I agree Rob, it is simply to soon to implement a new version of LEED in my eyes. While I agree with the initiative of the USGBC as well as many of the proposed credits, I believe trying to push this through too quickly would only cause difficulties for this ever-growing industry.

1. From a consulting/designing perspective:
Many of the on-going projects at our firm are currently still in the midst of submitting LEED NC ~1.0 documentation of certification. Our LEED 2009 projects are still just getting off the ground and realistically, I can see many of them continuing into the latter part of this decade. Many employees just get confused at times between the subtle differences in credits. If we were to introduce another version of LEED to the workplace, juggling 3 would be a little more inconvenient, to say the least. I also wanted to note that the clients/developers we work with are just becoming familiar with LEED 2009 and can comfortably hold their own during in-depth credit discussion with the LEED consultant. These guys don't work with LEED everyday as some of us do, a new version of LEED would make other stakeholders less comfortable in sustainable talks.

2. On the site, I also teach courses for LEED GA/AP BD+C exam prep. When the switch is made from 2009 to 2012, all those writing the 2012 exam will likely be studying credits that are not currently used in the real world, but will be used in the future instead, making their new-found credential achievement less applicable to the present time, a hindrance to the employer+ employee.

With that said, while I understand that a new version of LEED is needed to progress sustainability in the built environment, I do not believe that it is imperative to implement LEEDV4 immediately, agreeing with Rob.

Feel Free to refute any points, I am always up to discuss!

Commenting from Canada,
Lorne Mlotek

June 1, 2012 - 9:39 am

Rob, totally agree with you...EB should lead LEED. Rob states very well the huge lag time that BD&C etc have...it continues to worry me that many of the current construction going up in San Francisco, because it has been delayed so long due to the recession, is being built to very old standards. I'm sure that's true everywhere, but don't have an answer of how to make them current.

June 1, 2012 - 9:14 am

Thanks for sharing your field experience, Scott.

This gets me thinking that for BD&C (and probably ND), the cycle maybe should be 5 years, while for EBOM and ID&C where the project cycle times are about half of BD&C we could do 3. ID&C could end up being a piloting option for many of the BD&C standards & it would allow EBOM to lead LEED which, as the core (IMO) standard, it should.

June 1, 2012 - 8:57 am

There is one change in v2012 that is significantly raising the bar, and it was the simplest to implement…changing to ASHRAE 90.1-2010. We have an engineer in our firm on the 90.1 committee, and we get regular briefings on what is going on, and this is a huge step from 2004, and a big step from 2007. This alone will take time to integrate and see the reaction to the points projects can get. I agree, that we have many projects reaching Gold, and while not the total story, energy has generally been a big factor. Also, we still have very little final results from v2009 in our firm, while we have some 70 projects seeking v2009, only 3 have been fully certified to date (of the 66 certified so far). We have maybe another 40 v2.2 projects working their way through the system. For that reason, 3 years is feeling a little tight on taking steps.

May 31, 2012 - 10:34 pm

Well, Marcus, we all know it takes a village...and like you I'm humbled to have been (and in a small way continue to be) part of the evolution of this, what would we call it now, 'unruly teenager'??

Anyway, there is still time to 'nail' this release where we have an important raising of the bar, which I DO favor, but also one where all 'unintended consequences' are eliminated. If we are doing our jobs, there will be no unintended consequences.

There needs to be sufficient comfort and familiarity in the market to make the uptake smooth and adequate.

We need to think of this like running up stairs: we know what happens when one step is a lot higher than the previous one...

If we look at the pre-1990 ASHRAE experience which is the status quo rate of change, we saw a new version every decade roughly and with single-digit changes in performance. The contrast with LEED is stunning and we can't forget the changes that LEED has driven in that very important standard and the ripple to IECC, etc. So, I don't think that LEED has at all been 'relatively slow' to incorporate changes. Given what a departure it is from business as usual, it's a miracle how far its gone in a relatively short period of time.

In terms of 'making up lost ground' I would favor making it up a little later and spending the intervening time making the delivery channels and supporting tools air-tight.

May 31, 2012 - 8:29 pm

I totally agree about the rate of change issue. (I discussed that a lot in the 2nd and 3rd draft forums.) On one hand, it's catch up time - better late than never. On the other hand, the industry is now accustomed to relatively slow change in LEED requirements - it's a shock to the system. A very long overlap between V3 and V4 would help.

Yes, thanks :)

May 31, 2012 - 8:22 pm

Great point Mara. What has finally come out in 2012 is a very well intentioned attempt to fix known issues and update know deficiencies that have been identified as far back as 2005 following the release of v2.2. A big part of the problem perhaps is that we did not do what Rob has suggested and implemented a somewhat greater degree of incremental change into LEED 2009. In hindsight the changes we are considering now appear to be a far bigger leap than they would have been otherwise. Unfortunately LEED 2009 changes were most structural and not technical in nature but we are where we are.

As one very small part of the massive team already working on the next Reference Guide can I take your comment as a "thank you"? I am thankful to work with some amazing, dedicated people to help raise Rob's baby.

May 29, 2012 - 8:44 pm

I'm glad to see that we violently agree, Mara.

Having a maximum of 25% major change is hardly keeping the standard static, particularly if the changes happen every 3 years. Some are quite passionate about 5 years being the minimum time between version changes, but i think 3 years is doable if managed properly.

Also, I think the market would be much more receptive to regular changes if they had confidence in the tools and delivery infrastructure.

May 29, 2012 - 8:30 pm

Rob, I definitely meant the early adopter "we": those of us who have piloted LEED before and would love to do it again. That's why I would like to see a "real" beta - one that is used to inform the full rollout at a later date. I think that most of the credits will be fine, but those that aren't will cause serious headaches.

I agree about the prerequisites; I have concerns that some will be unnecessary barriers to entry. I also agree about the "flopping" -- a whole new MR section with every draft? Really? With an MR TAG that has only one BD+C practitioner? I expect the Reference Guide development to be a mammoth, thankless task.

That said, I also think that it's been too long without substantive change to most LEED sections and credits - it's time. However, this lack of change previously is part of the reason that this change hurts so badly.

May 29, 2012 - 8:28 pm

Seems to me that 'Plan A' should be to ensure that the Law of Unintended Consequences has been eliminated to the extent possible.

If this can happen and the standard be balloted before November, then we should all have a great party. Then USGBC/GBCI can hang out some incentives out for a 6-month minimum final, but controlled Samsonite Luggage Test of the V4 tools before opening the gates to the roller coaster.

The minute the doors are "open," the ride damn well better work.

May 29, 2012 - 8:19 pm

If plan 'A' is to roll out V4 in November with a start date of 1-1-13 (just guessing here)....what's plan 'B'?

May 29, 2012 - 8:06 pm

Mara, if by "we" you mean the Early Adopters, ideally all TAG and LEED Committee members, then by all means absolutely start using it.

If you mean that we should foist another half-baked experiment on a weary marketplace and force them to waste hundreds of thousands of dollars of professional time wrestling with poorly functioning tools and inconsistent interpretations, then I'll wait until it's really ready.

The time is long past where we can afford to rest on the good graces of the market while USGBC and GBCI work things out. 'Working things out' needs to happen with the credits BEFORE they hit the membership for comment and review and the tools BEFORE the system is launched, unless it's a controlled beta.

We now have billions, with a 'B', of dollars every year riding on LEED working and working well. We owe it to the owners and vast majority of practitioners to not be satisfied with 'good enough' because, truth be told, at this point 'good enough' ain't.

If it were up to me, no new prerequisite, or prerequisite element, could be introduced without at least one cycle as a credit. In addition, credits with wholesale changes in the compliance path (e.g. materials) should leave the current pathway available at roughly half the credit for at least one cycle. Credits totaling no more than 25 points should be identified and prioritized for major changes--and only if necessary.

The flopping around of the various ballot versions should have never happened the way it did. A more orderly product development pathway is absolutely essential.

May 29, 2012 - 5:46 pm

I think we need to start using it - absolutely - but be prepared for the inevitable glitches, loopholes, etc. Many credits are totally solid - especially (IMHO) in the EA section, thanks in part to you Chris, no doubt - but many contain pretty big unknowns, with potential loopholes and unintended consequences. This is a good thing, but it means that we need a little wiggle room if things really don't go as intended. Other than with Pilots and to a lesser extent Addenda, the LEED system hasn't been well set up to address this in past versions.

May 29, 2012 - 4:47 pm

Disagree. It will never be perfect but it raises the bar. Time to start using it.

May 24, 2012 - 3:34 pm

I vote that V4 (version 4) is postponed until all significant issues in v2.2, v2009 and LEED Online are resolved. The exercise of working out the kinks in those systems will help the USGBC perfect V4 before launching it.

May 24, 2012 - 2:06 pm

Disagree.
If a ballot passes then the start date for V4 could be set for Jan 1st 2014 (V3 terminated on that date). For BD&C that 'could' posse a problem with trying to pilot V4 within that time period, but for EB it's very achievable (We've managed 91 days operations plus 90 days GBCI review...and in this case GBCI would need to fast track pilots so that the results could be in the marketplace)
With a Jan 1st 2014 start date all those of you wanting to 'hold back' could do...just register in V3..then you have 5 years to hold V3 while the pilots and early contracts run the process and produce the results.
Really how many credits are actually causing major headaches? Rob, we need that matrix!

May 24, 2012 - 1:58 pm

I also agree with Bill, though there may be a few areas where "stringency" has gone a little overboard, just IMHO.

May 24, 2012 - 1:56 pm

This has my full support! A few of us have started analyzing the details of how projects might achieve some of the credits in the MR section, and it appears that based on current language there may be some unintended consequences (aka loopholes) that would allow projects to very easily achieve points based on standard practice, depending on the construction type and the project location. I don't think USGBC intends these things, but they won't figure it out without a lot of up front analysis with real projects. Making these things formal via early ballot could become a big black eye, and make them more of a target then they already are (e.g. by the chemical industry).

May 24, 2012 - 1:54 pm

I think I've been clear in my opinion. Keep the stringency but revamp the whole system to simplify the paperwork.

May 24, 2012 - 1:20 pm

Has anyone read ID&C? In all four drafts of LEED v2012, it seems like ID&C is the little brother that the family forgot at the grocery store. There are still a great deal of issues with the draft where BD&C credits have been pasted into the ID&C draft without making necessary adjustments (e.g. page 26 where it says "Schools, Retail, and Healthcare projects can earn a second point for meeting the requirements of two tables.... Schools and Healthcare are not in the ID&C system!).

I am also wondering what everyone is thinking about the big changes to the ID&C EA prerequisite: Minimum Energy Performance and the EA credit: Optimize Energy Performance. From speaking to a couple of mechanical engineers, it appears that there will be a great deal of additional work required, but I am curious to see what other people think.

Thanks-
Melissa

June 5, 2012 - 1:24 pm

In both BD+C and ID+C, the maximum points allowed differs between the performance and prescriptive options. This is for the most part based on the relative levels of achievements between the two options than simply trying to promote modeling and a performance-based approach (though USGBC generally does try to encourage that method). With BD+C, it’s more straightforward, as the prescriptive option is based solely on the 50% AEDGs. The AEDGs are designed so that when followed in their entirety, the results are a roughly 50% increase in performance over ASHRAE 90.1-2004. The max points in the BD+C prescriptive approach then relates about how much better a project would have to be over 90.1-2010 in the performance option, and assigns that amount as the max in Option 2. With ID+C, it is basically the same thing, but is more complicated since there are additional paths that do not directly relate to the AEDGs. These numbers may require some refining as we learn more about 90.1-2010 and how certain aspects of buildings have been addressed within it, but the idea will remain roughly the same.

Chrissy Macken will be providing some additional context on point changes for other credits between 2009 and v4.

June 1, 2012 - 11:50 am

Well it did change very little relative to the MR section as it generally includes the same compliance paths. But the devil is in the details as they say.

I have already forwarded your assessment and our conversation here to the USGBC staff and the EA TAG chair so they can potentially consider the issues you raise.

In certain respects Melissa is right that ID+C is often the little brother who does not get enough attention.

June 1, 2012 - 11:14 am

Marcus - Changing the point allocations will change the way teams approach ID&C EA in v4. Depending on the project type that could very well mean more work.

"The EA section in ID+C changed very little." - I was worried some of the statements in your "non-detailed" assessment would mislead others.

The stringency I talked about regarding existing credits (that have been brought back exactly the same) will be exasperated by the fact that less points will not be worth fighting for.

I'd like to hear from the "Someone"/USGBC regarding their thought process of reducing the point allocations to the prescriptive path. The weighting process all together for the ID&C EA credits.

The Green Power Credit is down to 2 points from 5 points as well (correctly IMO) - but that further means teams will need to look elsewhere to find 3 points.

June 1, 2012 - 9:08 am

Dylan - Beside stating that you disagree with my assessment, when reading yours we don't disagree at all. My point was in response to the issue Mellisa raised of it being more work. I do not see anything in your response to indicate it is more work. As I said it is harder but not more work.

Regarding stringency many of the difficult issues you raise are exactly the same issues that are in the system now.

The point allocation issue is an interesting one and was not something I was paying attention to in my (non-detailed) assessment above. One could certainly make a case for greater point allocation in the prescriptive path. The point distribution is supposed to be allocated based on the weighting criteria. So it appears someone thinks the performance path (modeling) provides more value than the prescriptive path. I can see that this will be a potentially major issue for smaller projects and project with very limited energy-related scope who are less likely to be able to afford a modeling effort. I'll make sure to bring this up during the committee review of the 4th public comments. Thanks for "pointing" it out Dylan.

May 31, 2012 - 9:07 pm

Melissa, I have been looking into this, I disagree with Marcus' assessment.

The prescriptive path for ID&C - EAc: Optimize Energy Performance (Formerly EAc1.3) has been rearranged in a way that is very limiting and will IMO hurt or even dissuade TI projects from perusing LEED. In addition to most of the credits not being realistic to achieve, you can only get a maximum of 16 points going the prescriptive approach vs 25 points via the energy modeling method.

Detailed Break Down:
Building Envelope (2–4 points) - Not possible for most TI projects that are not changing the envelope (someone correct me if I am wrong, but this seems more difficult then adding window film).

HVAC Systems (2 points) - Each of the two options have been reduced from 5 points to 2 points and further it looks like you have to chose one or the other now! A reduction from 10 possible points to 2!

HVAC Zoning and Controls (2 points) - This credit has been a point of contention on ALL of our TI projects, it can be expense for most projects to add as many zones as are required (way more than industry standard). In addition, the LEED reviewers have taken very drastic stances on what it means to "sense" occupancy. This further increases the cost of the credit adding little to no benefit in energy savings (we've done some LCA studies).

HVAC Equipment Efficiency (2 points) - On a typical one or two floor TI project we aren't changing the base building systems so we aren't eligible.

Lighting Power Density (1–4 points) - 3 or 4 points is doable under the ASHRAE 2007 code but likely we won't get as many points under ASHRAE 2010.

Daylighting controls are typically too pricey to justify (1 point).

Occupancy Sensor Lighting Controls (1 point) is doable - practically status quo.

ENERGY STAR Equipment and Appliances (1–2 points) - doable in most cases.

Say we get 3-4 for lighting, 1 for occupancy sensors and 2 for energy star that is 6-7 out of 25 possible points. This will hurt most project's chances of getting a good score or even certifying. Even springing for the expensive zoning and daylighting you'd get 8-9 points out of 25. There is a problem here IMO.

May 31, 2012 - 8:31 pm

The EA section in ID+C changed very little. The biggest change is that projects will have the option of earning points and meeting the prerequisite through a modeling option. This is not required and projects can still earn the prerequisite and points through a very similar prescriptive compliance path as before. It certain respects it is easier as you do not have to figure out X% better than ASHRAE 90.1 but rather just comply with the prescriptive requirements. A bit harder to meet perhaps but more work, not necessarily.

May 24, 2012 - 2:41 pm

There is also at least one instance where ID&C didn't get the same changes as BD&C, e.g. MR Material Disclosure and Optimization, BD&C split up recycled content and closed loop recycling into separate options, whereas ID&C kept the 3rd draft wording where only recycled content from a manufacturer with a closed loop recycling program may contribute. It is very tough with the same BD&C and ID&C credits aren't aligned. The titles for the options in this credit are also different.
The redlined version of MR doesn't show this, I had to review the full BD&C and ID&C documents.