LEED 2012 – 3rd Public Comment – EA (Energy & Atmosphere) Section
Key changes in the the EA section of LEED-NC (part of LEED BD&C) in the third public comment draft of LEED 2012 are discussed below. Do you have comments or questions on this draft? Discuss them below with your fellow LEED professionals. Substantive comments submitted here during USGBC's third public comment period here will be submitted to USGBC and considered "official" public comments.
Fundamental Commissioning and Verification, a prerequisite, has been moved back to the head of the EA section with the removal of the dedicated Performance section. The most significant change in this draft is softening of a building envelope commissioning (BECx) requirement that would have made this prerequisite much more demanding (and expensive). Commissioning of the enclosure is only included at the design phase (through the Basis of Design and Owners Project Requirements documents, as well as a commissioning agent’s review of project design). In another return to the LEED 2009 scope, domestic hot water must be commissioned, but not all plumbing systems.
While several wording changes to the Minimum Energy Performance prerequisite relate to compliance for non-U.S. projects, a major change from previous drafts is that a hybrid metric of energy savings based on reductions in energy cost and in source energy use intensity reductions has been abandoned in favor of the old metric of cost savings over an ASHRAE 90.1 baseline—now 90.1–2010.
The new prerequisite, Building-Level Energy Metering, is largely unchanged from the first and second drafts of LEED 2012. Among other things, this prerequisite inserts directly into the rating system what has in LEED 2009 been a requirement found in the Minimum Program Requirements: that projects share energy data with USGBC for at least five years.
Eliminated in the first LEED 2012 draft, the Fundamental Refrigerant Management prerequisite came back in the second and remains in the third draft. The actual credit language is fundamentally unchanged.
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Option 1 in the Enhanced Commissioning credit has had its scope limited in the same way as the prerequisite, but Option 2 offers additional points for commissioning the thermal envelope. Option 3 incorporates what had been a confusing entry in the second draft: a monitoring-based commissioning credit. Now it’s simply an option offering points on top of what’s offered with Option 1, by requiring the development of monitoring-based procedures to be incorporated into the commissioning scope. Among other things, the plan would require a list of points to be trended with associated frequency and duration for trending, and limits of acceptable values for tracked points. Maximum points in this credit are achieved through Option 4—“all of the above.”
The Optimize Energy Performance credit reflects similar changes as the prerequisite: the new hybrid metric is gone from this draft, as is the prescriptive compliance path using the Advanced Buildings Core Performance Guide.
Advanced Energy Metering is a vastly simplified credit from previous drafts. It requires whole-building energy sources and energy end-uses comprising more than 10% of total consumption to have “advanced energy meters,” defined as permanently installed meters recording data in 1-hour-or-less intervals and able to transmit data. The gist of these requirements has not changed from previous drafts, but complicated prescriptive and performance paths have been dropped.
After overhauling a new Demand Response credit in the second draft, USGBC mostly left it alone here, although it has been simplified, with the removal of an option incentivizing semi- or fully-automated demand-response systems.
There are minimal new changes to the On-Site Renewable Energy credit, with the biggest change from LEED 2009 still being the allowance of “solar gardens” or community renewable energy systems as long as they are in the same utility service area.
The Refrigerant Management credit appears at first glance to be rewritten, but the changes are apparently simply the addition of metric versions of compliance equations.
A new credit called Reconcile Design and Actual Energy Performance, which built on the LEED 2009 M&V credit, has been dropped from this draft, with its overall intent and some of its methods apparently folded into the other energy-efficiency and energy metering credits.
As in previous drafts, Green Power and Carbon Offsets now applies to total energy use, not just electricity use. Projects may use RECs, carbon offsets, or other sources of “green power” to offset project energy use by quantity consumed, not cost.
What do you think of the proposed changes? Post your public comments below!