Our project is a small office building in Europe, on site of a great industrial plant with the same owner. The office building aims to achieve LEED Gold certification, while the plant does not. There is an opportunity to receive free hot water as by-product of the manufacturing process from the plant, as well as cold water for cooling in the summer, that otherwise would not have been reused.

This way the office building uses only recovered waste heat for space-heating and cooling purposes. The system receives the heat at a heat exchanger and the secondary heat emitters are 4-pipe fan-coil units. There will not be any other heating or cooling devices for the project building, and it is the only building to use the waste heat and cool generated as by-product of the manufacturing process. Obviously, the heat source is out of the LEED boundary of the office project to be certified.

Do you think that it would be an acceptable solution to set the energy rate of the proposed model as zero (for heating and cooling) and model a district heating/cooling system while using a baseline system with an assumed usual energy rate and ASHRAE Appendix G baseline system configuration? Or can you suggest another way to take into account the ecological and economic benefits of the described system in the energy model and at this credit? Does anyone have experience with LEED documentation of such a system?

Any comments would be appreciated.