We have designed a project that is going for LEED NC certification under v3 2009.  The project is about 200,000sqft and consists of six floors total.  Floors 3,4,5 are meant to be totally identical except the owner will fit out 3rd floor at a later date – maybe in a few years (at a later date than project certification).  3rd floor accounts for about 15% the size of the entire building.  The project construction documents just show 3rd floor as shell space.

I'm confused how my LEED reporting needs to account for this unfinished space.  LEED CIR-10102 states that, “For credits and prerequisites with established baselines, such as WEp1 and EAp2 (performance path only), and the other credits dependent upon the calculations in these two prerequisites, the proposed (i.e. design) case must be held equivalent to the baseline for the incomplete spaces.” 

Based on the CIR above, it sounds like I need to add some baseline-consumption water fixtures in my WEp1 water efficiency calculator as a placeholder for fixtures that could possibly end up in the incomplete space some day.  Is this accurate? But adding a baseline water closet and baseline urinal (that would be available to 100% of occupants) completely penalizes the project and takes it from 35% water efficiency (3 credits) down to 22% (no credits).  This seems unfair since the project is doing everything it can to maximize water efficiency – so why be penalized based on a future ‘what-if-worst-case’ scenario?  Have I interpreted this correctly? Is there a way around this? E.g. would getting an Owner Letter of Commitment, stating that they commit to adhering to water fixtures equivalent to or better than 4th and 5th floor for future 3rd floor fit-out allow us to keep these baseline fixtures out of the water calc?   Could a similar commitment from the owner also be used as it relates to EAp2, which address lighting, HVAC, etc?  All building systems were sized under the assumption that the 3rd floor would be a duplicate of 4th and 5th floor.

I am also confused about what numbers to include for FTE in the water efficiency credits and IEQ minimum ventilation calculations.  Should these include future occupants of the 3rd floor?