We are working on the LEED v4 certification of two high-rise residential buildings under NC format. Buildings are not similar in their interior distribution and are connected on Ground Level and Underground parking levels. So, should they be considered as one building - because they are connected - or as two separate buildings?
25 thumbs up
October 5, 2021 - 8:29 am
Hello Victoria, If they are connected by contiguous, programmatic gross floor area (i.e., rooms that serve functions other than mere circulation, parking, or storage/HVAC, that are 'touching' each other in the sense of being on opposite sides of the same wall or ceiling/floor assembly), then, they may be considered two parts of a single building for LEED certification purposes. Even if that is the case, if you prefer that they be certified as separate buildings, as long as they have separate identites (usually separate names & addresses), are physically distinct from each other (i.e., separated from each other by walls, floors, &/or doors, and having separate main entries), and have separate air distribution systems and separate metering for all water & energy uses, they would have the option of seeking separate BD+C certifications as two separate buildings.
If they are not connected by contiguous, programmatic gross floor area, they must generally be considered two separate buildings. Note that structures that are connected only by parking, circulation, &/or storage/HVAC spaces usually do not qualify as one building for LEED purposes, but there are a few exceptions to this rule which are described in Minimum Program Requirement (MPR) 2: Must Use Reasonable LEED Boundaries (https://www.usgbc.org/node/2742911?return=/credits/new-construction/v4/m...).
Lastly, if you feel that based upon the above guidance it is not quite clear whether to count your project as consisting of one or multiple buildings, please feel free to contact us (https://www.usgbc.org/contactus) and offer to provide drawings of the project. You could ask that your inquiry be routed to my attention and I'd be happy to help you.
Victoria Rios Esteve
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November 1, 2021 - 11:49 pm
Eric, thanks for your complete and rapid answer! It was really useful. Please, check this link where you will find some plans and renderings: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1LYl66qdlJHIP95n8Ymu5HYkE_9bRgGC0/view?u...
Based on your words, I believe that there's no doubt that this proyect can be considered as one. It has a single name and two entrances with different directions each. But you can access any of the two buildings from any of both entrances. They share parking and machine rooms on underground floors which won't be enough to consider them as separate buildings but they share a plethora of social programmes on ground floor. This floor is composed by a park, swimming pool, barbecues, spa, gym, among others. This floor can be accessed from both entrances and buildings equally. So, even though, buildings' vertical cores are separated, I believe this project will function as one. Also, both buildings facades are united by balconies. So, massing is addressed as one.
Please, let us know your thoughts on it and any further comment you may have. Thanks a lot!
25 thumbs up
November 2, 2021 - 11:37 am
Yes, Victoria, you are correct. Due largely to the continuity of the massing of the building, this would be eligible to be treated as one, single building for LEED purposes. Thank you for your explanation and supporting documentation. In the future, feel free to use the Contact Us link on USGBC.org (https://www.usgbc.org/contactus) as a more direct and confidential method for submitting such questions.