I have a project in a peculiar situation that is not addressed outright by the guidelines language and I can use some help in interpreting the rules. 

The project is a convention center that’s not currently certified as LEED nor has it ever attempted certification. It is considering getting certified LEED O&M Existing Buildings some time in the next two to four years. Meanwhile, we have a renovation project for the restrooms in the convention center and we want to make sure we’re “future proofing” for LEED requirements. The renovation is not pursuing any LEED certification. The flow rates for the proposed fixtures are relatively efficient:

  1. Toilets 1.28 GPF (20% savings)
  2. Urinals 0.5 GPF (50% savings)
  3. Faucets 0.5 GPM (0% savings)
  4. Showers 2.5 GPM (0% savings; there aren’t many)

These are obviously lower than the federal baseline, and less than the 120-150% baseline allowance in LEED O&M. However, although meeting WaterSense flow rates, the specified fixtures don’t carry the WaterSense label, but do carry the CALGREEN label (which I think is more stringent than WaterSense). 

Here are the questions:

  1. Do we need to spec WaterSense labeled products for the current renovation? The way I see it, the LEED O&M application is in the future, so the current project should not be affected by it, therefor, and based on the guidelines language, we only need to implement a written policy that replaces future faucets *after* they break with WaterSense ones. Correct? 
  2. Would CALGREEN be accepted instead of WaterSense? Seems like CALGREEN requires that toilets be WaterSense to begin with, but faucets (which is the main point of concern) don’t.  
  3. What would the baseline be in the future when we actually do apply for LEED O&M? Would it be 120% of the federal baseline or of the preceding year? If it’s the latter, it’ll be pretty tough to beat given the efficiency of products installed in the current renovation project.