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LEEDv4 green roof evaluation

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LEEDv4 green roof evaluation

December 12, 2014

All,
I'm conducting a LCC comparative analysis of green roofs in Switzerland and Holland for my MSc. thesis and I would like to evaluate how different green roof designs are evaluated using LEED v4 NC in a non-health care setting. My evaluation concludes that green roofs have the potential to contribute to 6 credits and an intensive green roof is preferred for the reasons described below. An intensive roof can contribute to a total of 8 points while an extensive green roof can contribute to a total of 7 points. Please comment on my evaluation of the credits (below) if you can. Thanks!!

First, allow me to explain my understanding of a green roof.
-Extensive Green Roof:Mimic local landscape and require little maintenance or propagation. Consist of a thin layer growing medium 2.5-15.2cm (1-6 inches), are often inaccessible and composed of inorganic materials.
-Intensive Green Roof:Hosts of a wide range and in some cases trees. Often accessible and provide an amenity similar to a park facility; Consists of a growing medium more than 15.2cm (6 inches) and is composed of a lightweight topsoil mixture of organic and inorganic elements.

My evaluation of the LEED v4 NC credits indicate an intensive green roof is preferred due to accessibility and rain water storage capacity. Alternatively, an extensive green roof is preferred for biodiversity and water use reduction. Due to the fact that the Rainwater Management credit is weighted more, this indicates that an intensive green roof is valued more heavily than an extensive green roof in LEED v4.

- The Sustainable Site, Site Development credit Option 1 – Protect or Restore Habitat (2 points, 1 point for Health Care) focuses on promoting biodiversity by requiring native or adapted vegetation. This credit is satisfied by an extensive green roof which hosts a native plant palette and is typically not accessible to building occupants.
- The Sustainable Site Open Space credit (2 points, 1 point for Health Care) focuses on connecting building occupants with the outdoors by mandating 30% of the total site area to be open space and 25% of this must be vegetated. Therefore, an accessible green roof, typically an intensive green roof,
- Sustainable Site credit Rainwater Management - Option 1 (2-3 points, 1-2 points for Healthcare) mandates green infrastructure designs to reduce rainwater runoff and improve water quality. The point criteria weights a higher scoring on property areas which retain the most rainfall (United States Green Building Council, 2014, p. 183), indicating preference for an intensive green roof due to the higher capacity to store more water in a thicker substrate.
- Sustainable Sites credit Heat Island Effect (1-2 points, 1 point for Healthcare) intends “to minimize effects on microclimates and human and wildlife habitats by reducing heat islands.” Option 1 is highly dependent on vegetated roofs while Option 2 can be completely satisfied with a vegetated roof. However, there is no specification on the plant types required or whether it needs to be accessible indicating it can be satisfied by any green roof.
- Water Efficiency credit Outdoor Water Use Reduction (1-2 points, 1 point healthcare) intends “to reduce outdoor water consumption” by requiring no permanent irrigation systems or reducing the project’s landscape water requirement (LWR) by a minimum of 50%. This credit is affected by whether or not the green roof is irrigated; extensive green roofs are typically not irrigated and would contribute better to satisfying this credit.
- Indoor Environmental Quality credit Quality Views (1 point, 1-2 points Health care) intends “to give building occupants a connection to the natural outdoor environment by providing quality views." To satisfy this requirement all 75% of regularly occupied spaces must provide occupants with direct views of specific criteria, one of which can be satisfied with viewable flora or vegetation. Any green roof design can impacts this credit requirement, as long as it is viewable from a regularly occupied space.

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Ability to make a design final submission

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Ability to make a design final submission

December 2, 2014

I am a part of this project which was registered 3 years ago with Initial review submitted. The project got delayed due to legal hassles and after 3 years has now been passed from the original consultants to our firm for certification. I wanted to know whether we can go ahead with the project straightaway or we need to complete certain project documentation before we proceed? Also can we submit before the end of year?
Thanks!

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LEED ND v3 Examination End Date

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LEED ND v3 Examination End Date

November 24, 2014

According to an update posted May 15 to http://www.usgbc.org/articles/leed-v4-credential-exams-coming-june-2014

"Exams for the LEED Green Associate, BD+C, ID+C and O+M will feature v4 content in June. Exams for Homes and ND will feature v4 content in 2015."

When exactly in 2015 will the v3 accreditation examination end for ND? As in, is there a specific month and date?

I ask as my employer has the v3 reference guide, but if the switch is early in 2015 then I'll need to buy v4 study material myself, as they are not going to do so.

Your input would be appreciated!

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LEED Construction Submission

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LEED Construction Submission

November 13, 2014

Had a question from a client on when we can submit the LEED-NC 2009 Construction Submission. Can the submission be made prior to all commissioning being completed and documented?

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LEED v3 and v4 Online Overhaul - Top Priority

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LEED v3 and v4 Online Overhaul - Top Priority

November 10, 2014

How many valuable hours have you or your firm wasted waiting, reloading, navigating, bringing up templates, correcting templates, fixing errors, at LEED Online? How many governmental agencies have removed the word 'certification' and replaced it with the word 'equivalent' in ordinance, code and requirements?

I believe strongly that poor design, functionality and stability of LEED Online is and has been, a major contributor to the slowing and holding back adoption and perpetuation of LEED certification.

I am encouraging the community to put as much pressure as possible on USGBC/GBCI to focus efforts on overhauling LOL v3, then v4. I know efforts are in process with a release in the 1st quarter. I've been on the soon to be released revamp, and to say it falls short, is understatement.

A 'true' LOL overhaul should be a major focus and top priority. USGBC/GBCI should be overhauling LEED Online as it would any built environment. So far USGBC/GBCI isn't practicing what it preaches. The design of LEED Online should be designed with the full implementation of the 'Integrative Process', but it hasn't, as far as I what I've experienced. Code writers sit at their workstations and seem clueless.
Adobe should be jettisoned, first off. Code writers (designers) need to design per users (stakeholders-industry).
I know it's no easy task, but the entire industry depends on a user friendly, stable, template integrative, cross platform architecture to streamline certification.

LOL must be easy and quick to perpetuate sustainable, performance built environments, to transform the market, and create green buildings for all within a generation!

I've had conversations with several in Certification Operations at GBCI and it appears that they don't have the support they need to make this happen. How could this be?!

Please write, call, or walk into the offices of your USGBC/GBCI contacts and pressure them to create a well designed, user friendly, intuitive, stable, cross platform, template integrated, attractive LEED Online.

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LEED Online Not Displaying Multiple Credit Assignees

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LEED Online Not Displaying Multiple Credit Assignees

October 22, 2014

If I am NOT the a project’s LEED Administrator, how can I see the full list of team members to whom a credit is assigned (i.e. when it is assigned multiple people)? The scorecard view only shows one person’s name followed by “….” For example “Peter Warren…” But there are more people and I need to know who they are. The information does not appear to be not under “Project Team” tab, nor is it shown on the credit template, etc. Surely the Project Administrator isn’t the only one who can see this? (I am working in LEED Online for v2009.) THANKS!

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Ventilation Effectiveness

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Ventilation Effectiveness

October 20, 2014

I am working for a client who has a variable refrigerant HVAC system with a separate fully condition ventilator supplying fresh air. They are over budget and the contractor is proposing ducting the air into the back of the units in lieu of separate ducts for the ventilation system. We are worried that this would lead to them not meeting the LEED IEQ prerequisite. Would they not meet the prerequisite because it is already fully conditioned and not just a heat exchanger?

I am trying to understand how outside air loses effectiveness and would require more. In an effort to maximize the potential energy savings and minimize first costs (reduced unit size and main ductwork sizes as part of the shell package) the outdoor airflow quantity was based on a ventilation effectiveness of 1.0.

In this case that meant space delivered neutral air. If the air were ducted to the back of each unit it would be heated to a temperature that reduces the effectiveness to 0.8, thus requiring more total outdoor air.

Would this change of effectiveness hurt our chances of obtaining the LEED IEQ prerequisite related to ASHRAE 62.1?

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Lose Leed Certification?

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Lose Leed Certification?

October 9, 2014

We have a parking deck that is LEED certified. We have several EV charging stations in employee and visitor areas.

To offset the cost of the electricity usage, we are considering charging a slightly higher monthly rate for permits to use spaces with EV charging stations. However, I'm concerned this action might jeopardize our LEED certification. Does anyone know if this will or how it could cause an issue for us? Thank you for your help!

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LEED Design Review and Final Certification Proceedures

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LEED Design Review and Final Certification Proceedures

October 1, 2014

We are currently working our way through our Design Stage Review comments from USGBC. Once complete I would will submit for Final Design Stage Review.

However, we do not intent to add any additional credits to those which have already been assessed in the Design Stage Review before submitting for final certification (i.e. we have sufficient credits to achieve our target LEED rating with Design credits only, so won't be adding any additional Construction credits). My question is, can we ask that USGBC do a combined Final Design Stage review + final LEED certification? This would be our preferred approach as timescales are tight.

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LEED v4 Quick Reference - faults

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LEED v4 Quick Reference - faults

September 24, 2014

If you read the Quick Reference under Getting Started in the LEED v4 there are some mistakes both regarding available points under credits and also which prereq that is required or n/a. For example it is stated that the Building-Level Energy Metering is n/a for CS, but when looking on the prereq within the manual it is required. Also some of the points are wrong, CS Cooling Tower Water Use is awarded 18 points in the Quick Ref but 1-2 under the credit. Both confusing and easy to make mistakes. Do you know if there are any addenda or corrections to this?

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