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December 15, 2011 -
Today's tip is about how to use LEED for Commercial Interiors to save energy in tenant space. After a slow start in the marketplace, tenants are using LEED CI much more frequently these days to implement sustainable strategies in leased space. Conventional wisdom had been that tenants have very little control over their energy spend when they lease space, and therefore there was no reason to implement a systemized energy or sustainability strategy, outside of putting out a few recycling bins. But LEED-CI offers a framework for tenants who wish to be energy efficient and green.
LEED-CI offers 37 points (out of 100) for energy efficiency strategies. The area with the most potential impact for tenants is, believe it or not, HVAC. LEED-CI offers up to 10 points for optimizing HVAC performance. Because building-level HVAC is one thing tenants don't have control over, LEED-CI rewards tenants for implementing zoning and controls for their own space. There are several options available for achieve these points, including simply "demonstrating that HVAC system component performance is 15 or 30 percent better than ASHRAE 90.1- 2007."
LEED-CI offers up to seven points for reducing lighting power density up to 35 percent below the standard set in ASHRAE 90.1 - 2007. This can be done by using efficient fixtures, like T5s, or, as LEED CI suggests, using daylight responsive controls in spaces within 15 feet of windows and under skylight.
A third area for which LEED CI rewards tenants for energy efficiency measures is plug loads, like appliances. Four points are available for using 90 percent Energy Star-rated appliances, office equipment, electronics and commercial food service equipment. The credit excludes HVAC, lighting and building envelope products.
Finally, five points can be earned for enhanced commissioning.
LEED CI also offers 14 points for various materials and resources strategies, like recycling, and 17 points for indoor environmental quality strategies like selecting low-emitting materials. Sustainable sites strategies can get you 21 points and water efficiency strategies round out LEED CI with 11 possible points.