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The U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC's) pilot credit system allows LEED users to test drive credits for extra points before those credits are incorporated into the actual rating systems. As USGBC puts it, the pilot credits are "a testing ground for new and innovative credit ideas."
The pilot credit system provides the opportunity for USGBC to address issues on the fly, without having to wait the three years between official rating system releases — the next release is scheduled for 2012. There are currently 41 pilot credits. Some of these credits are applicable to any of USGBC's entire roster of rating systems, but some apply only to a specific version of LEED. Pilot Credit 40: Light Pollution Reduction, for instance, includes strategies that only apply to the LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system. Pilot Credit 10: Sustainable Wastewater Management, on the other hand, applies to all LEED rating systems, except Homes and Neighborhood Development.
Two recent updates to the pilot credit system may be particularly interesting for facility managers. The first is an update and enhancement to a pilot credit first released last year. Pilot Credit 8: Demand Response provides one LEED point for participation for at least one year in manual, semi-automated or fully automated utility-sponsored demand response programs that curtail at least 10 percent of peak load demand or 20 kW, whichever is more. USGBC is currently conducting a concentrated market test to study the credit's effectiveness at promoting widespread adoption of demand response programs.
The second update is entirely new: Pilot Credit 43: Certified Products. The requirements here are a little more detailed, but the basic idea of the pilot credit is to provide a point for project teams that specify building products with third-party single or multi-attribute certifications, environmental labels or life-cycle assessment-based environmental product declarations (EPDs) as specified by ISO 14025.
Here's a sampling of the certifications and standards the pilot credit references: NSF 140 — Sustainability Assessment for Carpet, BIFMA e3/Level/Business and Institutional Furniture Sustainability Standard, Green Seal-11 for Paints and Coatings, SMaRT certification, Cradle-To-Cradle, as well as several Underwriters Laboratory and EcoLogo standards.
The pilot credit also includes a draft version of a "LEED Standards for Standards" document that "is planned to be a tool for decision-making in evaluation of certifications, labels and standards included in LEED."
Though Pilot Credit 43 applies to most of the LEED rating systems, it does not apply to LEED for Existing Buildings, Operations and Maintenance (LEED-EBOM). The reason, according to Brendan Owens, vice president, LEED technical development, is that the structure of the credit is such that it awards the point based on 10 percent (by cost) of the total purchased products for the entirety of a project meeting green certifications. Different certifications are weighted differently, and the pilot credit provides instruction on how to do the calculation.
For design and construction projects, all of the products are purchased at once, so it's easier to determine that percentage. That's not the case for existing buildings, of course.
"Our longer term vision is definitely to include EBOM," Owens says. "But given that this is a pilot credit, we didn't want to bite off more than we could chew. It would be hard to determine the material threshold limits for EBOM."
For a complete list of pilot credits, and for more information, including the specific requirements of Pilot Credits 8 and 43, go to www.usgbc.org/pilotcreditlibrary.
AIA Green Guide
The American Institute of Architect's Document D503 — Guide for Sustainable Projects — is now available as a free download. The guide addresses key concepts for sustainable design and construction projects, including model contract language. The guide also addresses certification systems, codes and legislation, and risk and responsibilities faced by owners, contractors, and architects. Finally, the guide discusses the applicability of delivery models, such as integrated project delivery, construction management and design-build. Download the guide for free at: http://info.aia.org/aia/sustainabilityguide.cfm
Green Job Creation
Adopting President Barack Obama's proposed Better Buildings Initiative nationwide would create 114,000 jobs and save business more than $1.4 billion in energy costs as a result of retrofit projects spurred by a tax incentive, reports the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI). PERI was retained by the U.S. Green Building Council, the Natural Resources Defense Council and The Real Estate Roundtable to conduct the analysis.
A majority of those jobs — more than 77,000 — would derive from a tax incentive encouraging energy-efficient building retrofits, says the study.
Read the full results of the study here: http://www.usgbc.org/ShowFile.aspx?DocumentID=9531
New Energy Management ISO Standard
The International Organization for Standardization has released ISO 50001, a standard intended to help commercial facilities, industrial plants or entire organizations manage energy. More specifically, the new standard will provide a framework for integrating energy efficiency into management practices, help make better use of existing energy-consuming assets, and provide benchmarking, measuring, documenting and reporting for energy efficiency improvements.
ISO 50001 is based on common elements found in all of ISO's management standards, making it easily compatible with ISO 9001 (quality management) and ISO 14001 (environmental management).
For Envelope, Target Durability, As Well As Energy
LEED Pilot Credits Target Certified Products, Demand Response