LEED v4, launched in November 2013, is a step forward for the green building industry, pushing projects to new heights of performance and achievement while making the certification process simpler and more streamlined.
In particular, the LEED for Building Operations and Maintenance (O+M) rating system — which includes market-sector adaptations for existing buildings, data centers, warehouses and distribution centers, hospitality, schools, and retail — has seen the addition of exciting new credits, as well as the combination of various v2009 credits into condensed, clearer versions. Here are four of the most important credit changes in LEED v4.
Originally a LEED pilot credit introduced in 2010, the LEED v4 Demand Response credit is worth up three points toward LEED certification. The credit rewards projects that participate in automated demand response, or voluntarily scaling back of their energy usage at times of peak demand or when wholesale energy costs are high. Demand response has tremendous potential to enhance efficiency in power distribution systems, particularly in urban and business areas with many commercial and industrial buildings. Projects can achieve the credit by participating in an existing demand response program, putting the infrastructure in place to participate in a future program, or shifting 10 percent of their peak loads to off-peak hours.
This credit, worth one LEED point, is a combination of the Building Exterior and Hardscape Management Plan and Integrated Pest Management, Erosion Control, and Landscape Management Plan credits from LEED v2009. It is intended to preserve ecological integrity and encourage environmentally sensitive site management practices that provide a clean, well-maintained, and safe building exterior while supporting high-performance building operations and integration into the surrounding landscape. The new LEED v4 credit has significantly clarified requirements and added performance criteria, as well as adding options for addressing environmentally sensitive site-management equipment.
This new credit in LEED v4, worth up to two points toward certification, incorporates the requirements of the Performance Measurement — Building Automation System and Performance Measurement — System-Level Metering credits from LEED v2009. It is intended to support energy management and identify opportunities for additional energy savings by tracking building-level and system-level energy use. The credit requires advanced meters for all whole-building energy sources used and end uses that represent 20 percent or more of the total annual consumption of the building.
The new credit is a combination of the ideas behind the IAQ Best Management Practices — Outdoor Air Delivery Monitoring, IAQ Best Management Practices — Reduce Particulates in Air Distribution, and Green Cleaning — Indoor Chemical and Pollutant Source Control credits from LEED v2009. Worth up to two points toward certification, it is intended to promote occupant comfort, safety, well-being, and productivity. Projects can achieve the credit by establishing and maintaining entryway systems designed to capture dirt and particulates, or by following other indoor air quality strategies such as installing filtration systems for mechanically ventilated spaces, installing carbon dioxide monitors in densely populated spaces, or conducting outdoor air monitoring for naturally ventilated spaces.
To learn more about LEED v4 and for additional resources, visit usgbc.org/leed/v4 and download the LEED v4 User Guide.
Jacob Kriss is media associate, U.S. Green Building Council.
To allow greater uniformity for building types seeking an In Operation rating under its Building Energy Quotient (bEQ) program, ASHRAE is now using methodology from its standard for energy efficiency in existing buildings to calculate the rating, specifically from one of the appendices of Standard 100, Energy Efficiency in Existing Buildings.
The bEQ program rates and labels buildings based on energy use. It offers two rating labels: an As Designed label that rates the building's expected energy use under standardized conditions — independent of the building's occupancy and usage variables — and an In Operation label that rates the building's actual metered energy use as influenced by the building's occupancy, structure, and usage. bEQ helps owners and managers zero in on opportunities to lower building operating costs and make informed decisions on energy reduction strategies.
Previous to this change, the In Operation rating relied on Energy Star Portfolio Manager to provide a normalized median energy use index (EUI) for the rating calculation. This normalization was only available for those buildings that were covered by Portfolio Manager, so some building types, such as convenience stores, libraries, fire stations, and restaurants, had no methodology for this normalization.
For more information on ASHRAE's bEQ, visit: www.buildingenergyquotient.org
At a symposium in October in New Orleans, the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) will release v1.0 of the WELL Building Standard. Currently in pilot phase, the WELL Building Standard is an evidence-based standard created through six years of research and development working with researchers and physicians from leading medical institutions and expert practitioners from the building industry. The WELL Building Standard sets performance requirements in seven categories: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind.
Administered by IWBI, and with a partnership with the Green Building Certification Institute, the WELL Building Standard is currently undergoing a thorough and transparent peer review process. The aggregated comments from the peer review will be published alongside WELL v1.0 and will be available online on Oct. 20, 2014, to coincide with the launch.
For more information IWBI or the new WELL Building Standard, visit: wellbuildinginstitute.com
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