This Bird's Eye View text is from USGBC's MPR Supplemental Guidance Revision #2. See the Credit Language tab for the MPR requirements.
The LEED rating systems were designed to evaluate complete buildings and spaces in fixed locations. Partial buildings or spaces are unsuitable for LEED certification because when analyzed under the requirements of LEED prerequisites and credits, they create results inconsistent with those of whole buildings or spaces. Also, partial certification can easily appear to encompass an entire building or space, sending a false message to the occupants.
Permanency is important because a significant percentage of LEED prerequisites and credits are dependent on location, making a mobile building or space unacceptable. The stipulation for already existing land responds to the fact that artificial land masses displace and disrupt marine ecosystems. Buildings that generate the need to develop such land do not meet the overall intent of the LEED rating system. Anything less than a distinct, complete, and permanent project on existing land will not be able to accurately demonstrate compliance with LEED.
MPR#2 requires a LEED project to be a building in its entirety for use of all but the Commercial Interiors Rating Systems. This section allows for buildings (such as additions) that do not meet the definition of entirety to comply with MPR#2 if certain conditions are met. The conditions listed below are written to prevent two kinds of problems that attached buildings can lead to: 1) compromised technical integrity of LEED certification and 2) misperception of certification boundaries.
This section lists conditions and guidance in three parts. All attached buildings should comply with part I, and those buildings attached to buildings that are already LEED-certified should comply with part II; whereas those attached to buildings that are not already LEED-certified should comply with part III.
I. ALL attached buildings
II. Buildings attached to LEED-certified buildings
III. Buildings attached to non LEED-certified buildings
The majority of the certifying floor area vs. the non-certifying floor area is often clear, as a result of construction, ownership, management, or space usage type boundaries. Often, one or more of the following occurs, making it difficult to draw the exact line of the LEED project boundary:
1. Minor construction work is occurring outside of the area intended to be LEED certified
2. Circulation space serves several attached buildings 3. New core mechanical systems that serve several attached buildings are beinginstalled
Project teams must use their own judgment to make reasonable decisions about these situations on a case by case basis. Generally, construction work or space that serves buildings other than the one certifying should be excluded from the LEED project boundary. Note that construction work extending into non-certifying area must be consistently excluded from the certification process.
See guidance under MPR #3 for more information on determining the LEED project boundary in terms of surrounding land.
For prerequisites and credits that deal with mechanical systems, the project team has three choices:
a) Separate systems Mechanical systems are completely separate from those in the existing building (emergency generators excepted) and can be modeled separately.
b) Shared central systems located outside of the structures in question The District and Campus Thermal Energy Treatment guidance, available at usgbc.org under the ‘Energy and Atmosphere’ section of any whole building rating system page, explains how to create an energy model in this situation.
c) Shared central systems located inside the structures in question LEED-CI EAc1.3 Option 2 gives guidance on modeling the entire addition and all systems serving the addition.
As with any project that does not clearly fit into a given rating system, the project team should consult the Rating System Selection Guidance (at usgbc.org, under ‘rating systems’). The certifying gross floor areaGross floor area (based on ASHRAE definition) is the sum of the floor areas of the spaces within the building, including basements, mezzanine and intermediate‐floored tiers, and penthouses wi th headroom height of 7.5 ft (2.2 meters) or greater. Measurements m ust be taken from the exterior 39 faces of exterior walls OR from the centerline of walls separating buildings, OR (for LEED CI certifying spaces) from the centerline of walls separating spaces. Excludes non‐en closed (or non‐enclosable) roofed‐over areas such as exterior covered walkways, porches, terraces or steps, roof overhangs, and similar features. Excludes air shafts, pipe trenches, and chimneys. Excludes floor area dedicated to the parking and circulation of motor vehicles. ( Note that while excluded features may not be part of the gross floor area, and therefore technically not a part of the LEED project building, they may still be required to be a part of the overall LEED project and subject to MPRs, prerequisites, and credits.), and only that area, should be used to determine which rating system is appropriate.
The documentation of the certifying project must not create technical barriers to the completion of the certification review. It is incumbent upon the project team to ensure the following:
a) The distinction between the certifying and non-certifying gross floor area (in particular, the LEED project boundary) is clearly delineated on all relevant documents.
b) All building components of the LEED project that are addressed by LEED prerequisites and pursued credits (systems, materials, etc) are separate or separable for the purposes of the LEED review, from the building to which it is attached.
5) The LEED project, as defined by the LEED project boundary, must meet all MPR, prerequisite, and credit requirements independent of any building it may be attached to.
6) The certifying gross floor area must be contiguous. Multiple floors are acceptable, but non-certifying floors between certifying floors are not.NOTE: please see page 19 for multiple floor exceptions.
7) Fire safety infrastructure such as sprinklers, stairwells, and alarm systems may be shared with the non-certifying building.
8) LEED-EB: O&M project teams are encouraged to carefully review the requirements for EA Prerequisite 2 and Credit 1: Minimum/Optimize Energy Efficiency Performance before registering an attached building.
If a wing or tower is connected to a building that is already LEED certified, the addition/attached building may be considered a separate building for LEED purposes if the following conditions are met.
The existing, previously certified building may have been certified under any version of one of the following rating systems.
The currently certifying attached building should use a design and construction whole building rating system.
All buildings physically attached to the building currently pursuing certification must already be LEED certified. In the plan view below, this exception applies to Addition A in relation to the main building ONLY– the project team would need to meet the conditions listed for buildings attached to non-LEED certified buildings for the Wing A/Wing B connection.
If the certifying project is certifying under LEED-EB: O&M OR is a major renovation AND/OR is vertically attached to the non-certifying building, then it must be separated from the attached building by the following: a) OwnershipAND b) Management OR space usage type
A separate name (including, if a horizontally attached project, a word such as ‘addition’, or ‘wing’ that indicates a physical difference) must be given to the certifying building. The same name must be used for all purposes – title of the LEED project as registered with USGBC / GBCI, in formal publications, internal and external property listings and databases, signage, etc.
LEED certification must be accurately communicated to building users. All promotional and descriptive material produced by the owner or on the owner’s behalf clearly distinguish the LEED certified building from any other that it is attached to. This includes clearly marking the distinction between the two spaces with signage. Alternatively, if the LEED certification of the building is confidential, the project team may opt to not communicate the achievement of LEED certification. In this situation, no signage, marketing, or publicity of any kind would announce the LEED certification.
The certifying gross floor area must include at least 20% of the gross floor area of the overall structure. If the entirety of the certifying project OR the entirety of the non- certifying gross floor area is public infrastructure (such as a subway station) then this rule does not apply.
a. Energy usage meter - Every energy source servicing the building must be separately metered (emergency generators excepted).
b. Water usage meter
The definitions of vertically and horizontally attached buildings are further illustrated below.
Previously developedPreviously developed sites are those altered by paving, construction, and/or land use that would typically have required regulatory permitting to have been initiated (alterations may exist now or in the past). Previously developed land includes a platted lot on which a building was constructed if the lot is no more than 1 acre; previous development on lots larger than 1 acre is defined as the development footprint and land alterations associated with the footprint. Land that is not previously developed and altered landscapes resulting from current or historical clearing or filling, agricultural or forestry use, or preserved natural area use are considered undeveloped land. The date of previous development permit issuance constitutes the date of previous development, but permit issuance in itself does not constitute previous development." support structures and artificial land mass
Buildings located on previously constructed docks, piers, jetties, infill, and other manufactured structures in or above water are permissible, provided that artificial land is previously developed (i.e., the land once supported another building or hardscapeHardscape consists of the inanimate elements of the building landscaping. Examples include pavement, roadways, stone walls, concrete paths and sidewalks, and concrete, brick, and tile patios. constructed for a purpose other than the development of the LEED project).
Buildings cantilevered over water, highways, or other bodies are acceptable. o Existing dry land (i.e. not wetlands) to which soil or other material has been added complies with this MPR.
10% exemption for multi-tenant buildings certifying under LEED-EB: O&M
Multi-tenant buildings certifying under LEED-EB: O&M may exclude up to 10% of the gross floor area from some prerequisites and credits as outlined in the LEED-EB: O&M reference guide and the submittal forms in LEED Online v3.
Construction scope that may be excluded from a LEED-CI project boundary
Sometimes elements of the exterior shell, primary structural components, or core mechanical systems that are being renovated or installed in parallel to the interior fit-out or alteration make up the bulk of the LEED project. Spaces containing these elements may be excluded from the LEED project space if those elements are not under the control of the entity conducting the interior fit-out or alteration.
The line between certifying floor area and non-certifying floor area is not always clear. Project teams must use their own judgment to make reasonable decisions about these situations on a case by case basis. Generally, construction work or space that serves spaces other than the one certifying may be excluded from the LEED project boundary. Note that construction work extending into non-certifying area must be consistently excluded from the certification process.
Understanding “complete interior space”
Basic Definition For commercial interiors projects, this MPR states:
“The LEED project scope must include a complete interior space distinct from other spaces within the same building with regards to at least one of the following characteristics: ownership, management, lease, or party wall separation.”
The glossary gives the definition of ‘complete interior space’ as “At a minimum, all the gross floor area within the exterior walls of a building that is within a single occupant’s control and contains all building components altered as part of the same construction scope.” In addition to those attributes listed above, floors can be used to distinguish a complete interior space, if one floor is unaffected by construction work. This is illustrated below.
This is a section drawing of a three story office building, all under the same ownership and management.
Scenario 1: Only the third floor is undergoing construction (shaded), so it can be considered a complete interior space by itself, and the LEED project boundary will be limited to that floor.
Scenario 2: Both the second and third floors are undergoing construction, so one floor by itself cannot be considered a complete interior space. They both must be included within the LEED project boundary.
There are many situations in which a single entity owns, manages, and/or occupies an entire building, and wishes to certify a renovated portion of the building that is not separate from other portions by one of the attributes listed above. This can include, but is not limited to, the following:
Part of one floor Multiple, non-contiguous parts of one floor Multiple certifying floors separated by non-certifying floorsFor example, multiple unconnected office spaces within a warehouse may be renovated, but not the main warehouse floor area. In the section drawing of an academic science building below, only the labs (shaded) on the first and third floors are undergoing an alteration:
Such spaces are not automatically disqualified from attempting to certify under LEED-CI. Project teams with this situation must submit a narrative in PIf1 in LEED Online v3 confirming that the conditions below are met.
a) It is unreasonable or impossible to draw a project boundary where there is separation by ownership, management, lease, or party wall separation. This often happens when the edge of the construction work does not coincide with such a boundary.
b) The construction work is being conducted under a single contract.
c) The project boundary includes 100% of the construction scope (it may extend beyond the construction scope. However, at least 60% of the total certifying gross floor area must be undergoing alteration).
d) The LEED project boundary is drawn at a clear, functional, AND physical barrier.
e) Signage will be provided to clearly demarcate the LEED space.
f) The LEED project boundary is not drawn in such a way as to create an unreasonablydifficult review process that results from the reviewer’s inability to distinguish between strategies, services, or materials in the LEED certifying space and the non- LEED certifying space. For example, it would be best if the LEED project boundary coincided with an HVAC zone boundary.
Ensuring compliance with the ‘entirety’ requirement
For whole building rating systems (all but LEED-CI), this MPR states: “LEED projects must include the new, ground-up design and construction, or major renovation, of at least one commercial, institutional, or high-rise residential building in its entirety.”In the glossary, relevant definitions include:
Relevant additional guidance includes:
The “already existing land” requirement is applicable to the entire LEED project
This MPR requires that “All LEED projects must be designed for, constructed on, and operated on a permanent location on already existing land.” This requirement is applicable to all land within the LEED project boundary. See additional guidance for artificial land masses on page 18 of this document.
How to treat parking garages
Parking garages may not earn LEED certification A revised May 9, 2011 LEED InterpretationLEED Interpretations are official answers to technical inquiries about implementing LEED on a project. They help people understand how their projects can meet LEED requirements and provide clarity on existing options. LEED Interpretations are to be used by any project certifying under an applicable rating system. All project teams are required to adhere to all LEED Interpretations posted before their registration date. This also applies to other addenda. Adherence to rulings posted after a project registers is optional, but strongly encouraged. LEED Interpretations are published in a searchable database at usgbc.org. states “Parking garages for cars and trucks may not pursue LEED certification. More specifically, buildings that dedicate more than 75% of floor area all square footage, to the storage and circulation of cars and/or trucks are ineligible for LEED. Square footage should be considered even if it is not covered, enclosed, or conditioned. This LEED Interpretation does NOT apply to vehicle maintenance shops of any kind, airport hangers, border facilities, car salesrooms, transit centers, or other buildings that deal with cars and trucks in a capacity other than parking, OR with vehicles other than cars and trucks.”
Parking garages may not be included in the gross floor area of the LEED project building The definition of gross floor area in the glossary specifically disallows the inclusion of parking.
Parking garages may be included within the LEED project boundary If parking is within, connected to, or on the site of the LEED project building, it may be (and sometimes, must be) included within the LEED project boundary. The MPR #3 section gives more guidance on this issue.
Modular buildings elements are allowed
Prefabricated or modular structures and building elements of any variation may be certified once permanently installed and/or established as part of the LEED project building in the location that they are intended to stay for the life of the entire structure.
Buildings with movable parts are allowed
Large movable parts, such as a retracting ceiling in a stadium, do not violate this MPR.
Movable buildings are prohibited
Structures not compliant with this MPR include cars, motor homes, trains, boats, ships, planes, and transient exhibits of any kind.
If for any reason a LEED 2009 certified building is moved from the location cited at the time of LEED certification, it will no longer be in compliance with this MPR and the certification will become invalid.
Special considerations for commercial interiors projects
Buildings in which commercial interior projects are located, must be immobile and are subject to the same guidance on the subject of permanency as projects that are certifying under whole building rating systems.
Buildings in which commercial interiors projects are located are NOT required to be built on already existing land.
While USGBC does not encourage planned obsolescence, the amount of time that a building or space is intended to remain standing does not affect compliance with this MPR. The purpose is to disallow a project to certify that is intended to be mobile over the course of its lifetime.
Multiple-party ownership of a certifying building or space is acceptable. Proper accountability for MPR and rating system conformance must be in place.
No exceptions for projects with IEQp2 conflicts
Some project buildings, such as casinos, typically have difficulty achieving LEED certification due to a smoking policy that conflicts with Indoor Environmental Quality prerequisite 2, Environmental Tobacco Smoke Control (IEQp2). There will be no exceptions to this MPR to allow for partial building certification of such buildings. Project teams are encouraged to carefully review Option 2 in IEQp2 to explore opportunities to achieve LEED certification despite a smoking room located within a project.
This MPR states that “LEED projects must include the new, ground-up design and construction, or major renovation, of at least one....building in its entirety”, thus, a LEED project may only include ONE building unless the project qualifies for a multiple-building submission through the 2010 Application Guide for Multiple Buildings and On-Campus Building Projects (AGMBC). Part 2 of the 2010 AGMBC (due to be released by the end of 2011), which will contain additional guidance to help project teams certify a group of buildings as a package where the entire building set will receive a single rating, can be located at usgbc.org/campusguidance.
Defining ‘one building’
Super-structures can often be perceived as either a string of multiple buildings, or as a single building. This is typically due to light physical connections, such as a single hallway between buildings that are otherwise physically distinct. Such super-structures may, for the purposes of LEED, be considered a single building if both of the following criteria are met.
a) Space that can be included in the gross floor area of the project that serves a purpose other than parking or the circulation of people is contiguous throughout the structure.
b) All building components of the LEED project that are addressed by LEED prerequisites and pursued credits (systems, materials, etc) can be treated as one, such that separate reviews of the same issues are not required for different portions of the super- structure.
If these criteria are not met, the project may be considered a set of multiple buildings, regardless of whether or not it can satisfy the ‘attached building’ criteria on pages 13-16. The AGMBC gives direction on the certification process for such projects.
LEED for Core & Shell projects and ‘entirety’
For a project certifying under LEED-CS, the project is considered a ‘building in its entirety’ without interior fit-outs being complete.
Excerpted from LEED 2009 for Commercial Interiors
All LEED projects must be designed for, constructed on, and operated on a permanent location on already existing land. LEED projects shall not consist of mobile structures, equipment, or vehicles. No building or space that is designed to move at any point in its lifetime may pursue LEED Certification.
LEED projects must include the new, ground-up design and construction, or major renovation, of at least one commercial, institutional, or high-rise residential building in its entirety.
The LEED project scope must include a complete interior space distinct from other spaces within the same building with regards to at least one of the following characteristics: ownership, management, lease, or party wall separation.
LEED projects must include at least one existing commercial, institutional, or high-rise residential building in its entirety.
My client is designing a hotel project which will be built in two phases. First phase will consist of the undergroud part, one floor above the ground (bowling, disco etc.) and one tower above this (hotel). The second phase will be an addition and will consist of a second tower placed over the already existing first floor (close to the other tower). The Client wants to have two separate certificates for each phase. How should we do it?
1. Can we register first phase and then separately register the other phase as an addition? If yes, how do I register an addition, how can I mark in LEEDonline that this project is an addition to a previous project? Another question is: since this is going to be a vertical addition what will be the LEED project boundary? Can the addition use the same project boundary as the other building and get points related to its site?
2. Or should I register it as a block (I found this option in LEEDonline even though I don't really know how it works)? Where can I find more information about certifying a block?
3. Or should I register it as a campus project?
I would really appreciate some suggestions.
I am curious about the separate function AND ownership requirement for an addition to a non-certified building. We have several projects where we are adding to an existing building, and often the new addition is a wing or similar with the same function as the existing. Does this mean we essentially cannot submit it for certification? I have not had any experience where we're adding a new addition to a building and the addition has a different owner. We are doing as much as we can to differentiate the certified wing from the non-certified, but the "ownership" distinction is difficult for me to fathom. Any thoughts? Or is CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide always warranted?
We're currently working on a very large student union building for a major California university, which is in its final design review phase. Some of the spaces will be fit out by retail tenants, not the Owner. We have always intended to write Tenant Guidelines toward the end of the project to mandate LEED compliance for these spaces, but our GBCI reviewer issued a mid-review clarification request asking the team to provide the guidelines prior to receiving our final design credit review--in other words, now. LEED InterpretationLEED Interpretations are official answers to technical inquiries about implementing LEED on a project. They help people understand how their projects can meet LEED requirements and provide clarity on existing options. LEED Interpretations are to be used by any project certifying under an applicable rating system. All project teams are required to adhere to all LEED Interpretations posted before their registration date. This also applies to other addenda. Adherence to rulings posted after a project registers is optional, but strongly encouraged. LEED Interpretations are published in a searchable database at usgbc.org. 10102 underscores that TGs are indeed required--we already knew this--but there's no mention as to timing. In the real world, especially for this huge project, tenant guidelines take months to draft, obtain approval and funding for (think back to the 4 Times Square guidelines-100's of pages long). We've been given the option of 1. placing our entire project on hold or 2. the option of deferring the 3-4 credits that need to be addressed by these guidelines. We've offered to meet them halfway by providing an Owner statement indicating the intention to write guidelines. This was not acceptable to them. The reviewer again offered us the two options and then a third, that of escalating the question to GBCI directly. My questions are, does this seem reasonable to anyone? What is my best course of action at this point? Incidentally, the issue wasn't raised in preliminary Design Review.
Is the following building eligible for a CS certification:
Basically a big 205 000 sqft box with no common areas, with 30 000 sqft of mezzanine for future office space. The general contractor will be owner and proceed with fit-ups once tenants are known. However, no fit-up is known at the present, meaning there will be no sanitary installations (they would be specified in the lease). Temporary heating will be installed, permanent will come only once tenant is known. Same goes for cement flooring: once tenant is known and piping laid out, the floor will be poored. At building completion, the floor could be entirely made up of gravel. Condo separations will also come with tenants in order to procure space required for specific tenant needs. There will be basic lighting.
So, should there be no tenant fit-up during the course of the project, could this big box without flooring, sanitation installations, permanent mecanical systems nor interior separations be eligible for a CS certification?
Nancy, this sounds like a CS project to me. Do you have any concern about it not being eligible for LEED-CS?
Thanks Tristan. The building just appeared so bare, I wasn't sure it would cut it for certification purposes.
No problem, Nancy. You can even LEED certify a cold, dark shell, and this sounds like a step above that.
I have a similar question: can an industrial process building with power-hungry equipment be certified under CS only, separating the HVAC and electrical required for the process equipment inside from those required for the building shellThe exterior walls, roof, and lowest floor of a building, which serve to separate and protect the interior from the elements (precipitation, sunlight, wind, temperature variations).? I'd appreciate your comments.
Natesan, to quote from the LEED rating system selection guidance document from USGBC, LEED-CS is appropriate for "Buildings that are undergoing new construction or major renovation on its exterior shell and core mechanical, electrical, and plumbing units but NOT a complete interior fit-out."
In other words, you could do CS for an industrial building, but only if the scope of work truly is confined to LEED-CS. You can't use the CS rating system to exclude process loads that are within the project scope.
Thanks, Tristan, for your valuable comments! I understand your quote from the guidance document, but in the above example from Nancy Picard, the industrial condos are owned by the same company, and interior fit-outs will be done as soon as the tenants are known. So if the first tenant is known before the shell is complete, the TI will be done right away it seems. In that case, wouldn't it be considered a complete fit-out (shell + interior)? (It is not clear if they can/will go for LEED on the TI.)
A couple of related issues:
1. The CS rating system description on USGBC site says CS ... "can be used for projects where the developer controls the design and construction of the entire core and shell base building ... but has no control over the design and construction of the tenant fit-out." In the case of Nancy's industrial condos, the same owner/contractor has control over both the shell and the interior fit-outs, it seems.
2. The CS rating system description on USGBC site says: "Projects could include a commercial or medical office building, retail center, warehouse, or lab facility." Industrial buildings are not included in this list. Do you see this as an issue?
We are working to restore two commercial/residential historic buildings with the intent of achieving LEED certification. The buildings share an adjoining wall and staircase and share a tax parcel. One building is fully vacant and in need of major restoration, the other is partially vacant on the top floor but houses one apartment and a successful local business on the ground floor. Our goal is to achieve LEED certification for the paired buildings as a single unit for apartments. Since the buildings share a single main access stairway and are effectively legally already one building, are we within LEED's regulations to define them as a single building?
Brownsville, there are specific considerations around setting your LEED boundary in a situation like this, that are mainly found under MPR3. I'd suggest checking there, and posting with specific questions.
I have a project on an island in South Korea. Two previously separated islands by shallow sea have been joined together 20 years ago by an area of reclaimed land built for the construction of an International Airport. This area is part of a Free Economic Zone designated by the Korean Government in 2003 which is already under development, all infrastructure is already existing.
The project owner has bought a small portion of the land now, however there has never been any hardscapeHardscape consists of the inanimate elements of the building landscaping. Examples include pavement, roadways, stone walls, concrete paths and sidewalks, and concrete, brick, and tile patios. built on it.
After having read a thread in SSc1 and the Supplemental Guide I am worried if my project can pursue LEED certification, as acc. to MPR Supplemental Guide: Page 18: “Previously developed support structures and artificial land mass: ‘Buildings located on previously constructed ….. and infill, and other manufactured structures in or above water are permissible, provided that artificial land is previously developed (i.e., the land once supported another building or hardscape constructed for a purpose other than the development of the LEED project).”
I am wondering if this also applies for my site as
1. The reclamation was made 20 years ago for the purpose of economic & infrastructure development by the Government
2. The reclamation was not specifically undertaken for our project
3. The project owner has not reclaimed the land, the land was bought several years after the reclamation was done
Has anyone any experience with similar cases?
I don't have experience on similar cases, but I think you will need an official ruling to know whether you can proceed. According to the letter of MPR2, and the supplemental guidance, I would say that you don't comply (the dite hasn't "supported another building or hardscapeHardscape consists of the inanimate elements of the building landscaping. Examples include pavement, roadways, stone walls, concrete paths and sidewalks, and concrete, brick, and tile patios."), but via direct communication with you, or via a CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide, GBCI would have more leeway to consider your project's specifics, and to interpret them via the MPR intent. Definitely let us know how it goes.
Please be informed that I have received my CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide ruling which says that our project is eligible to seek LEED certification due to the requirements regarding building on artificial land in MPR2, as the project site has existing hardscapeHardscape consists of the inanimate elements of the building landscaping. Examples include pavement, roadways, stone walls, concrete paths and sidewalks, and concrete, brick, and tile patios. (a public road which is separating our site in two portions), the project site is classified as “previously developed” and may pursue LEED Certification.
GBCI informed that
"The timeframe of reclamation and whether it occurred outside the project scope is immaterial to determining eligibility for LEED. The previously developed status of artificial land masses is the sole determinant as to whether projects on such lands are eligible for LEED Certification"
Elke, thanks for reporting back—that's a helpful distinction to understand, and I'm glad you can proceed with your certification!
We are renovating urban buildings into apartments and speculative retail/commercial space. Some of the retail/commercial space will be constructed prior to application and some won't. The guidelines say that proposed tenant fit-outs by the owner have to comply with the project application, while tenant fit-outs completed by others don't. Do the tenant spaces completed before application that are built by the tenant have to comply?
Joel, we need a little context here. Are you doing this under NC, CS, or as individual CI projects?
We are using NC 2009. The general consensus around here is anything completed in the building prior to certification needs to meet requirements. It does seem strange that spaces completed after we submit may not comply.
Joel, anything within the construction scope needs to comply with NC. Anything that will be fit out later you need to treat like a CS project, and the way a CS project works is that tenant fit-outs must comply with LEED requirements to varying degrees, enforced through an owner commitement and lease agreements. CS Appendix 4 in the LEED Reference Guide is a key reference here, as is LEED InterpretationLEED Interpretations are official answers to technical inquiries about implementing LEED on a project. They help people understand how their projects can meet LEED requirements and provide clarity on existing options. LEED Interpretations are to be used by any project certifying under an applicable rating system. All project teams are required to adhere to all LEED Interpretations posted before their registration date. This also applies to other addenda. Adherence to rulings posted after a project registers is optional, but strongly encouraged. LEED Interpretations are published in a searchable database at usgbc.org. #10102, issued 11/1/2011, which you can find at usgbc.org/LEEDInterpretations.
We are working on the project, which include 3 independent buildings: A, B & C (each 17 stories above grade has own mechanic, energy system and entrances ) and 3 floors underground parking space, which are under refurbishment. The ground floor is also common and dedicated for retail, restaurants and a delivery area. In each building upper floors from 1-st floor up to 14 will be office spaces for lease with the top two floors allocated for the technical plant. In the parking spaces ventilation, heating & lighting system (energy and mechanical systems) are common for whole area. To the parking is entrance under building C. The LEED project boundary includes whole describe above project i.e. 3 building and underground parking spaces. Project is register under CS v.3 and is after final design review. Now developer decided to build only building A and B. and continue certification only for those 2 buildings. There is also additional entrance to the garage though non certified existing office building, which are not include to our project. The problem is to divide parking spaces because of common mechanical and mechanical system for whole area and only one enter. Now is only executing building A and B. Developer has plan to build tower C in future (no plan when yet) and also certified that building. Have you any ideas how to divide that project?. Can we continue certification without execution building C and resubmit in construction submittal credits and prerequisites, which will changed (almost everything)?. Which leed system will be appropriate in future to certified building C? In energy model how we shall treat the temporary elevation (as permanent) between building B and C on 1-st floor ?.
Given that you have been through the final design review, I would submit your question to your LEED reviewer. You will want definitive direction from the source. Good luck!
We are working with a developer on a mixed use project that includes 2 "towers" connected by a commons space. One of the towers is a residential tower (floors 2-7, 1st floor is retail/restaurant) and the other is a hotel. The commons area includes a pool, service areas, and a fitness area that is shared by the residential and hotel. Is it possible to certify only the residential portion of the entire structure? This would include a lower level parking garage that is for residential tenants only, the lobby and terrace on the first floor, and all residential construction above level 1. We intend to include the commons area in this as well, which is located on level 2.
Is it possible to interpret some of the language related to additions and treat this portion of the building separately? The demising wall between the hotel and commons area on level 2 and the demising wall between the residential lobby and retail/restaurant area on the level 1 would serve as LEED boundaries. (It would be possible to include the retail/residential if it simplified things, though this space may be shell space until tenants are found).
Yes, I think you could interpret and incorporate the exceptions for additions based on your description. MPR 3 gives additional guidance on designing an appropriate LEED site boundary, which may offer additional direction for your case.
How did you display signage to clearly communicate the boundary between the certified and non-certified spaces to the building users. I have a similar project with 2 residential high rise towers. One project is already completed and not LEED certified while the second newer tower is under going certification. We received review comments back request that we provide sample signage to clearly communicate the boundary between the certified and non-certified spaces.
We purchased an abandon building which will be renovated for both envelope, Electric, and HVAC. The problem is we will own only have of the building. the another half will be owned by the other firm. Since both renovation will share the same structure but will be separated by wall. (The project can be perfectly divided by half in plan) Each part will have its landcape and walkways. Can we submit only our part of the building and landscape for LEED-NC?
Your situation would need to be carefully evaluated against the supplemental guidance for MPR 2. Shown above, there are many (yes, convoluted) caveats and exceptions to certifying an addition. If your scope of work fits the retrofit definition, LEED CI would be appropriate and you wouldn't have an issue with the MPR (as long as your portion is less than 60% of the total building sf). If LEED CI is not appropriate, Section III. above should give you the direction you need.
Does LEED Core and Shell must be owned the the building less than 50% of gross area? Can 100% of project owned by a single owner go for LEED core and shell.
Thanks, Tristan, for redirecting me here!
We are completing a LEED NC for a major renovation for a building on a campus. Adjacent to this building, connected to it and another building on the other side is a public entry / security / gathering space type of lobby. The owner would like to pursue LEED CI for that space - anyone with experience with that?
Looking through the guidance it looks to me like it is OK since it is a definable separate space - the lobby, versus a part of a tenant spaceTenant space is the area within the LEED project boundary. For more information on what can and must be in the LEED project boundary see the Minimum Program Requirements (MPRs) and LEED 2009 MPR Supplemental Guidance. Note: tenant space is the same as project space. or office suite - but it is not separate by lease or ownership. I would guess that there is fire separation but whether that counts as a "party wall" i am not sure. Mechanical systems are partly unique to this lobby space, partly shared across the buildings, but very little mechancally is in our scope.
On this campus projects are identified with letters or numbers, so this would be called "Building X Lobby"
I have had some similar experience and we certified a University Theatre, which was attached via a walkway to a non-LEED certified building, making it a complete and separate building. The scope of work was an interior fit out, making it fall into the LEED CI rating system. To be clear, however, the space must meet all MPRs - what are you considering for your LEED boundary? Is the lobby considered a self-sufficient interior space with FTEFull-time equivalent (FTE) represents a regular building occupant who spends 8 hours a day (40 hours a week) in the project building. Part-time or overtime occupants have FTE values based on their hours per day divided by 8 (or hours per week divided by 40). Transient Occupants can be reported as either daily totals or as part of the FTE. Residential occupancy should be estimated based on the number and size of units. Core and Shell projects should refer to the default occupancy table in the Reference Guide appendix. All occupant assumptions must be consistent across all credits in all categories. (MPR 5)?
My client has an existing mixed-use building.
There are stores on the ground floor and offices on the upper floors.
The refurbishment works only apply to the offices areas.
Do I have to certify the whole building or just the office part?
Thank you in advance for your help.
It would be for a LEED NC scheme.
We have a hotel building (600,000 sf) and a convention center (150,000 sf) which are connected by a 300-400 feet ong corridor. The 2 buildings have the same owner, will be built by the same contractor and will under the same hotel operator. We want to go for LEED silver for both building but want to register both of them as one project (eg. : X hotel and convention center), will this be ok or we need to register them separately ? Please note I am not asking to go for group project and my question is regarding registering the 2 buildings as one project.
Ahmad, generally LEED projects are trying to do the opposite: separately certify two buildings or attached spaces. So it's a little different to consider the question from your angle.
I would say the answer is yes, you can do them together, but it depends on the specfiics. If they have separate energy and mechanical systems, for example, that would point toward certifying separately.
I have a similar question but regarding two office buildings that are connected only by un underground parking lot. They have the same owner and will be built by the same contractor but they have separate energy and mechanical systems and they are not attached to each other. Can they be registered as one LEED project? Ahmad, did you get more information on this subject?
Thanks to Tristan for getting me to the right forum on this, I will also be reading the guide but will post this question for any feedback the forum might have...
Our project in question is a new 14 story (+4 underground parking) office building of 15,000 sq meters being added to an existing office building of 12 stories and approximately the same area. The project is in Beijing, China. The owner's intent is to certify the new building portion as LEED Gold but not certify the existing building portion which will see some renovation, as the required energy and other upgrades would be beyond the current budget means. Owner's current design intentA written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project. is as follows:
The buildings are physically connected on twelve floors but the airspace is always separated by doors at corridor connections.
The existing building plant chiller will provide approximately 60% of the chilled water capacity for the new building's use.
The existing building plant will also provide 100% of the new building's heating water capacity.
100% of the air movement capacity for the new building will be provided by new air handlers in the new building (as well as some natural ventilation).
100% of the domestic hot water for the new building will be provided by new hot water units, though they will be located in the existing building.
100% of the electrical capacity will be provided either by the utility company or by solar panels on the roof in percentages later determined in design.
The short question is: will we be allowed to certify the new portion and not the existing portion, as long as we clearly define with sound logic what portions of the site, water, and energy systems apply to the new building only? Does anyone see any clear problems?
We will be looking at this in great detail of course - defining what portion of the site applies to the new building, making sure the existing building systems that supply the new building don't fail on any prerequisites such as CFC's (or get replaced), including the new building geometry in the energy model such that it shades / reflects / etc. energy to/from the new building, and addressing the issue for each an every credit. There will of course be more specific questions that come up, I just wanted to ask if others have past experience with this issue and/or anyone sees immediate problems.
Jeremy, given the detail in your question I was wondering if you have any specific points you're hoping for clarification on, after having read through the MPR2 supplemental guidance?
Thank you for your response Tristan. I suppose I feel confident about most of the portions of the question, less confident about two portions... Maybe I can phrase it this way for yes/no/depends sorts of answers to each part by anyone who has experience with them:
To ceritify a new building addition (horizontally connected) to a 2 building complex (non certified), but not certify the two existing buildings to be renovated, are the following characteristics acceptable?
An existing plant in one of the existing buildings will supply the heating water for the HVAC system in the new building?
An existing plant in one of the existing buildings will supply 60% of the cooling water for the HVAC system in the new building, and will be supplemented with a new chiller in the new building?
(The rest I am more certain of, assuming yes, please comment if you disagree or need more information to answer a specific question)
Physical horizontal connection by corridors with doors between the buildings in those corridors?
Completely separate air environments, separated by walls or doors at corridors?
Completely separate air handlers for the new building, located in the new building and supplemented by natural ventilation?
Completely separate and new domestic hot water for the new builing, located in the new building?
Completely separate electrical systems in the new building, supplemented by solar panels located on the new building?
Jeremy, it seems clear that you don't meet the requirements of the supplemental guidance part I --> 2) a) separate mechanical systems, in order to have a separate LEED project.
However, since you're relatively close to meeting the overall requirements, you could contact GBCI, and/or submit a CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide, to get a definite ruling from them.
Isn't that one of 3 optiions under 2) "treating energy systems" for I. "all attached buildings... options 2a, 2b, 2c?
Option 2c = "shared central systems located inside the structures in question" and gives the guidance for "all attached buildings" projects like this? As in, the conceptual guidance is in the LEED CI EAc1.3 Option 2, but it applies to all "all attached buildings" under the NC rating system since this information is being given within the NC MPR2 guidance page?
Then when I visit EAc1.3, it speaks about how separate spaces sharing the same plant require modeling of the whole structure (which would account for differences in energy use that result from the interaction of the spaces), with the LEED space's use separately "metered" within the model to account for it alone as the portion being judged for certification?
Let me know if I'm missing something or you disagree.
There's also reference in NC to the "Treatment of District or Campus Thermal Energy" document, some relevant discussion there.
At any rate, we are reviewing these in greater detail and it does seem a CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide might be the best way to get clarity when we are ready, I just thought I would ask if others had experience with this or saw something we are not.
Right, you've got three options there, so the key for your project right now is evaluating those three and seeing if you can make one of them work.
My client is an owner of an existing production hall. He will build a big addition on the left wing of the existing building which will also be a production hall. Moreover he will build some small additions on the right wing of the building which will serve as storage places. The question is if we can certify the addition on left wing alone as a New Construction and Major Renovation project (without inclusion of the existing building)?
What if the existing building and the addition share cooling installation?
Adam, more often than not, buildings are unable to certify just an addition in a case like this, because NC is meant to be a whole-building rating system.
There are exceptions to that, which are discussed above under the MPR supplemental guidance—do you think those add up to anything favorable in your project's case?
Then I guess there are only two options:
1. to register the whole project (existing building with additions) as a new construction project if the area of additions covers more than 40% of the whole project
2. to register it after the construction works are finished as an existing building project.
Is that correct?
Adam, I think you have it right. However, I would recommend contacting GBCI for guidance on this—they might be able to offer more specific help. Let us know if they do.
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