You may find, on a renovation of an existing building, that many interior elements, such as walls, ceilings and doors, are in perfectly good condition and do not need to be replaced. This credit awards you 1–2 points for refinishing and reusing 40%–60% of these elements. The calculation for this credit is a function of the total interior elements present upon construction completion, including both the existing and the new non-structural building components used in the project.
Building restoration may be labor-intensive, but reusing buildings and their interior components extends the life cycle of an existing structure and mitigates the impacts of extraction, manufacturing and transportation of raw materials when compared to new building construction. In addition to these environmental benefits, restoration often offers historic and cultural benefits.
There are calculators available for evaluating credit eligibility and targets. The most time-intensive aspects of documentation for this credit are getting accurate measurements of the area of nonstructural building elements and tabulating the existing and restored areas in the Interior Reuse calculator. When measuring, it is important to note the method you have used to account for existing building elements.
Determine whether the project is eligible for the credit based on existing floor area and total floor area. A project is eligible if the project is reusing an existing structure and there is no new addition or the new construction that is no more than two times the gross floor area of the existing floor area.
The project does not need to achieve MRc1.1: Building Structure Reuse to pursue MR 1.2: Building Nonstructural Reuse.
If the project includes both existing structure and new construction, the LEED project boundary must encompass the entire existing building regardless of the scope of work within the existing building. Portions of existing buildings may only be excluded from the LEED project boundary if they have a separate mechanical system and function independently of the LEED project building area.
Ineligible projects may apply the reused building area toward MRc2: Construction Waste Management, or MRc3: Materials Reuse, but not to both
Identify walls and ceilings that can be restored. The building owner and architect should evaluate the implications of renovation and restoration against those of demolition and new construction.
Assess the interior space to determine whether the program goals can be achieved while maintaining existing interior surfaces.
Elements to be saved for reuse may be removed for protection during construction, and reinstalled for the same purpose. If being used in a new application (doors used as paneling, for example), the materials no longer qualify for this credit, but do qualify for MRc3: Materials Reuse.
Develop a checklist of all interior elements and use this to make preliminary calculations anticipating the percentage of elements that can be reused. Pursue the credit only if these preliminary calculations show that at least 50% of interior elements in the completed building are reused, per the requirement.
Elements that can be counted for reuse include all interior walls, ceilings, carpets, cabinetry, interior doors and windows. Exterior doors and windows, mechanical systems, and hazardous materials may not be included in calculations.
Reusing building elements is often labor-intensive, due to restoration needs and needing contractors to work around these elements. However, avoiding the purchase of new materials while reducing construction waste can lead to significant cost savings. Doing a budget comparison between restoration and new construction costs will help building owners make informed decisions.
Local incentives and historic tax credits can make historic rehabilitation more attractive. The baseline definition of “historic” is typically an age of 50 years or greater. These incentives may require a certain level of preservation of interior spaces or finishes, in keeping with the building’s character and historic fabric, but do allow for a significant amount of adaptation.
Update the checklist assembled during schematic design to confirm that the project is still on track with 50% of reused interior elements for LEED compliance. For example, a wall initially assumed to be in good condition may be found to be in poor condition, and needs to be replaced with new materials. The checklist will help track credit compliance throughout the design and construction process.
Develop a renovation plan that outlines reuse, cleaning and restoration activities, and specifications for finishes. When possible use deconstruction, rather than demolition, so that elements that cannot be reused in the project may be reused offsite. This diversion contributes to MRc2: Construction Waste Management.
Tabulate reused surfaces of following elements: the surface area (one side only) of all finished flooring, finished ceilings, interior doors, exterior or party walls, visible surfaces of built-in case goods, and two sides of interior non-structural walls.
Design development may require community involvement in the case of an historic building undergoing renovation or addition.
Older buildings often contain hazardous materials, including asbestos, lead, and others. The building owner may need to conduct an ASTM E1527-05 Phase I Environmental Assessment by an environmental consultant, and if required, a Phase II assessment with a remediation plan to ensure a safe and healthy facility. These hazardous materials are not included in any MR credit calculations—so they count neither for nor against you.
Design style and aesthetics may be driving factors for preserving the interior finishes and elements.
Consider tradeoffs when reusing certain elements. Retaining existing interior partitions, for example, is a simple strategy which can help to attain this credit. However, depending on the placement of the existing walls, this must be weighed against the possible loss of daylighting and views. It should also be balanced against trade-offs related to energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality, too.
Fixed partitions and office furniture apply to MRc3: Materials Reuse and not to MRc.1.2 Building Reuse.
Architects should incorporate restoration specifications into the construction documents.
Confirm that construction and demolition drawings highlight clear distinctions between the elements being restored and elements that will be taken down.
Include details on preparation, protection and any special arrangement required during construction. Reused elements may need protective coverings and sheets from contaminants and construction dust
The architect and construction manager work with the restoration contractor to establish appropriate demolition and restoration activities.
At the end of construction, the architect revisits the preliminary calculations to confirm that the percentage of reused building elements is above the 50% threshold required for the credit.
Draft a narrative describing your approach to building reuse, including the selection of elements preserved, and any outstanding project features.
Upload documentation to LEED Online.
Some historic elements may call for finishes or adhesives that do not comply with the low-VOC guidelines of EQc4: Low-Emitting Materials. Discuss these issues with subcontractors as they come up and seek substitutes.
Renovation and restoration are labor-intensive specialties and may represent added costs, although costs for new materials and for waste disposal may be reduced.
Some elements may require special protection during construction. In cases where only a portion of a building is undergoing construction, special attention should be paid to isolating the otherwise clean or occupied areas and protecting the retained elements from dust and contamination.
The restoration team should provide operations staff with a maintenance plan and guidelines appropriate to the specific finishes. Special finishes or other measures used to preserve historic elements may also require special operations and maintenance procedures.
Excerpted from LEED 2009 for Commercial Interiors
To extend the life cycle of existing building stock, conserve resources, retain cultural resources, reduce waste and reduce environmental impacts of new buildings as they relate to materials manufacturing and transport.
Maintain at least 40% or 60% by area of the existing non-shell, nonstructural components (e.g., walls, flooring and ceiling systems). The minimum percentage interior component reuse for each point threshold is as follows:
Identify during the selection and design of the 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. the potential to maintain as many of the existing interior elements as possible. Remove elements that pose a contamination risk to occupants, and update components that would improve energy and water efficiency, such as mechanical systems and plumbing fixtures. Quantify the extent of building reuse.
ASTMVoluntary standards development organization which creates source technical standards for materials, products, systems, and services 1527-05 Phase I environmental assessment is a report prepared for the real estate holding that identifies potential or existing environmental contamination liabilities.
ASTMVoluntary standards development organization which creates source technical standards for materials, products, systems, and services 1903-97 Phase II environmental site assessment is an investigation that collects samples of building materials to analyze for quantitative values for various contaminants.
Pittsburgh Papers: Best of GreenBuild, November 12-14, Pittsburgh, PA, 74-81. Pulaski, M., Hewitt, C., Horman, M. and Guy, B. 2003.
A fascinating study of how buildings evolve or disintegrate after they're "finished," and how to design for their ongoing evolution. Great photos and anecdotes throughout illustrate Stewart Brand's theories, which are a compelling and easy read. A great book for lovers of old buildings, but also for those building new buildings that they wish to have a long, rich life.
Use these documents to determine eligibility for the project, if including an addition. The new construction must be not more than two times the existing floor area.
Use this calculator to tabulate the reused interior components and assess credit compliance.
The following links take you to the public, informational versions of the dynamic LEED Online forms for each CI-2009 MR credit. You'll need to fill out the live versions of these forms on LEED Online for each credit you hope to earn.
Version 4 forms (newest):
Version 3 forms:
These links are posted by LEEDuser with USGBC's permission. USGBC has certain usage restrictions for these forms; for more information, visit LEED Online and click "Sample Forms Download."
Documentation for this credit is part of the Construction Phase submittal.
We are working on food production facility and offices. The offices will be in the first two floors of an historic building that the developer is renovating as part of the project. The food production facility will consist of a single story addition to the historic building that has a much larger footprint - more than two times. The C&S of the food production facility is basically build to suit and then handed over to the food producer (our client) to develop the TI. I have two questions:
1) Is the TI eligible for MRc1.2 at all? I know the developer would not be eligible for building reuse credits because the production facility addition is much larger than the historic building. Technically, they are moving into an existing facility and building out the interiors. Practically, they caused the addition to be built. I find no eligibility requirements in the CI credit language but noticed that LEED User had posted the eligibility calculator for LEED NC as a documentation tool.
2) Assuming the tenant is eligible on a technicality, what does the tenent get to count as reused? The developer is building no inside walls and the tenant will be "reusing" the interior surface of all the walls. This builds on a question already in forum where Tristan indicated a tenant could count the interior surface of party walls - which we have a few of - but wasn't explicit about exterior walls.
This is an interesting situation that any tenant moving into a new building, particularly build to suit would encounter so I am curious as to the forum's thoughts.
The table lists 3 components:
- Prior condition area
- Completed design areaCompleted design area is the total area of finished ceilings, floors, full-height walls and demountable partitions, interior doors, and built-in case goods in the completed project. It does not include exterior windows and doors.
- Retained components area
I understand the prior condition area which is the existing components before any works. I also understand the retained components area which is what was kept.
However, what does completed design are refer to? Just whatever was added to the prior condition area? Or is it the sum of what was added and the prior condition area?
M D, have you looked over the examples posted in the Doc Toolkit above? Maybe seeing some sample calcs will help clear this up more easily than an explanation.
Thanks for your prompt reply Tristan.
I have taken a look but I am not sure what completed design areaCompleted design area is the total area of finished ceilings, floors, full-height walls and demountable partitions, interior doors, and built-in case goods in the completed project. It does not include exterior windows and doors. refers to. In the examples I have seen, all the completed design areas are equal or smaller than the prior condition areas. So I am assuming it is any area that has been changed? Then, the retained components area would be the difference between the prior condition area and the completed design area? It is a tad confusing..
Correct, the completed design areaCompleted design area is the total area of finished ceilings, floors, full-height walls and demountable partitions, interior doors, and built-in case goods in the completed project. It does not include exterior windows and doors. is the area that has been changed or altered from prior condition, however the uploaded calculator is confusing. It seems that it is calculating the completed designed area as opposed to the retained area.
1 -So, as I mentioned before, the retained components area would be the difference between the prior condition area and the completed design areaCompleted design area is the total area of finished ceilings, floors, full-height walls and demountable partitions, interior doors, and built-in case goods in the completed project. It does not include exterior windows and doors.?
2-For a material that hasn't changed, we would put 0 under completed design area, right?
Can we tabulate just one component e.g. finished ceiling - and not list all other components in the table?
M D, your baseline for savings should be all the interior elements, so you need to measure more than just the one.
So how many of them is a good number? Or should I list all?
The project has only reused 100% of finished ceiling but no other components as the space was completely empty when the tenants moved in. So can only the ceiling be listed to achieve the credit? Or do we need to include all other components and just input 0 square feet for reuse?
M D, see the third Design Development item under Checklists on the above tab.
We have a project that is retaining most of the interior walls, but the walls are to receive new wall covering materials. The credit language, mentions "finished" walls, but does not mention wall coverings as it does floor coverings. Can we include a wall's area in our "Retained Components" if it is to receive new finishes?
Yes, this is what is meant by the credit language because it is about the non-structural wall as a component, despite whether you re-paint or refinish the wall. The floor coverings are the non-structural element of the floor, which is why they talk specifically about floor coverings as opposed to the sub floor. Hope this helps!
For windows we count both sides or only one side?
One side for windows.
The space our CI project will be occupying currently has a raised floor installed throughout. We will be retaining the entire raised floor but replacing the carpeting (which is worn and the wrong color for our corporate client.)
Can we claim that we are maintaining the (non-structural) flooring for the purposes of this credit? It seems to me somewhat like repainting gypsum partition walls.
In my opinion, this should qualify, especially given the credit language's use of the word "systems."
The elements of "Exterior and Party Walls" include shell or not? It seems to be exterior walls seperated from outdoor and party walls seperated from other spaces. But in the credit requirements, it requires to maintain NON-SHELL components. So the exterior wall should be excluded?
Another question: if the tenant occupies the whole floor and the party wall is the building core wall (concrete wall enclosing elevators, AHU1.Air-handling units (AHUs) are mechanical indirect heating, ventilating, or air-conditioning systems in which the air is treated or handled by equipment located outside the rooms served, usually at a central location, and conveyed to and from the rooms by a fan and a system of distributing ducts. (NEEB, 1997 edition)
2.A type of heating and/or cooling distribution equipment that channels warm or cool air to different parts of a building. This process of channeling the conditioned air often involves drawing air over heating or cooling coils and forcing it from a central location through ducts or air-handling units. Air-handling units are hidden in the walls or ceilings, where they use steam or hot water to heat, or chilled water to cool the air inside the ductwork. room etc. Then the party wall will be structural wall. But in the credit requirements, it requires to maintain NON-structural components. So the concrete party wall should be excluded in the calculation?
Shirong, the key thing we are looking at in this credit is the surface area of walls, etc.. So you can include party walls insofar as you are including the surface area of the wall that is within the 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..
Please help advise for these two questions. Thanks!
For interior brick wall finishes, would it be acceptable to count them as a reused finish if they are not to be refinished or painted?
In our main gallery, the carpet has been abated and a concrete finish is to remain. We are going to polish the concrete and possibly re-stain. I assume we are not able to count the concrete as a reused finish because we are “upgrading” it with the polish and stain?
Lauren, did you submit and get a ruling on these issues? I am particularly curious about the refinished concrete.
Lauren and Tristan,
Our project is similar - we retained all concrete and either refinished it or covered it with new carpet (we diverted/recycled the old carpet). When we submitted this, we said that 100% of our "finished flooring" was retained (referring to the concrete)....however, the review came back with issues pending: (1) "Please revise the form to include all new and retained floors in the Completed Design AreaCompleted design area is the total area of finished ceilings, floors, full-height walls and demountable partitions, interior doors, and built-in case goods in the completed project. It does not include exterior windows and doors., and include in the Retained Components Area only the floors that were in the space both prior to construction and in the completed design." So....does this mean that we need to include the total sf of the new carpet that we installed in the “completed design area” for “finished flooring”, even though this area covers some of the same area as the retained concrete? If we do this, then the “completed design area” will be more than the “retained components area”...correct?
Gail, it seems to me that including concrete that is covered with carpeting as a "retained" surface is not the intent of the credit or the calculation method, that could be what's throwing you off.
I would agree with Tristan. For this credit they are interested in seeing the non-structural elements retained, therefore, if you covered the concrete with new carpet, that area would be considered new. The concrete would be considered structural. As for the brick walls in Lauren's case, I believe the refinished "structure as finish" situation would count as a retained element, even with new stain/paint. Same with the concrete floor - because you did not recover the floor with new floor coverings, this area could be considered as retained, despite the new polish/stain. Curious to hear if Lauren received a review ruling though!
My project is removing asbestos that is included in a wall system and replacing the gypsum board but retaining the structural system beneath it. For this credit, can I exclude the initial areas of the asbestos contained walls as part of my denominator value? I could have sworn I saw 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 about this a while back but can't put my finger on it.
I've seen the same information. Here's what LEED HC says: "Hazardous materials that are remediated as part of the project scope shall be excluded from the calculation of the percentage maintained." 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/LI 5583 from 8/2002 also allows you to exclude from MRc2 calcs. Have you searched the Reference Guide addenda?
Thanks Susan. That's my sense too. I've looked through some of the addenda but may have missed it?
I did a quick search through the new LEED Interpretations and did not find it either. But the search should have popped up the LEED HC item and did not. Clearly I need more search practice.
Trying to bring this back into the forum discsusion again. Anyone know where I can reference as verification that my approach is acceptable?
Guidance from the GBCI confirming this approach:
“Although it is not specifically stated in any reference guide, addenda, or 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. (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) for MRc1.2 in ID+C or BD+C, GBCI confirms that projects should exclude the hazardous materials completely from the calculation for this CI credit – both numerator and denominator. This is assumed through the guidance found in MRc1.1 (pg. 347 in the BD+C reference guide) which states, "Hazardous materials that are remediated as a part of the project must be excluded from the calculation of the percentage maintained," even though it is technically a separate but related credit. Also, it is discussed through LI# 5885 from 9/19/2005, even though this is not directly applicable to 2009 projects or CI projects at this time.”
Hooray! Official closure. Thanks for posting this.
I looked through the reference guide for a definition of 'finished,' but I couldn't find one, so I'm hoping someone here can help: I have a CI project that is moving into a space that has existing polished concrete floors. They want to put carpet down on some of the floors and keep some as polished. No changes will be made to the concrete floors. Does the entire floor area count as a 'retained' area, or just the part that will not be covered by carpet at the end of the project?
Sara, I think that the intent would be to count the part not covered by carpet.
I have a question with similar facts.
In our project, all of the flooring system will remain but all of the carpeting will be replaced with new carpets. I guess this means that the entire floor area does NOT count as retained?
Also, all of the drop ceiling system will remain but the current fluorescent lighting system will have some changes made to it. The reflective shields may be reused but the ballasts and fixtures will be replaced since the fluorescent bulbs will be changed to more efficient ones, i.e. T12 to T8 or T5 (will have to confirm). Does this mean that the entire ceiling area WOULD count as retained?
And only a small number of non-bearing walls will be removed.
Would this project be eligible for 0 points, 1 point, 2 points? Any tips would be appreciated.
The project we are working on is looking to take advantage of MRc1.2 Building Reuse. However, this credit seems to only cover the basic non-structural elements - walls, floors, ceiling etc.
Is there any credit that covers "other non-structural elements," including electrical, mechanical and plumbing components? Our project retained a large amount of electrical fixtures and wiring, and spent very little in purchasing new fixtures. I am not aware of any credit that would cover these other elements in the same way that MRc1.2 does. Or would this be something we should pursue as “Innovation in Design”? Any input would be helpful. Thanks!
Gail, I agree that existing credits do not cover this, with the possible exception of MRc2. It has been a conscious choice for LEED not to cover mechanicals in this way, so I am doubtful that it would be allowed as an ID credit.
We have a library project that is reusing metal shelving. Since it is being used for the same purpose this credit indicates it should be part of MR1.2. Should the surface area be calculated as if it were a solid box? (i.e. top and sides) or should I calculate actual exposed surfaces area (i.e. each top and bottom of each shelf, all the parts of the bookcase that touches the air)? I hope that makes sense. Thank you.
James, the guidance in the LEED Reference Guide, page 224, seems pretty clear—determine the finished area, like a painter. This is similar to the guidance for LEED-NC, which says to use visible surface area. It seems like you'll get a lot of surface area out of this.... too good to be true? But I would proceed in that fashion.
Our Project is trying to decide whether Demountable Partitions that are being reused for CI Project should contribute to MRc1.2 for Building Reuse or MRc3.2 Furniture Reuse. As they are Div. 10, we are leaning toward MRc3.2 (although Furniture is Div. 12), but the partitions obviously act like a wall, so that would contribute to MRc1.2. We are assuming we can use them to contribute to MRc5 calculations. Anyone have any experience with this scenerio?
There was a credit interpretation about demountable partitions (EQc3.2, 12/1/07) that states, "Full height, demountable modular walls are essentially the same in form and function as permanent wals and as such are not considered funiture...Please note that such modular walls potentially affect other LEED credits (such as daylighting and views) and should therefore be included in any calculations and submissions required for those credits as well."
Caveats? Twofold - first this was a NC 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, so I am not sure how it applies to CI. Secondly, USGBC has indicated that they are not bound by LEED v2 CIRs in LEED v3.
At first I thought we had this credit in the bag because we were maintaining somewhere around 70% of existing walls, floors, ceilings, etc. That is to say-what was in our space to begin with (that was non-structural and non-shell) was mostly being reused. After getting into the form on LEED Online, it seems to be a whole different story! Apparently I have to enter in not only what was existing and what was retained but also what the final square footage of new construction was. This seems to me completely arbitrary and in direct conflict of the credit intent and language. " Maintain at least 40% or 60% by area of the existing non-shell and non-structural components." I don't understand what any new construction on my project has to do with what we reused that was already existing. Does anyone have guidance as to if I am interpreting this correctly or not? Or any experience in documenting this credit?
Page 225 of the CI reference guide might explain why this is happening, but the rationale is a bit confusing.
In the % reuse calculation, the "Total Retained Components Area (sf)" is the numerator. The denominator is *either* the "Prior Condition Area (sf)" OR the "Completed Design AreaCompleted design area is the total area of finished ceilings, floors, full-height walls and demountable partitions, interior doors, and built-in case goods in the completed project. It does not include exterior windows and doors. (SF)" depending on which is larger. (All areas are surface areas)
Say, in one scenario, you retain 900 sf of the existing 1000 sf of interior walls. You'd think your reuse would be 90%. But if you now build an additional 1000 sf of new interior walls, say for additional offices or conference rooms your reuse percentage goes down to 45%. That's not what I expected either.
The Ref. Guide states:
"By using the larger of the 2 values in the denominator, this equation puts projects that have minimized materials use in the completed design on a level playing field with projects that have optimized reuse of components from the prior condition."
Thus, projects that have optimized reuse of existing components only get credit for that if they *also* minimize materials in the completed design. The more materials are used in the completed design, the more your percentage of reuse will go down.
The credit requirements state: "Maintain at least 40% or 60% of the existing non-shell, non structural components (e.g., walls, flooring and ceiling systems. The minimum percentage interior component reuse for each point threshold is as follows: Interior Reuse: 40%, 1 point, 60%, 2 points."
I think many of us have interpreted "40% or 60% of existing" to mean we only look at the percent retained of the existing "Prior Condition Area," regardless of how much material surface area is in the final completed design. The requirements here don't say "have 40% or 60% of the Completed Design Area material area consist of Retained Components."
It's worth noting that in CI v2.0 Reference Guide the credit requirements and calculations for this credit are defined essentially the same as they are in CI 2009. And in NC 2.2, for credit 1.3 it says to "use existing interior non-structural elements in at least 50% of the completed building," which is what we're finding this credit to be pushing us toward. So there is a precedent for the credit working this way.
The credit intent is to "conserve resources, reduce waste and reduce environmental impacts of new buildings as they relate to materials manufacturing and transport." So maybe it's appropriate for a project that both reuses interior components AND adds little new material to score higher than a similar project that reuses the same amount of existing materials, but uses more total materials. But since I can't think of other credits where we earn points for using less material overall is than if we use more materials, it doesn't seem fair to hold back points for doing so only on those projects that are pursuing the building reuse credit.
Thank you David. This really helps explain the intent and clarifies what I should be calculating. I like the fact that they are rewarding reduced use of additional materials, I just had no idea that's what this credit was about until I read through the calculations in detail.
Assuming none or very little non-shell, non-structural componants...can this credit be attained?
On the one hand, this may not be seen as the primary intent of this credit, since during the initial build-out of a core and shell building there are not usually any existing tenant improvements (walls, ceilings, etc) to maintain.
On the other hand you might argue that it can be attained in some cases where there are non-structural elements provided by the landlord such as ceiling grids, corridor and core walls, etc, that the tenant is using as-is instead of demolishing or altering them.
Might be a judgement call! Another example of a time when it's good to have a few extra points more than your certification goal in case the reviewer sees it differently.
The one thing that you can usually count on with LEED credits, is following the intent of the credit. You definitely cannot earn the credit if there are zero non-shell, non-structural components. If it is a new CS building, it is highly unlikely that there would be sufficient interior elements to pass the "good faith" test of whether the credit is applicable to the project.
That is my feeling as well, but it would be could if someone could quantifiably "draw the line"...if someone from USGBC could put in a minimum % of area required to qualify (similar to LEED NC MRc1.2).
Right now I would say minimum 50% as in LEED NC...then I'm safe, but that's a bit harsh for a CS developement wanting to certify later spaces under CI.
After some more digging in the reference guide, I think I may need to reverse my answer a bit. An example is given in the ref guide "If the ceiling is exposed, both prior to construction and in the final design, include this area". This makes me think that it does not matter what is there to begin with, what matters is whether or not you retain it. If it is an exposed concrete floor at construction, and the project team retains that- then it counts. My apologies on the first response, that was wrong. Based on my re-reading, this project is eligible for a core and shell building, it would just need to retain that existing finish.
If ever there was an arguement for the use of BIM software like Revit or ArchiCAD, this credit is it. Schedules can be created to tabulate exactly the data oen needs to document this credit, and documentation should be relatively easy with a reasonably accurate model.
What parameters would you set for the objects to create the schedule?
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