This credit requires you to document your building occupants’ commuting habits and reduce the number of conventional commuting trips made to your building. There are a lot of points at stake, so it’s worth taking a close look at the credit and assessing your building.
In order to earn the credit, you must be able to document that your building’s occupants make at least 10% fewer conventional commuting trips than the LEED baseline. The baseline assumes that all occupants drive alone in a conventional vehicle to and from the building each day of the week.
If your building already meets the 10% credit threshold, you are not required to make further improvements—but if you do so, you can earn more points (a lot more). For example, if your initial commuting assessment shows that 4% of commuting trips use alternative transportation, you only need to improve that number to 10% to meet the first threshold for this credit and earn three points. You are not required to improve 10% on top of your original assessment.
Some teams assume that they can’t earn this credit if their building doesn’t have public transit access. It’s true that urban projects with good public transit access will have a better chance of earning more points under this credit, but don’t forget about some of the less-obvious alternative commuting options; telecommuting, compressed work week, and low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles can all help you earn points here.
Begin your documentation process with an assessment of your occupants’ current commuting habits. You can complete this assessment by participating in a formal commute-reduction program (Options 1 and 2) or by conducting your own occupant survey to determine how many are using alternative commuting methods (Option 3). Most projects choose Option 3, because good local commute-reduction programs with sound methodology are not widely available.
When developing your survey, make sure that it adheres to SCAQMD Rule 2202 procedures, a set of guidelines that help you to structure your survey properly and ensure that the results accurately assess occupant commuting behavior. The LEED-EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. Reference Guide provides a thorough summary of these procedures, so you should be able to use that as a resource rather than spending time reviewing the original SCAQMD rule.
Some elements of a commuting program that can help your building occupants improve their use of alternative forms of transportation include:
Don’t allow your efforts to document the current levels of alternative commuting at your project building overshadow the importance of developing incentives and helping people use alternative transportation.
The time and costs associated with implementing commute-reduction programs and the commuting survey will vary depending on your approach. Good commute-reduction programs typically require staff infrastructure, good oversight of compliance and tracking, and a financial incentive of some kind to encourage participation. There will also be some staff time involved in creating, distributing, and tabulating the results of a commuting survey. However, there are many no-cost strategies that can boost the use of alternative transportation, such as distributing bike maps, promoting smart phone apps that map bike routes, and setting up an employee carpool program.
Gathering zipcode information is optional. It’s included in the survey template because it’s a useful data point for organizations that are thinking of implementing more ambitious or targeted transportation planning for employees. Zipcode data would allow an organization to identify demand for targeted programs addressing geographic areas that are underserved by existing alternative transportation options.
No, being able to identify survey respondents is not a credit requirement. However, you must develop a way to prevent getting multiple responses from the same person.
Occupant education is an important piece of the LEED program, and you’re unlikely to be penalized for your efforts in this area as long as you don’t tip-off occupants that a survey is coming up during a specific time period.
Addendum number 10000092, released 5/9/2011, addresses this question. The Addendum for SSc4 applies to Option 3, Approach 1 where survey data is solicited from the entire population of regular building occupants. Previously, a project needed to achieve an 80% response rate to extrapolate the survey results to the entire building. New guidance from the Addendum lowers the survey response rate to 60%. The Addendum also offers a discounted extrapolation factor based on survey response rate levels between 30% and 60%. See the Addendum for additional information. A new USGBC calculator is available to assist in using the survey results to assess LEED compliance. Download the calculator from USGBC or from the LEEDuser Documentation Toolkit tab.
No, reduction in conventional commute trips is measured against a baseline of 100% conventional vehicle use, not on a reduction of trips compared to your previous performance. Assuming your survey method and other credit documentation are compliant, you have already earned 7 points by reducing conventional trips by 25%.
Shoppers are considered visitors, not regular building occupants, and should not be surveyed. Retail employees are regular building occupants and should be surveyed.
Hotel guests are considered visitors, not regular building occupants, and should not be surveyed.
There is some debate about this. The LEED-EBOM Reference Guide Glossary states on page 508: "Transient users are occupants who do not use a facility on a consistent, regular, daily basis. Examples include students in higher education settings, customers in retail settings, and visitors in institutional settings."
However, page 29 of the LEED-EBOM Reference Guide states: "For buildings with many visitors or transient occupants (e.g., a museum or campus center), the project team is required to survey only the regular building occupants; visitors can be excluded from surveying if they represent more than 80% of the total anticipated commuting trips (visitors’ trips plus regular building occupants’ trips) to the building on an average day. However, the team must also document the infrastructure or programs intended to facilitate visitors’ use of alternative transportation."
These statements raise several questions. What if students are less than 80% of the total commuting trips? Are they then not counted as visitors and need to be surveyed (going against the glossary definition)? What if a project thinks the students will raise the level of alt commuting? Are they allowed to include students at their discretion? A 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. or Addendum is probably required to clear up these questions definitively. If you have project experience with these issues, please post about it in the forum below.
No—they do not qualify under the ACEE definition for this credit. Also, while motorcycles can get better gas mileage than cars, the tailpipe emissions are often higher. There may be merit to some motorcycles qualifying under SSc4, but for now, that appears to be in the future.
Scooters were explicitly addressed under LEED Interpretation #1959, and while that Interpretation is only officially applicable to NC-v2.2, it provides a good indicator for other projects. It states that "While the provision of scooters for employee use is a laudable strategy, it does not meet the intent of the SSc4.3. There are concerns that scooters do not have the same emissions control requirements as low-emitting cars and that, due to safety worries, some employees will be unwilling to use the scooters even in good weather."
The geographic location of your project will determine how this will be addressed, and that is why the Reference Guide leaves room for project-specific approaches. Consider how the weather influences commuter choices in your area, and how you can modify your survey timing or strategy accordingly. For example, if you have plenty of parking capacity, occupants may switch their commuting mode per weather conditions or season. A few ideas to consider are as follows:
The intent of this credit is to reduce the number of occupants commuting to and from your project building by themselves in a conventional car. This may be accomplished through education about the benefits of alternative transportation and incentives for reducing conventional commuting, enhancing infrastructure for facilitating transit, and communicating the availability of these resources to building occupants.
Credit compliance is measured using “reduction in conventional commuting trips,” or RCCT. RCCT measures how much a project building reduces the number of conventional commuting trips from a LEED baseline. The baseline is calculated by assuming that each regular building occupant drives alone to and from the project building twice a day, five days a week, in a conventional vehicle.
To earn points, your building occupants must make at least 10% fewer conventional commuting trips than the calculated baseline. If some alternative commuting is already taking place at your project building, the credit does not require you to improve that rate by an additional 10%. For example, if your initial commuting assessment shows that 4% of commuting trips use alternative transportation, you only need to improve that number to 10% to meet the first threshold for this credit and earn three points. You are not required to improve 10% on top of your original assessment.
There are two primary ways you can document your compliance with this credit:
South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) is the air pollution control agency for all of Orange County and the urban portions of Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties—the smoggiest region of the U.S. SCAQMD’s survey methodology to accurately assess commuting behavior is the best available model for LEED purposes.
Alternative commuting transportation options include the following:
Project teams often assume they can’t earn this credit because the building isn’t located near public transportation, but there are plenty of less-obvious alternative commuting options, such as telecommuting and the use of low-emitting, fuel-efficient, conventional cars, that may help you earn credit points.
A hybrid vehicle only counts as alternative transportation if it has an ACEEE Green Score of 40 or above. Not all hybrids meet this criteria, so be sure to check the ACEEE score of each hybrid that shows up in the survey responses.
ACEEE offers a free downloadable spreadsheet of all model year 2000–2009 cars that meet the LEED requirements. You can also subscribe to ACEEE’s online database to research qualifying cars. A 30-day trial subscription is $8.95; an annual subscription is $19.95. The subscription is more useful because it will allow you to search the entire database for any vehicle type to get more detailed information on the ratings of various vehicles.
Some formal programs use a different metric, called “average vehicle ridership” (AVR). This is the number of occupants who report to the project building, divided by the number of vehicles that arrive at the building during a typical, consecutive five-day period. If you’re using one of these programs, you need to convert the AVR value to an RCCT value for LEED documentation. To do so, you can use the following table. These values have been calculated based on the LEED credit requirements, but this table is more complete than the one included in the LEED Reference Guide:
Employ effective incentives to promote greater use of alternative forms of commuting transportation at your project building.
Don’t allow your efforts to document the current levels of alternative commuting at your project building overshadow the importance of developing incentives and helping people use alternative transportation. Incentives can take many forms—including, but not limited to, the following:
It is important to be creative and responsive to the unique, specific needs of your occupants when considering new incentive programs to improve alternative commuting. Incentive suggestions can be found online at SmartCommute.org or in the LEED Reference Guide. (See Resources.)
Determine whether there is an available local or regional commute-reduction program that you can participate in to comply with this credit. You can search online for these programs or check with whichever local government office handles transportation issues. If the program follows SCAQMD procedures, you must use Option 1; otherwise, use Option 2. The program description should make it clear whether or not it follows SCAQMD procedures, but be sure to confirm the methodology with a program administrator before you begin to participate.
For a formal commute-reduction program to qualify for LEED, it must assess commuting activity specific to your project building. There are programs out there that calculate average commuting levels for a group of buildings. These programs don’t help with this credit.
Formal commute-reduction programs typically require you to submit data about your project building on a regular basis (usually every two years). The program analyzes your level of alternative commuting and provides you with a calculated performance level.
Depending on your location and the size of your company, you may be required to participate in a local commute-reduction program. For example, the Durham Commute Trip Reduction Program requires businesses located in Durham County, North Carolina that employ more than 100 people to participate in an annual employee commuting survey.
Typically, there are no fees associated with participation in an organized commute-reduction program; minimal costs for staff time may be incurred in the process of gathering data and completing required paperwork.
Use Option 3 when there is no available SCAQMD-compliant commute-reduction program. Most project teams that attempt this credit use Option 3.
There are up to four steps involved in documenting your project’s alternative commuting using an occupant commute survey:
Begin the assessment process as early as possible to give yourself time to implement changes to your program. Survey results remain valid for two full years before the end of your LEED performance period, so the initial survey may be distributed well before you finalize your performance period and submit your application.
Base your occupant commuting survey on the survey methodology and data collection procedures of SCAQMD Rule 2202. (See Resources for link.) The LEED Reference Guide summarizes these procedures very well, so you should be able to use that as a resource rather than spending time reviewing the original SCAQMD rule.
The commuting survey should collect commuting data from regular building occupants for a consecutive five-day period. Implementing the survey on a Friday to capture behaviors for that week is a common approach. A sample survey that may be customized for your project building is available in the Documentation Toolkit.
There will be minimal to moderate costs for staff time associated with developing the survey and procedures for proper implementation.
Surveys can be conducted in a variety of ways. For guidance on developing and distributing your occupant survey, please refer to LEEDuser’s Alternative Commuting Transportation Survey strategy. Consider which approach will yield the highest response rates. Online surveys, email or hard-copy distribution of surveys, or posting surveyors at entryways on the survey date are all acceptable approaches.
Investigate the option of partnering with a local nonprofit or educational institution studying transportation or congestion issues to assist with the survey implementation. Outside help may allow you to delegate some of the workload and possibly reduce your costs.
If you are also attempting IEQc2.1: Occupant Comfort Survey, consider distributing this commuting survey at the same time or in combination. This may help to improve your overall response rates and minimize the demands on your building occupants.
If occupancy is below 50% during the performance period the audit cannot be conducted during that time.
Participate in a formal local or regional commute-reduction program that meets SCAQMD data collection and analysis procedures.
These programs measure the amount of alternative transportation used in your project building, but also analyze the amount and quality of commuting incentives offered by employers or building managers.
Gather documentation, including a summary of commuting data for your building and a certificate of program completion, which can be used for the LEED application.
Typically, there are no fees associated with participation in an organized commute-reduction program; you may incur minimal staff-time costs in the process of gathering data and completing required paperwork.
Participate in a local or regional commute-reduction program that uses data collection and analysis procedures other than those specified by SCAQMD.
If you use one of these programs, you must be able to describe the program comprehensively and demonstrate the technical soundness of the data collection procedures and analysis methodology used to determine performance rates. LEED allows you to provide technical data and promotional materials produced by the program for this purpose.
Gather documentation, including a summary of commuting data for your building and a certificate of program completion that can be used for the LEED application.
Typically, there are no fees associated with participation in an organized commute-reduction program; minimal staff-time costs may be incurred in the process of gathering data and completing required paperwork.
This option is seldom pursued. Unless you are confident of the technical soundness of the local or regional program, it may be easier to document compliance via Option 3.
If you conducted the initial survey within two years of the end of your LEED performance period and you’re happy with those results, you can document them now. If you’ve been implementing changes to your commuting incentive program, you can reassess the commuting levels by conducting another survey at any time within the two-year period preceding the end of the performance period.
If you have not sent out the initial survey yet, try to distribute it early in the performance period to give yourself enough time to implement changes to your commuting program if you’re not happy with the survey results.
For guidance on conducting your occupant survey, refer to the Alternative Commuting Transportation Survey strategy.
Tabulate the survey results and calculate the RCCT for your project building.
Create a summary of the survey results for LEED documentation.
The costs associated with staff time to conduct the survey and tabulate results will vary according to the size of your project building’s population.
Excerpted from LEED 2009 for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance
To reduce pollution and land development impacts from automobile use for commuting.
Reduce the number of commuting round trips made by regular building occupants using single occupant, conventionally powered and conventionally fueled vehicles. For the purposes of this credit, alternative transportation includes at a minimum, telecommuting; compressed workweeks; mass transit; rideshare options1; human-powered conveyances; carpools; vanpools; and low-emitting, fuel-efficient2 or alternative-fuel vehiclesAlternative-fuel vehicles use low-polluting, nongasoline fuels such as electricity, hydrogen, propane, compressed natural gas, liquid natural gas, methanol, and ethanol. In LEED, efficient gas-electric hybrid vehicles are included in this group.; walking or bicycling.
Performance calculations are made relative to a baseline case that assumes all regular occupants commute alone in conventional automobiles. The calculations must account for seasonal variations in the use of alternative commuting methods and, where possible, indicate the distribution of commuting trips using each type of alternative transportation.
Points are earned for reductions in conventional commuting trips during the performance period according to the following schedule:
When developing an alternative transportation program, consider the opportunities and limitations of different options, based on the building’s location.
Provide space and infrastructure features, such as bicycle racks, changing facilities, preferred parkingPreferred parking, available to particular users, includes designated spaces close to the building (aside from designated handicapped spots), designated covered spaces, discounted parking passes, and guaranteed passes in a lottery system., access to mass transit or alternative-fuel refueling stations. Offer employees incentives for using alternative transportation, such as additional vacation days, cash rewards or pretax options. Distribute free or discounted public transportation passes, bicycling equipment or telecommuting equipment to individuals committed to using them.
Encourage the use of alternative commuting methods by guaranteeing free rides home for employees who must unexpectedly leave work early or late. Utilize organization resources to communicate with building occupants about alternative transportation options and benefits, and facilitating communication among building occupants for coordinating ride sharing.
1 Low-emitting vehiclesLow-emitting vehicles are classified as zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by the California Air Resources Board. and fuel-efficient vehiclesFuel-efficient vehicles have achieved a minimum green score of 40 according to the annual vehicle-rating guide of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. are defined as vehicles that are classified as zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by the California Air Resources Board or that have achieved a minimum green score of 40 on the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy annual vehicle-rating guide.
2 Rideshare is a transit service that involves sharing a single vehicle with multiple people, excluding large-scale vehicles such as buses and trains. The rideshare transit facility must include a signed stop and a clearly defined waiting area. Additionally, the rideshare must include an enclosed passenger seating area, fixed route service, fixed fare structure, continuous daily operation, and the ability to pick up and drop off multiple riders.
A comprehensive list of vehicles that score 40 and above in the rankings. These vehicles are considered LE/FE vehicles.
A zero-emission vehicle (ZEVZero-emission vehicles.) meets the standards of the California Air Resources Board (CARBThe California Air Resources Board, part of the state government, is charged with maintaining clean air. This agency is unique at the state level: California was the only state that had such an agency before the passage of the federal Clean Air Act, and was allowed to keep it.). These standards require zero emissions of regulated pollutants—nonmethane organic gases, particulates, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides—when the vehicle is either stationary or operating. Most ZEVs are powered by electricity, fuel cells, or hydrogen.
South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) provides extensive guidance on collecting information about workers’ commuting behavior. Rule 2202, On-Road Motor Vehicle Mitigation Options Employee Commute Reduction Program Guidelines (February 2004), Chapter II, establishes practices that meet LEED for Existing Buildings: O&M standards for this credit. The Rule 2202 document can be found online here. For additional information on survey techniques and tools for compliance, see Rule 2202, Employee Commute Reduction Program AVR Survey Support Guide (July 29, 2005), available online here.
This site lists all vehicles certified by the California Air Resources Board.
The Transportation Demand Management Encyclopedia website is maintained by the Victoria Transport Policy Institute and thoroughly explains the details of many effective commute-reduction programs.
Smart Commute is a program of Research Triangle Park that has valuable information about telecommuting and carpool programs useful for any organization.
LEED Online documentation for achievement of SSc4 on a certified Gold LEED-EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. 2009 project.
USGBC provides a free calculator to assist in using the survey results to assess LEED compliance. You can download it from the USGBC LEED-EBOM Resources page—scroll to the "Sustainable Sites" heading on the page.
These sample survey may be tailored to meet your project building’s needs. Use them to gather occupant commuting data if following Option 3. One of these templates is intended for electronic distribution; one is intended for gathering information in the building's lobby.
The following links take you to the public, informational versions of the dynamic LEED Online forms for each EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems.-2009 SS 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. For more information, visit LEED Online and click "Sample Forms Download."
I am working on a residence hall and we have a total of 12 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., 3 Transients, and 654 residence. I requested information from GBCI regarding our need to include residence for this credit and they indicated that we should only count people who work in the building. So we surveyed 50 people, because we have several residence that live and work in the building along with the 12 FTE staff.
I am having great difficulty determining how to calculate this information in the LEED form. Is it worth attempting Alternative Compliance?
I have been certifying many large office buildings in NYC and would like some help on the below:
I provide a survey to building occupants in multiple forms (e.g. online survey, in-person, emailed attachment), how can i ensure that no double-counting of occupants has occurred?
In previous buildings we would ask for some unique identifier (e.g. first initial and last name, ID card #, etc.). However, we encountered many people that understandably did not want to provide this information, even though we informed them that the purpose was only to remove duplicate entries from the results. I would like to remove these unique identifier questions from the survey to increase the response rate, and have been racking my brain on how to do this.
My best alternative is: at the top of the survey place a check box next to the following statement: "This is the first and only time that I have filled out this survey and I confirm that I am a regular building occupant."
Does anyone think this route would work in the eyes of the GBCI reviewers? Does anyone have any alternate suggestions?
I check 75% reduction in "Threshold points" but it does not maintain checked so it does not appear in the beggining of the form and it counts 13 points instead 15. Please could you tell me how can I resolve this problem? thank you very much.
I have already resolved it. Thank you.
We have conducted a survey with option 3 for 21 regular building occupants but there is two peoplo that have not answer to the survey because they were sick. Do we have to assumed its trips as conventional single-occupancy vehicle? or we do not have to do this because the response rate is 90,47% which is more than 80%? how do we have to count their trips? or can we count their trips according to the mail commuting behaviour of the respondents? in our case the common behaviour is fuel efficient vehicles. Thank you.
The easiest approach is to use the SSc4 Calculator which you can find here: http://www.usgbc.org/resources/ssc4-calculator
Just input the responses that you collected through the survey and the calculator will account for the non-respondents.
Concerning the survey, i would like to have your opinion about the stastiscal viability of my method. The building population (1000) is made up of different departments with their own area in the building. We have defined a number X of individuals to interview per derpartements depending its workforce. During the last day of the week, we want to travel in the building and submit the survey to X persons randomly seleced in each departments (X depending of the departement).
According to you, Does this method seem acceptable ? Does the test population enough choose in a random way ?
Aurelien, can you provide more information about how you plan to choose which people to survey? Your plan for splitting up the number that are posed to a given tenant sounds good, but the other key thing is how you are choosing individuals (e.g., don't walk up to the people who are wearing bike helments or look like alternative transportation users). Good options would be to randomize a list of names using Excel or a similar tool, or alphabetizing the names and surveying every 10th person, etc.
Thank you for your suggestion.
I going to consider them.
I have a problem because I do not know where can I find the green score of our project vehicles.
Our models do not appear in the annual vehicle-rating guide of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. This vehicles are Opel, Peugeot and Renault and they do not appear in the list so we have not the green score.
I wrote to the GBCI they recommend me to read the 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. (LI) ID# 10229 , dated 10/1/2012, for Brazil.
But I do not know in which web I can see the LEED Interpretations, would you help me to find this LEED interpretaion please?
Hi Patricia, here's LI #10229, hope it helps!
Many cars in Brazil are fuel efficient and low-emitting yet do not meet the requirements of two credits (BD&C SSc4.3: Alternative Transportation: Low Emitting and Fuel-Efficient VehiclesFuel-efficient vehicles have achieved a minimum green score of 40 according to the annual vehicle-rating guide of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. and O&M SSc4: Alternative Commuting Transportation) because the vehicles have not been evaluated by CARBThe California Air Resources Board, part of the state government, is charged with maintaining clean air. This agency is unique at the state level: California was the only state that had such an agency before the passage of the federal Clean Air Act, and was allowed to keep it. or ACEEE. This hinders the ability of many Brazilian projects to achieve the credit. We propose that the following Brazilian standards be included in determining whether a vehicle is considered fuel-efficient or low-emitting:
a. Any vehicle achieving Four Stars in the IBAMA Nota Verde (Green Note) system, the ratings for vehicles in this system can be found at: http://servicos.ibama.gov.br/ctf/publico/sel_marca_modelo_rvep.php. This system awards stars based on a vehicle\'s emissions reductions and fuel type. The first three stars are earned via relatively low emissions of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and hydrocarbons. The fourth star is awarded for vehicles that have a CO2Carbon dioxide emissions rate of less than 80g/km (128 g/mi). The fifth star is awarded for vehicles using alternative fuels (gasoline-ethanol mix, hybrid electric, and all-electric).
b. Any vehicle receiving an A or B in the Brazilian Energy Program (PBE) of INMETRO (National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology) of the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade. This program uses many of the same techniques that the U.S. EPA has used to evaluate fuel efficiency in American vehicles. A full description of the program is available at http://repositorios.inmetro.gov.br/bitstream/10926/1290/1/2010_Novgorodc....
The applicant has requested that vehicles in Brazil receiving Four Stars in the IBAMA Nota Verde (Green Note) program or vehicles receiving an A or B in the INMETRO Brazilian Labeling Program for Vehicles (PBEV) be classified as low-emitting and fuel-efficient for the purposes of LEED NC 2009 SSc4.3 and LEED EB 2009 SSc4. Vehicles in Brazil may qualify as low-emitting and fuel-efficient by earning both of the following conditions:
1. A score of Four Stars or above from IBAMA. This is the highest score for vehicles that are low-emitting but not necessarily fueled by alternative fuels (as research indicates that not all alternative fuels ensure improved environmental performance).
2. An A from INMETRO. INMETRO uses relative criteria for different vehicle classifications. This differs from the absolute standards used by the ACEEE methodology. Since, in this instance, the USGBC preference for absolute metrics cannot be met, only the highest INMETRO score is accepted. This will ensure that the credit rewards the best fuel-efficiencies in current and future vehicles.
Because the Brazilian labeling programs measure emissions differently, both programs are required to verify that a vehicle meets the low-emitting and fuel-efficient requirements. Vehicles receiving a qualifying score from one agency but not the other will not be considered eligible.
Applicable Internationally; Brazil.
Are all ZEVs considered to have an ACEEE mininum green score of 40?
Not necessarily, ACEEE calculates the green score of vehicles using a number of factors, you can find the methodology here: http://www.greenercars.org/greenbook_method.htm
However, for this credit low-emitting vehiclesLow-emitting vehicles are classified as zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by the California Air Resources Board. and fuel-efficient vehiclesFuel-efficient vehicles have achieved a minimum green score of 40 according to the annual vehicle-rating guide of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. are defined as vehicles that are classified as zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by the California Air Resources Board ---OR--- that have achieved a minimum green score of 40 on the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy annual vehicle-rating guide.
I have a project in California that is purchasing Mobile Source Emission Reduction Credits in order to comply with Rule 2202. They purchase offsets for VOC, NO2, and CO in terms of lbs per day based on the number of commuters at the building. Has anyone ever used this approach to achieve SS Credit 4?
The act of purchasing the credits won't help you with SSc4 but the commute data you are collecting for that purpose may be helpful. If the means you use to assess how many credits you need approximate the survey strategy prescribed by the Reference Guide, you may already have the commute numbers you need to document compliance with the credit.
Hope that helps,
How are you supposed to handle carpool trips that also occurred in an alternatively-fueled or fuel efficient vehicle? Is it additive so should be counted twice for a carpool AND alternative vehicle? Or, if someone carpools should they not be counted in the alternative fuel car column; or should they be considered alternatively fueled but not a carpool to avoid double counting? Thanks.
Emily - you'll need to avoid double counting, but you should also take the most credit for which you are eligible. In this case, that would mean counting all the buildings users in the low-emitting/fuel-efficient car pool as "low-emitting/fuel-efficient".
Hi, in my project 10% oft the total building area are residential in the top floor of a office/retail building. My question is, how i must include the residents in the survey?
There's an addendum that might be useful for you, ID# 100001166, which elaborates on the procedure for residential/mixed projects. Given that your project is only 10% residential, I think you can conduct the survey using the non-residential approach and exclude the residents.
From the addendum:
"Projects containing both residential and nonresidential occupants should use a combination of the approaches listed above if the majority building occupancy type (residential or employee) comprises less than 90% of the total building occupancy."
Hi Markus - I would agree with Karin completely; you have the option to exclude the occupants of up to 10% of the building floor area. That being said, if you did want to include the residents, the survey procedure is the same - you simply ask them how they got from home to work and back. A commute is a commute, no matter if you're being surveyed at home or at the office.
We did the transportation survey to a huge building none of the persons responding the survey noted that they did not commute to the building due to absence, our reviewers noted that this is unlikely to have happened, do we need to apply the survey again to just ask one question!!!!! is there any other way to respond this
Shall we just provide a narrative confirming that no absences occurred at least with the survey respondents, how would you explain this further
Alicia - I think this is actually a reasonable clarification on the part of the reviewer; it does seem quite surprising that noone in a huge building would report having missed a day of work in a given week. That being said, assuming that there are no glaring inadequacies with your survey tool or methodology, the results you have are the results you have. Unless the reviewer identified inadequacies, or directed a specific course of action, I think your narrative acknowledging the unexpected result but noting that this was indeed the data received, is about all you can do. (One other idea, if you do indeed suspect a problem with the survey itself, might be to try to dig up some kind of national absenteeism rate and discount your findings by that rate.)
Interesting problem - Please let us know how its resolved!
I will ask each company to give me their absenteeism rates to be more accurate hope this works and will document with that, the survey does not reflect a correct answer for that question
We need a hint for using the correct occupants.
10 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. occupants are generated out of 20 regular building occupants (4h/day).
Shell we take the FTE occupants or the number of regular building occupants for the survey results calculator?
Because the intent of the credit focuses on transportation emissions, its essential that you survey everyone who commutes to/from the building, whether that commute results in a 4 hour stay, an 8 hour stay, or something in-between. So regular building occupants is likely to be the better number.
I may have yet another question that falls under the larger issue of vague occupant definitions, but I'm going to ask anyway.
I have a client with very detailed reporting of employee transportation habits. The question we are attempting to clarify is the difference between FTEs and regular building occupants as it applies to the alternative transportation survey and reporting for this credit.
If we use the definition of regular building occupants found in IEQc2.1 of having a permanent office or workstation and spending at least 10 hours per week in the facility, it seems the regular building occupants number is different than the FTE calculations.
Some of the categories that we are unsure of include interns, staff employed by the developer that are outside the control of the tenant (i.e. security staff and building engineers), and contract employees that also cannot participate in the incentive programs offered by the tenant. Each of these categories is accounted for in the FTEs, but may negatively impact the transportation survey due to their unique employment parameters. Are they "regular" or not?
I can't clarify this in terms of the official USGBC definitions, but after working with this credit fairly closely over the last 5 years, I would consider each of the categories you mentioned above as someone who should be included in the SSc4 survey.
The company in which we are the LEED consultant for conducts an annual survey regarding alternative transportation of its occupants....would a survey done outside the performance period be allowed or eligible for 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?
Derek, remember that your performance period can extend back up to 24 months from the date of your preliminary LEED application. Depending on how you coordinate the performance periods for your other prerequisites and credits, you should pick the most recent commuter survey completed by your client.
A 7/6/12 LEED addendum from USGBC has recognized ridesharing programs as an alternative commuting option here. For the exact language and to see how USGBC defines ridesharing, see the credit language tab above.
Are you allowed to advertise to building occupants that you will be conducting this survey beforehand? Can you offer incentives during the survey week for people who use alternative transportation?
Jane, that's a great question, and it's covered in one of our FAQ's above under the Bird's Eye View tab. Hint: encouraging alternative commuting in whatever way is great, but don't let it skew your survey results.
Any guidance on how to appropriately certify your own firm's building? The survey credits (SSc4, EQc1.1, EQc2.1, EQ3.2) could have potential conflict-of-interest issues if the LEED AP (as a building occupant) participates in the surveys. Is it acceptable for the AP to participate objectively in these surveys, or should (s)he abstain?
Similarly, can a CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. perform the Commissioning credits (EAc2.x) for their own firm's building? The reference guide (p. 171) states that the commissioning "may be conducted by an external commissioning agent or by members of the building operations staff. An external or independent third-party audit is not required for credit compliance." But what about an 'internal commissioning agent'? If the building is small and there is not a facilities management staff, can a CxA be considered a "member of the building operations staff" for the purposes of this credit?
This comment is also posted in EAc2.1 forum.
No problem with either credit. You can survey your own building and perform your own retrocommissioning in EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems.. The details still have to be right, but there is no requirement for an outside party to do either.
Many people drive a car a short distance to the train or bus in our area. How is this counted in the survey?
Your survey should explain that, if two or more transportation modes are used for a one-way commute, the mode that represents the majority of the trip (by distance) is the one that should be reported.
For instance, let's say that you live 20 miles from your office. Every morning you drive 5 miles to the train station and then take the train 14.5 miles into the city before walking the last 0.5 miles from the train station to your office. On the commuting survey, this would be reported as using public transportation (train) for one trip.
Thank you for the clarification, Jason. I hope we don't need that detailed calculation from each person. They would simply need to assure that the majority of the trip was using public transportation, yes?
Thanks to everyone that posted about their troubles with the commuting survey calculator. This is a USGBC produced calculator, and LEEDuser is sending your feedback to USGBC so they can take steps to fix it. Thanks for your patience in the meantime!
This question is concerning how to determine if my building occupants' vehicle is a ZEVZero-emission vehicles.. Can someone tell me if the term ZEV means a Calif. Air Resources Board Smog Score of 10 out of 10? Or can a vehicle be Partial Zero Emission Vehicle with a score of 9 and comply with the LEED requirement?
Can someone explain the LEED intent for a ZEVZero-emission vehicles.? Are the only cars considered ZEV ones that score a 10 on the Calif. Air Resources Board Smog Score?
LEEDuser members -- we have updated the survey templates we offer in our documentation toolkit to take into account the recent review comments we've been seeing asking that teams record the number of people in the carpool for each day. We're also now offering two templates: one for electronic surveys, and one for a "lobby blitz" method.
Our cilent has conducted the survey and it mirrors the Lobby blitz method but does not show the make/model/year of the cars. Is this required?
Well, if you want to claim alternative commuting trips that occupants are making using fuel-efficient vehiclesFuel-efficient vehicles have achieved a minimum green score of 40 according to the annual vehicle-rating guide of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. (FEV), you'll need to explain to the GBCI reviewer how you determined that someone's car qualified. Since the survey is already finished, I'd calculate the RCCT including the FEV and then without the FEV to see how much it affects the overall performance level. If it is an insignificant difference, go ahead and assume that those are actually single-occupancy drivers in conventional cars. If you lose a lot of points when you don't count the FEV drivers, then you may have to either conduct a new survey or track down those respondents who indicated that they are FEV drivers and get some supplemental information. Ultimately, you should be able to show that each car that you consider an FEV has an ACEEE Green score of at least 40.
I have read the instruction for SS Credit 4 and choose option 3. However, I wonder if conducting survey is the only way that can help to earn the points.
Our building has around 2000 occupants. We have various means of transportation to the building (car, motobike, bicycle, bus, etc). The thing is we have all these data captured in details such as number of cars, motobike per day or how many people go by bus, etc. Can we just document those data for the calculation rather than conducting the survey?
Linh, how did you gather this information, and how can you ensure that it is up to date and reflects actual practices?
A survey have been conducted at the conclusion of 5 consecutive workdays, holidays not included, as required by credit. 1038 Occupants were asked to respond the survey for a prescribed calendar week 37 and we got an answer by 764 Occupants (274 Occupants didn't respond). The results were submitted for Preliminary Review in LEEDonline. After submittal we received ongoing responses by Occupants, which didn't respond before Preliminary Review submittal, confirming, that the responses concerns the prescribed calendar week 37. We would like to add these responses to survey result for Final Review submittal, because we obtain a better result (more points).
Is this permitted? Do we break the credit requirements?
I suspect the reviewer will be reluctant to accept the additional responses Wolfgang. The EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. survey methodology is designed to ensure that respondents are answering questions about a discrete period of time that is fresh in their memory (that is, the week preceding the survey). The more time elapses between the time period in question and the survey completion, the less reliable responses become. That being said, I don't see any harm in explaining what happened to the reviewer and seeing what they say.
We are considering combining the occupant comfort survey and the alternative commuting transportation survey into one survey. We do fear that the survey will be rather lengthy and thus producing a less than desirable response rate. Is this wise?
Your concern is spot-on Jonathon. The longer a survey is, the more likely it is that you will depress response rates. That being said, survey length isn't the only factor here - thinking about your audience and their predisposition in terms of surveys is important. Some occupant populations are more enthusiastic about giving feedback to management than others, so if yours is among those a longer survey may not be too problematic. Also you can consider compensating for the longer survey with incentives for completion - raffle entries, giveaways, etc.... can often be motivating. Yesterday my wife received a 12-page survey in the mail unsolicited, but they enclosed a real live $10 bill! She completed the survey purely out of guilt!
What is the exemplary performanceIn LEED, certain credits have established thresholds beyond basic credit achievement. Meeting these thresholds can earn additional points through Innovation in Design (ID) or Innovation in Operations (IO) points. As a general rule of thumb, ID credits for exemplary performance are awarded for doubling the credit requirements and/or achieving the next incremental percentage threshold. However, this rule varies on a case by case basis, so check the credit requirements. RCCT threshold? Reference Guide says 95%, LEEDOnline forms are built to indicate "Y" for exemplary performance at 95%, and LEEDUser says 95%, but there is an addenda that indicates 80% (https://www.usgbc.org/ShowFile.aspx?DocumentID=18726). Can anyone confirm this update?
I believe that for now, 80% is the number. Might not be the same in the future though.
We are working for a facility wherein the occupants commute by company buses everyday. Approximately 95% of the occupants use company buspools. The FM team has a transport request system through which each employee request for the vehicle drop off. In this situation, can we make use of the details from the transport request software instead of conducting the survey. Given the facility is huge and the number of occupants exceed 3000, there is a high probability that we may not get appropriate response out of survey. Previously the response was not even greater than 20%. Is there any alternate path for this in option 3? Appreciate your views
Our office building includes a daycare center, with approx 100 kids on a daily basis. Would the kids be factored into the calculations using the same method of transportation as their parents? This would mean they'd either be alternative transportation users (if using metro), or carpoolers (if driving).
I'd be interested to hear if anyone else has had different experiences with GBCI on this, but my understanding is that kids in daycare would be treated similarly to K-12 students - they are basically not considered 'regular occupants' and are taken out of the equation completely. This means that the parent driving a kid to the office is commuting conventionally (assuming no other adults in the car, a conventional vehicle, etc...) rather than carpooling. My sense is that GBCI recognizes the imperfect nature of ignoring this portion of the building population, but given the nature of getting kids to and from school/daycare, there's just no good way to handle it. Anyone else had different feedback from GBCI?
I agree with Dan, with one additional detail to add. My experience has been that, in a K-12 school situation, the commuting survey could exclude all students in Grade 5 and lower. So, for a daycare situation, you would definitely exclude all of the young children. However, in an actual school setting, you may need to include at least a portion of the student population, depending on the grade levels that the school includes.
I have been unable to input data into the provided survey results calculator. After putting in my values for "regular building occupants", I choose approach 1 and try to input the same total number of regular building occupants for "regular building occupants who recieved the survey" but get an error that says, "the number of FTE occupants who recieved the survey is greater than the total number of FTE occupants in the building". Similar errors continue to happen if I skip this section and got to the rest of the form. Am I doing this wrong? Could the format of the excel file have changed when I saved it to my version (2010)? Does anyone have a suggestion on how to use this spreadsheet correctly? Thanks!
I had the same problem when testing it, and I didn't save the spreadsheet. I don't think you're doing it wrong, based on the instructions in Step 1 under the Help tab of the spreadsheet. It may be an issue that needs to be addressed by the author.
Heather, I'm sorry for the difficulty here. I'm looking into this.
Does the fact that 80% of the people in the building I am evaluating for LEED-EB have FlexFuel cars help? Even if they do not use FlexFuel (Ethanol 85)?
I think this hinges on the ACEEE Greenscore of the FlexFuel vehicles in question, as the Greenscore governs which single occupant vehicles can contribute as alternative trips.
But is not the ACEEE score related to low emissions or fuel efficient vehicles and NOT Alternative Fuel (FlexFuel) vehicles as described in the credit language?...For the purposes of this credit, alternative transportation includes at a minimum, telecommuting; compressed workweeks; mass transit; walking; bicycles or other human-powered conveyances; carpools; vanpools; and low-emitting, fuel-efficient or alternative fuel vehicles. Low-emitting vehiclesLow-emitting vehicles are classified as zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by the California Air Resources Board. and fuel-efficient vehiclesFuel-efficient vehicles have achieved a minimum green score of 40 according to the annual vehicle-rating guide of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. are defined as vehicles that are classified as zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by the California Air Resources Board or that have achieved a minimum green score of 40 on the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy annual vehicle-rating guide.
Hi Aron. You're reply is correct: those FlexFuel vehicles will still need to meet the definition of low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehiclesFuel-efficient vehicles have achieved a minimum green score of 40 according to the annual vehicle-rating guide of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy.. So, you'll need to verify if those vehicles score 40 or more points on the ACEEE annual guide. FlexFuel doesn't necessarily ensure that the car's emissions and/or fuel-efficiency are good enough to get in the door with this credit.
Chris...I think you misunderstood my comment. Please re-read this credit's language as it distinguishes low-emitting vehiclesLow-emitting vehicles are classified as zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by the California Air Resources Board. and fuel-efficient vehiclesFuel-efficient vehicles have achieved a minimum green score of 40 according to the annual vehicle-rating guide of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. SEPARATELY from Alternative Fuel Vehicles. It seems that it DOES NOT require AFV's have an ACEEE rating of 40 or better. The language says .....Low-Emitting, Fuel-Efficient OR Alternative Fuel vehicles. Then it defines Low-Emitting and Fuel-Efficient as having an ACEEE of 40 or more.
So is having any Alternative Fuel Vehicle applicable to this credit?
I think Aron is correct. The credit requirement is to reduce commuting via single occupant, conventionally powered and conventionally fueled vehicles. If your building occupants are using alternative fuels, then you can count them as reducing conventional trips. If they have flex fuel vehicles but use conventional fuel, then they would not assist you in this credit. When you survey the commuters, ask which fuel they use most often.
Susan, thanks. Funnily enough, I also see no requirement to use an the Alternative Fuel (E-85) during the performance period, just to have the capability.
Regardless, as 75% of the tenants in this facility have Alternative Fuel capable vehicles, I will ensure they do use E-85. 15 points is a lot of points.
I think that you can use this survey/EB certification process to increase use of the E-85 fuel. You could do educational campaigns, regular emails, etc. that could impact occupant behavior.
Aron, I think you are parsing the credit requirements language perhaps accurately but definitely overlooking the fundamental intent of the credit. If 75% of your tenants drive flex fuel vehicles using conventional gasoline (rather than the alternative fuel that the car is capable of using) have they done anything to 'reduce pollution and land development impacts from automobile use for commuting'? Pretty clear no. So the question isn't are the cars capable, its what did they do during the performance period. I feel pretty confident GBCI would agree. Amazing that you've got 75% of folks using those vehicles though - pretty unique.
My apologies for misreading Aron's earlier comment. I accidentally had LEED 2012 on my mind, the version in which we've removed recognition of alternative fueled vehicles but kept recognition of low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehiclesFuel-efficient vehicles have achieved a minimum green score of 40 according to the annual vehicle-rating guide of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy.. I support Dan's assertion that merely having the capability of using alternative fuels doesn't completely fulfill the credit's intent. We (or, more precisely, GBCI) will need assurances that the alternative fuel is actually being used by those commuters. Aron - It sounds like you're on the right track if you're working to ensure that they are using E-85.
Thanks Chris, that is my plan and I have the facility's senior management on board with ensuring E-85 is used during the performance period - an hopefully thereafter.
By the way, drove by two gas station in VA yesterday, Premium Gas is $4.65/gallon. Regular is $4.35. Ouch.
Green Existing Schools guidelines state ' The requirements for the Alternative commuting transportation (SSC4)credit focus on staff & faculty only. However, project teams may want to consider the Innovation in Operations credit (IO c1) by expanding the alt. tansporting program to include student drivers & school bus transportation'
1. Hope the occupany survey for only staff & faculty suffice this credit requirement, though there are more students than staff.
2.We are going ahead with Option 3 - Approach 1, is there anything specific we need to adhere to according to SCAQMD Rule 2202 except the basics like methodology, data collection procedure, timing, response rate etc.?
How-to and best practices for developing, distributing, and conducting your commuting survey.
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