NC-2009 EAc4: Enhanced Refrigerant Management

  • NC_CS_EAc4_Type3_Refrigerant Diagram
  • Some common misconceptions

    This credit can be fairly difficult to understand at a glance. So let’s start by getting some common misconceptions out of the way.

    One common misconception is that this credit specifies or prohibits a certain refrigerant type. That was true in early versions of LEED (and is still the case in the prerequisite, EAp3). For this credit, there are both HCFCsHydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) are refrigerants that cause significantly less depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer than chlorofluorocarbons. (hydrochlorofluorocarbons) and HFCs (hydrofluorocarbonsHydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are refrigerants that do not deplete the stratospheric ozone layer but may have high global warming potential. HFCs are not considered environmentally benign.) that may or may not meet the requirements. 

    Another misconception is that this credit solely concerns refrigerants’ ozone-depleting and global-warming potentials (ODP and GWP), and that a refrigerant like R-410A automatically complies because it has low ODP and GWP numbers. But the credit requirements also include other variables, such as the ratio of coolant charge to cooling capacity for a given compressor unit, and this credit considers the life of the unit and the refrigerant leakage rateThe speed at which an appliance loses refrigerant, measured between refrigerant charges or over 12 months, whichever is shorter. The leakage rate is expressed in terms of the percentage of the appliance's full charge that would be lost over a 12-month period if the rate stabilized. (EPA Clean Air Act, Title VI, Rule 608).. R-410A, for example, may be compliant in some scenarios but not in others. 

    Two main requirements

    To earn this credit, you’ll need to:

    • minimize refrigerant environmental impact by avoiding refrigerants entirely or using systems that reduce their harmful impacts; 
    • and not install or retain fire suppression systems with CFCs, HCFCs or halonsHalons are substances, used in fire-suppression systems and fire extinguishers, that deplete the stratospheric ozone layer.

    The credit is about reducing the environmental impact of refrigerants in HVAC&R equipment, and relates to all space conditioning and large-scale refrigeration systems in project buildings. It deals with two environmental impacts of concern: depletion of the ozone layer, and greenhouse gas emissions. EAc4 goes a step further than EAp3: Fundamental Refrigerant Management, which only sets the thresholds for ozone-depleting compounds.

    All permanently installed HVAC&R equipment with more than 0.5 lbs of refrigerant—including chillers; unitary HVAC equipment (split and packaged); room and window air-conditioners; computer, data center, and telecom room cooling units; and commercial refrigeration equipment—is addressed by this credit.

    The credit also addresses fire suppression systems that contain ozone-depleting substances, including CFCs, HCFCs, or halons. Halon production was banned in the U.S. in 1994, as it is many times more ozone-depleting than CFCs and HCFCs.

    Why it matters

    While ozone is an unwanted pollutant at ground level (it’s a key component of smog), in the upper atmosphere a sparse layer of ozone plays a critical role in filtering out harmful ultraviolet rays from sunlight.

    The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer—the world’s first global environmental protection treaty—prescribed a complete phase-out of CFC-based refrigerants by 1995, and of HCFCs by 2030 in developed countries. As a result, environmentally preferable refrigerants are becoming more widely available for new systems.

    Thinking ahead to earn the credit

    From an environmental perspective, the best way to earn this credit is to avoid the use of refrigerants altogether, by using either passive or evaporative cooling strategies, or with absorption chillers (see Related Products in the right column). 

    If neither of these is an option for your project, earning this credit will be more about the selection of mechanical equipment and associated refrigerants. 

    The best way to determine credit compliance is to run compliance calculations as soon as an HVAC system is proposed. Not all compressor units have to be in compliance individually; this credit calculation uses a weighted average based on cooling capacity (in gross ARI-rated ton). Leakage rates and coolant charge are as important as GWP and ODP factors in influencing credit calculations.

    If your project already has designed an HVAC system and now wants to change the refrigerant to meet the credit, you will find that it may not be as simple as swapping out the coolant or the compressor unit for a more environmentally benign choice. Rather, your entire HVAC system may have to be resized to accommodate the different capacities and efficiencies of the newer units.

    A centralized plant helps

    This is a relatively easy credit to obtain if your project has a centralized cooling plant, with a favorable “coolant charge to cooling capacity” ratio. But even for projects with smaller, more dispersed units, this credit should be achievable if you consider the credit requirements early.

    Ironically, some of the refrigerants that can help earn this credit are used in systems with poorer energy efficiency, resulting in increased greenhouse gas emissions. (CFCs were super-efficient, they just happened to be toxic and destroyed the ozone layer.) The life cycle of operational efficiency and refrigerant performance is not covered by this credit, but leakage and direct environmental impact are. Any loss of efficiency is a trade-off that has to be accounted for in EAc1.

    FAQs for EAc4

    Where can refrigerant equipment rates be obtained for equipment?

    Per 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. #1540 issued 9/11/2006 and rescinded on 4/30/2009, NC-v2.2 projects registered after April 30, 2009 must use default values for leakage rates. All NC-2009 projects must use default values for leakage rates.

    In the past the use of non-default leakage rates were acceptable provided that documentation was provided. Has that changed?

    Yes, USGBC is no longer accepting non-default leakage rates.

    Which portions of a VRF/VRV system should be considered for this credit?

    The system capacity should be based on the outdoor units, while all parts of the system including outdoor, indoor units, branch selectors and piping should be counted for the total refrigerant charge.

    Should all commercial refrigerant equipment be accounted for, including both upright and under-counter?

    Any piece of equipment containing greater than 0.5 lbs. of refrigerant should be included in calculations.

    For a split system, does the cooling capacity refer to the cooling power of the interior device (evaporator) or of the outdoor unit (condenser)?

    The system capacity should be based on the outdoor units. If you have multiple interior devices connected to one outdoor unit, the cooling capacity should be for the outdoor unit, but the refrigerant charge must include all interior devices.

    What is the required timeline for completing a CFC phaseout for EAc4?

    While a phase-out is allowed in the prerequisite, EAc4 is like other credits where the credit should be achieved as part of the LEED scope of work. The work should be completed during construction.

    How can I document a longer equipment life (20 or 30 years) than what is listed in the LEED Reference Guide?

    The project team must use equipment life values from the 2007 ASHRAE Applications Handbook as listed in the LEED Reference Guide. For equipment not listed in the ASHRAE Applications Handbook, an assumed equipment life of 15 years must be used. An alternative equipment life may only be used if supporting documentation can be provided justifying the value. As stated in the LEED Reference Guide, acceptable supporting documentation includes a manufacturer’s guarantee and equivalent long-term service contract. An estimated equipment life is not allowed.

    Do the requirements apply to portable fire extinguishers or only permanently installed building-wide fire suppression systems?

    Portable fire extinguishers are not required to be included in EAp3 or EAc4.

Legend

  • Best Practices
  • Gotcha
  • Action Steps
  • Cost Tip

Pre-Design

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  • Consider Option 1


  • If your project has no cooling system or uses a system without refrigerants, you can achieve the credit through Option 1 (“do not use refrigerants”). Document your credit compliance path with appropriate supporting documents by completing the credit form and providing cut sheets or other confirmation of the system type.


  • Earning EAp2 and drawing up energy efficiency goals can help to determine your project’s cooling strategy as it relates to energy consumption. This exercise may help you prioritize energy performance versus refrigerant selection, when applicable.


  • If your building uses only natural ventilation, it complies with Option 1 and the credit is automatically earned without your having to submit any calculations.


  • Option 2 


  • To comply with Option 2, you’ll need to calculate the weighted impact of the following characteristics of all refrigerants used in your project: 

    • environmental impact (through destruction of the ozone layer and the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere);
    • coolant capacity and refrigerant charge (determined by equipment specs); 
    • rate of refrigerant leakage (determined by equipment life);
    • and end-of-life refrigerant loss (largely determined by equipment specs).

  • The calculated weighted average for the project should not exceed 100: 

    (LCGWP + LCODP x 105 ≤  100). See the credit language and LEED Online for additional detail on the formulas behind that calculation.

     


  • All permanently installed HVAC&R equipment with more than 0.5 lbs of refrigerant—including chillers; unitary HVAC equipment (split and packaged); room and window air-conditioners; computer, data center, and telecom room cooling units; and commercial refrigeration equipment—is addressed by this credit. 


  • Any fire suppression systems must contain no halons, CFCs, or HCFCs. This requirement is separate from the refrigerant requirements and is not included in refrigerant compliance calculations.


  • EPA’s SNAP program (see Resources) lists a range of alternatives to ODP substances. Review these alternatives and confirm the applicability to your system type. Consider using these to help meet the credit requirements. 


  • Identify suitable systems in collaboration with the project owner and facilities management. Common alternatives for fire suppression systems usually are based on carbon dioxide, water, or dry chemicals (ABC or BC type powders). 


  • If your project building is connected to a district chilled-water system, you have to include all the chillers in that system in the calculations, even if they are outside your project’s scope or control. 


  • Even one piece of equipment can tip your calculations to compliance or noncompliance. Use the calculator in the LEED Online credit form to run calculations from the beginning of HVAC system selection (note that your project has to be registered through LEED Online to download those forms). This gives a sense of how far from compliance a system may be; teams then get a better idea of how significant a change may be required. Note that annual leakage and end-of-life refrigerant loss rates are set to defaults but can be edited if needed. 

Schematic Design

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  • Consider incorporating passive cooling strategies in your design to reduce or eliminate the need for mechanical equipment that uses refrigerant.


  • Your mechanical engineer can investigate alternative mechanical systems that use natural refrigerants such as water, carbon dioxide, or ammonia. 


  • There may be first-cost and operating-cost differentials for alternative refrigerants, so careful research is required. 


  • Operations and maintenance staff need to be on board if you select a system that is unconventional or requires a new maintenance protocol. It is best to have operations and maintenance staff participate in MEP meetings regardless of system type. 


  • Check the table of commonly used refrigerants in the LEED Reference Guide. Identify those that have lower values of ozone-depleting or global-warming potential (ODP or GWP, respectively).


  • Consult equipment cut sheets for refrigerant name and capacity, leakage rate, and end-of-life loss—or call the manufacturer directly for this information. A higher leakage rate implies a higher environmental impact as well as a higher recharging cost for the project. 


  • R-410A is a common replacement for R-22 as it is more environmentally benign, with similar performance. It can help with compliance, depending on the equipment variables of “coolant charge to cooling capacity” ratio. 


  • Because mechanical conditioning and ventilation represents a large portion of your building’s energy use, equipment—and consequently refrigerant—selection will affect your energy consumption and costs. 

Design Development

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  • System choice is crucial to earning this credit. Centralized systems are likely to be more efficient and to make compliance easier. Equipment for decentralized systems has been slower to convert to more benign refrigerants, so compliance can be more difficult. 


  • Check multiple equipment manufacturers to see what refrigerants they specify for their equipment. There may be a variety of system types that will help meet the credit requirements in a variety of ways. 


  • Packaged terminal air conditioners (PTACs) typically use refrigerants with a high environmental impact. These units may make meeting the credit requirements more challenging, especially for hotels and multifamily residential projects, which tend to use them. The industry has been moving toward upgrading these refrigerants, so check with manufacturers for recent upgrades to their products. Newer refrigerants may help credit calculations. 


  • Common split systems use varying refrigerants, in a range of quantities and leakage rates. These systems can have a hard time meeting the threshold for credit compliance because their leakage rates are high. Check your specifications early in the design stage and investigate these products if you’re thinking of using split systems. 


  • The default leakage rate used in the credit form calculator is 2%, and the end-of-life refrigerant loss value should be 10%. If your project has equipment with different leakage rates, those values can be used instead. 


  • There are trade-offs with all refrigerants. R-410A, for example, has a lower refrigerant charge, defined as the ratio of refrigerant to gross cooling capacity, but it uses more energy which may increase operating energy costs and will have a negative impact on your compliance with EAc1: Optimize Energy Performance, and total energy use reduction for the project. 


  • All refrigerants involve tradeoffs. HFCs, for example, don’t contain chlorine and have zero ozone depletion potential, but they have significant global warming impact. HFCs are also less efficient than conventional, chlorine-based refrigerants, which are the most damaging to the ozone layer. Ammonia is highly efficient and ozone safe, but it can be hazardous to human health if released in large quantities.


  • Note that this credit requires the weighted average of all refrigerants to be less than 100, even if, individually, some are higher. That’s why it’s important to run the calculations several times until the final equipment is selected for your project. 

Construction Documents

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  • Complete credit calculations based on the finalized mechanical system design.


  • The refrigerant charge is typically calculated automatically in the LEED Online credit form. It is the relationship between how much refrigerant is needed (in pounds) and the cooling capacity (in gross ARI-rated tons) of the equipment.


  • Specifying high-quality equipment with a long lifespan can reduce environmental impacts, since most leakage occurs during installation and decommissioning. For information about the service life of different types of HVAC equipment, refer to the 2007 ASHRAE Applications Handbook—HVAC Applications. (See Resources.) 

Construction

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  • Complete your documentation on LEED Online. Input the product make and model. If not using the defaults provided by LEED Online, input the refrigerant charge, leakage rate, and end-of-life leakage based on the equipment data.


  • Organize documentation of equipment specs and the maintenance requirements intended to minimize refrigerant leakage and transfer this information to the owner’s facility managers.


  • Retain the manufacturer’s cut sheets showing the leakage rate of each piece of equipment. 


  • Provide refrigerant leak-detection equipment in the same location as your HVAC&R equipment. 


  • Put in place a program of preventive maintenance for the equipment end-of-life management.  


  • Retain manufacturers’ data and design specifications for your fire suppression system, confirming that it meets the credit requirements. 

Operations & Maintenance

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  • Refrigerants are not harmful to the atmosphere until they are released into it. Comply with best-practice refrigerant management regulations to minimize leakage rates during operation and when installing or removing new equipment. 

  • USGBC

    Excerpted from LEED 2009 for New Construction and Major Renovations

    EA Credit 4: Enhanced refrigerant management

    2 Points

    Intent

    To reduce ozone depletion and support early compliance with the Montreal Protocol while minimizing direct contributions to climate change1. Climate change refers to any significant change in measures of climate (such as temperature, precipitation, or wind) lasting for an extended period (decades or longer). (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2008) 2.The increase in global average temperatures being caused by a buildup of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This temperature change is leading to changes in circulation patterns in the air and in the oceans, which are affecting climates differently in different places. Among the predicted effects are a significant cooling in Western Europe due to changes in the jet stream, and rising sea levels due to the melting of polar ice and glaciers..

    Requirements

    Option 1

    Do not use refrigerants.

    OR

    Option 2

    Select refrigerants and heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC&R) that minimize or eliminate the emission of compounds that contribute to ozone depletion and global climate change1. Climate change refers to any significant change in measures of climate (such as temperature, precipitation, or wind) lasting for an extended period (decades or longer). (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2008) 2.The increase in global average temperatures being caused by a buildup of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This temperature change is leading to changes in circulation patterns in the air and in the oceans, which are affecting climates differently in different places. Among the predicted effects are a significant cooling in Western Europe due to changes in the jet stream, and rising sea levels due to the melting of polar ice and glaciers.. The base building HVAC&R equipment must comply with the following formula, which sets a maximum threshold for the combined contributions to ozone depletion and global warming potential:

    LCGWP + LCODP x

    105

    100



    Calculation definitions for LCGWP + LCODP x 105 ≤ 100
    LCODP = [ODPr x (Lr x Life +Mr) x Rc]/Life
    LCGWP = [GWPr x (Lr x Life +Mr) x Rc]/Life
    LCODP: Lifecycle Ozone Depletion Potential (lbCFC11/Ton-Year)
    LCGWP: Lifecycle Direct Global Warming Potential (lbCO2/Ton-Year)
    GWPr: Global Warming Potential of Refrigerant (0 to 12,000 lbCO2/lbr)
    ODPr: Ozone Depletion Potential of Refrigerant (0 to 0.2 lbCFC11/lbr)
    Lr: Refrigerant Leakage RateThe speed at which an appliance loses refrigerant, measured between refrigerant charges or over 12 months, whichever is shorter. The leakage rate is expressed in terms of the percentage of the appliance's full charge that would be lost over a 12-month period if the rate stabilized. (EPA Clean Air Act, Title VI, Rule 608). (0.5% to 2.0%; default of 2% unless otherwise demonstrated)
    Mr: End-of-life Refrigerant Loss (2% to 10%; default of 10% unless otherwise demonstrated)
    Rc: Refrigerant Charge (0.5 to 5.0 lbs of refrigerant per ton of gross ARI rated cooling capacity)

    Life: Equipment Life (10 years; default based on equipment type, unless otherwise demonstrated)



    For multiple types of equipment, a weighted average of all base building HVAC&R equipment must be calculated using the following formula:

    ( LCGWP + LCODP x 105 ) x

    Qunit

    ≤ 100
    ——————————————————————————————

    Qtotal




    Calculation definitions for [ ∑ (LCGWP + LCODP x 105) x Qunit ] / Qtotal ≤ 100
    Qunit = Gross ARI rated cooling capacity of an individual HVAC or refrigeration unit (tons)
    Qtotal = Total gross ARI rated cooling capacity of all HVAC or refrigeration


    Small HVAC units (defined as containing less than 0.5 pounds of refrigerant) and other equipment, such as standard refrigerators, small water coolers and any other cooling equipmentThe equipment used for cooling room air in a building for human comfort. that contains less than 0.5 pounds of refrigerant, are not considered part of the base building system and are not subject to the requirements of this credit.

    Do not operate or install fire suppression systems that contain ozone-depleting substances such as CFCsChlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are a compound of carbon, hydrogen, chlorine and fluorine, once commonly used in refrigeration, that depletes the stratospheric ozone layer., hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCsHydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) are refrigerants that cause significantly less depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer than chlorofluorocarbons.) or halonsHalons are substances, used in fire-suppression systems and fire extinguishers, that deplete the stratospheric ozone layer..



    Potential Technologies & Strategies

    Design and operate the facility without mechanical cooling and refrigeration equipment. Where mechanical cooling is used, utilize base building HVAC&R systems for the refrigeration cycle that minimize direct impact on ozone depletion and global climate change1. Climate change refers to any significant change in measures of climate (such as temperature, precipitation, or wind) lasting for an extended period (decades or longer). (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2008) 2.The increase in global average temperatures being caused by a buildup of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This temperature change is leading to changes in circulation patterns in the air and in the oceans, which are affecting climates differently in different places. Among the predicted effects are a significant cooling in Western Europe due to changes in the jet stream, and rising sea levels due to the melting of polar ice and glaciers.. Select HVAC&R equipment with reduced refrigerant charge and increased equipment life. Maintain equipment to prevent leakage of refrigerant to the atmosphere. Use fire suppression systems that do not contain HCFCsHydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) are refrigerants that cause significantly less depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer than chlorofluorocarbons. or halonsHalons are substances, used in fire-suppression systems and fire extinguishers, that deplete the stratospheric ozone layer..

Organizations

US EPA Significant new alternative policy

Program to evaluate and regulate substitutes for the ozone-depleting chemicals that are being phased out under the Clean Air Act.

Technical Guides

2007 ASHRAE Applications Handbook – HVAC Applications

To determine the service life of a piece of HVAC equipment.


Treatment of Distric or Campus Thermal Energy in LEED v2 and LEED 2009 (Updated August 13, 2010)

Required reference document for DES systems in LEED energy credits.

Web Tools

Atmospheric Life of Refrigerants

The table ranks commonly used refrigerants based on their life in the atmosphere. Longer-lived compounds typically have higher global warming potential (GWP).

Publications

Green Fire suppression technologies

Article describing the movement towards Halon free chemicals with a comparative analysis.


Greenhouse Effect

Greenhouse Effect explained and illustrated.

Articles

Good Ozone, Bad Ozone

Article explaining the ozone layer problem.

Refrigerant Management Calculator

Use this refrigerant management calculator to track and document your compliance with EAp3 and EAc4. You may also use the LEED Online credit form to document compliance, but that form has a finite number of rows, whereas this one can be expanded indefinitely. If you choose to use this calculator, add a narrative in LEED Online about using a supplemental calculator to complete calculations, and upload the document on LEED Online.

LEED Online Forms: NC-2009 EA

The following links take you to the public, informational versions of the dynamic LEED Online forms for each NC-2009 EA 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 restrictsions for these forms; for more information, visit LEED Online and click "Sample Forms Download."

Design Submittal

PencilDocumentation for this credit can be part of a Design Phase submittal.

105 Comments

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E H Sustainability Architect
Oct 13 2014
LEEDuser Member
3106 Thumbs Up

Long Term Service Contract

Project Location: India

Does anybody have an example of a long term service contract, or know specifically what needs to be included in the contract in order for it to be accepted by the GBCI reviewer? We have a signed document from the equipment manufacturer attesting to the life span of the equipment and commiting to servicing the unit over its life, but it was not accepted by the GBCI reviewers. Are the GBCI reviewer looking for a more detailed scope document that outlines how the unit will be serviced? Any input would be appreciated. Thanks!

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Laura Charlier LEED Services Director Group14 Engineering
Oct 06 2014
LEEDuser Member
361 Thumbs Up

Dining Halls

Project Location: United States

Does anyone have any experience earning compliance with this credit in a Dining Hall application?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Oct 06 2014 LEEDuser Moderator

Laura, any specific questions you have?

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Vivien Fairlamb
Aug 13 2014
LEEDuser Member
1000 Thumbs Up

Stand Alone Refrigerators and Freezers to be included in EAc4?

We have some large commercial catering refrigerators and freezers which are standalone and plugged into a normal power socket rather than integral to the building. The refrigerant charges of a couple of these are greater than 0.5lbs therefore I understand that these need to be considered for EAp3 and the EAc4 credit (EAp3 is straight forward). However the calculations for the EAc4 are based on Air Con systems and not refrig units. Has anyone successfully shown that they have a compliant refrigerator if they put it through the EAc4 calculator or is it always the case that the Building's chillers systems need to offset the non compliant refrigeration units.

The ref guide talks about "all Base Building" systems in which case I would rather exclude the standalone catering equipment from the calculations but then again... the wording also suggests that anything over 0.5lbs needs to be accounted for.

1) Does off the shelf plug in catering equipment really need to be included in EAc4
2) Has anyone got any examples of compliant refrigerator or freezer units (EnergyStar listings are not helpful in this regard)?
many thanks
Viv

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Mridul Sarkar Mechanical Engineer Dar Al-Handasah
Jul 18 2014
LEEDuser Member
4 Thumbs Up

Submitting documents on LEED online for EAc4

Hi

In a preliminary design review for our project, the reviewer has asked us to provide supplementary calculations to show the credit compliane. We are currently using the version4 of the form and it doesn't have the provision to upload any additional documents for this particular credit. Can anyone suggest how we can go about this.

Many thanks for the help.
Mridul.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jul 25 2014 LEEDuser Moderator

Mridual, check the "additional circumstances" box on the form and you should see a place to enter a short narrative and upload documentation.

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Mridul Sarkar Mechanical Engineer, Dar Al-Handasah Jul 27 2014 LEEDuser Member 4 Thumbs Up

Thanks Tristan. Did the same.

Mridul.

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Lyle Axelarris Civil/Structural Engineer, LEED AP BD+C, O+M Design Alaska
Jun 18 2014
LEEDuser Member
683 Thumbs Up

Combining Option 1 and Option 2

Has anyone had any experience combining the approaches in Option 1 and Option 2 to achieve this credit? We plan to use economizerAn economizer is a device used to make building systems more energy efficient. Examples include HVAC enthalpy controls, which are based on humidity and temperature. cooling for most of our cooling needs. Economizer cooling is simply increasing outdoor air flow rates when cooling is needed - in our climate, OA is cooler than indoor spaces subject to internal loads. We do also have a few small split-AC units for communication/server rooms, so we cannot use Option 1. However, we are minimizing the amount of refrigerant used in the building by cooling with outdoor air (which has ODP=0 and GWP=0). It seems reasonable to me to claim credit for the refrigerant reduction inherent in economizer cooling.
My approach to documentation is this: Use Option #2, but instead of using the Rc of the AC units and refrigerant lines, I plan to modify the Rc to take into account the cooling provided by economizer cooling. The modified Rc would be equal to the total refrigerant charge of the AC system divided by the total cooling tons provided to the building by BOTH the AC system and the Economizer system. This would result in an accurate "unit of refrigerant per unit of cooling" figure.
A different method that just occurred to me would be to add the economizer cooling system as a separate HVAC equipment, with "Refrigerant Used" being "None" (in EAp3 template). This seems more direct to me.
Has anyone used this approach before? Do you think this is reasonable?
Thanks for your input.

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David Rekker Project Principal, MMM Group Ltd. Jun 20 2014 LEEDuser Member 40 Thumbs Up

Unfortunately, the credit does not incentivize reduction in refrigerant (unless no refrigerants are used at all). Rather, it is based on refrigerant management which takes into account leakage rates, equipment life, and types of refrigerant used. So, regardless of how often you are using your refrigeration equipment, you need to enter the data from all systems.
As you can imagine, your economizerAn economizer is a device used to make building systems more energy efficient. Examples include HVAC enthalpy controls, which are based on humidity and temperature. strategy is used very often here in Canada. However, it is rare that an owner will agree to zero DX cooling. It seems you might be in the same boat, since you say that economizer mode will be used for "most" of you cooling.

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Lyle Axelarris Civil/Structural Engineer, LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Design Alaska Jun 20 2014 LEEDuser Member 683 Thumbs Up

Thank you, David. It still seems to me that using a cooling system that has no refrigerants (i.e. EconomizerAn economizer is a device used to make building systems more energy efficient. Examples include HVAC enthalpy controls, which are based on humidity and temperature. cooling) reduces the ozone and global warming impact related to cooling the building. 92% of the cooling load for the building is handled by a zero-refrigerant system. Over 95% of the floor space of the building is conditioned by a zero-refrigerant system. Isn't this better than using refrigerant-based cooling systems to condition the whole building (meaning more refrigerant leaking, more emissions, etc.)? I don't understand the logic of treating the zero-refrigerant approach as an all-or-nothing proposition.

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David Rekker Project Principal, MMM Group Ltd. Jun 23 2014 LEEDuser Member 40 Thumbs Up

Hi Lyle. I'm with you, I just don't know of a USGBC ruling to support this method (e.g. you may need to make an official query). I searched the CIRs here in Canada, and there is a recent one (February) where the applicant is using evaporative cooling (no refrigerants) for most of the building, and then split systems for servers etc. They wanted to know if/how they could account for the evaporative system. It seems the CaGBC's answer leans your way (I should have checked these first!):
"Projects using evaporative cooling may consider these systems in the EAc4 calculations under Option 2. For simplicity, in order to calculate the Average Refrigerant Atmospheric Impact, the ODP and GWP of the evaporative cooling system can be entered as zero in the LEED Letter Template for this system. Furthermore, any number may be entered under the Rc (lb/ton) for this system as this value become irrelevant to the calculation when ODP and GWP are zero. ... Submissions should include a narrative explaining the conditions at which the rated capacity (Qunit) of the evaporative cooling system is determined."

You may want to use this as a basis for your question. Canadian CIRs are not applicable to the USGBC, but should provide an indication.

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Lyle Axelarris Civil/Structural Engineer, LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Design Alaska Jun 23 2014 LEEDuser Member 683 Thumbs Up

Thank you, David. That is very helpful. Can you please tell me what 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# (or LI-Canada#?) you are referring to? I'm not sure if I have access to Canadian CIR database, but it will help me to find it or reference it accurately.

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David Rekker Project Principal, MMM Group Ltd. Jul 03 2014 LEEDuser Member 40 Thumbs Up

Sorry for the delay, Lyle. I am referring to 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 1105: "Using evaporative cooling systems under EAc4 Option 2". Hope that helps.

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Alvaro Reyes
Apr 21 2014
Guest
8 Thumbs Up

EAc4 Equipment Life not represented accurately in ref. guide

Regarding EAc4 equipment life, the reference guide tries to summarize the equipment life by system from the ASHRAE Applications Handbook 2007, but does not accurately represent heat pumps. Here's my point:

Ref. guide states: "Assume equipment life as follows (from ASHRAE Applications Handbook 2007):
-Window air-conditioning units and heat pumps, 10 years
-Unitary, split, and packaged air-conditioning units and heat pumps, 15 years"

If you look at the equipment life table from ASHRAE Applications Handbook 2007, the first bullet is partially correct as window AC units are listed as 10 years (although the table has no window heat pump).

The issue I have, is with the second bullet, as it basically says that all other heat pumps have 15 year equipment life. The ASHRAE table lists 15 year life for Residential single or split package AC, Commercial through-the-wall AC, Residential air-to-air, and Commercial air-to-air. However, it lists >24 years for Water-cooled package AC and Commercial water-to-air heat pumps.

For a water source AC or heat pump unit, 9 year difference in service life makes a big difference with the refrigerant calculation. Has anyone run into any problem with this by using 24 years for water source heat pumps?

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Jesus Deras Energy Analyst, The Wall Consulting Group Apr 23 2014 LEEDuser Member 283 Thumbs Up

I ran into the same issue with two NC projects where we had WSHP's. You have to be able to justify using 24 years. I attached a PDF copy of both the 2007 and 2011 equipment Median Life Cycle ASHRAE application tables and cited both water cooled package and commercial water to air equipment using Abramson etEvapotranspiration (ET) is the loss of water by evaporation from the soil and by transpiration from plants. It is expressed in millimeters per unit of time. al. 2005 studies.

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Jesus Deras Energy Analyst, The Wall Consulting Group Apr 23 2014 LEEDuser Member 283 Thumbs Up

You could also contact your LEED Review Ceritifcation Body Team for further clarification.

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Nena Elise Jun 11 2014 LEEDuser Member 3507 Thumbs Up

Jesus, Did they accept the ASHRAE 2011 equipment median life you cited?

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Guillaume Martel LEED Project Manager PROVENCHER ROY + ASSOCIÉS ARCHITECTES
Feb 06 2014
Guest
13 Thumbs Up

High Refrigerant Charge

We have a project where a Walk-in refrigerator and freezer are planned. These rooms will be equiped with dedicated split-system charged with R404.

It seems that the Rc will be above the 5lb/tons, mostly because of the distance between the freezer rooms and the mechanical rooms.

In the LEED-Canada template, there a limit of 5lb/ton. Is this an ARI requirement or could we just propose an alternate calculation to demonstrate compliance.

All the other systems are compliant with the requirements.

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Ante Vulin Sustainability Manager, YR&G Feb 10 2014 LEEDuser Expert 1169 Thumbs Up

Earning this credit is based on the average refrigerant impact per ton, for all HVACR equipment in the project scope. It is possible that you can still comply if one type of equipment exceeds the maximum charge. But if you have entered all your equipment into the credit form and still do not comply, you may be out of luck.

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David Rekker Project Principal, MMM Group Ltd. Mar 06 2014 LEEDuser Member 40 Thumbs Up

We are using the EAc4 calculator published by Trane for a similar scenario. As it uses the same default values and formulae, we're confident it will be accepted in lieu of the LEED Canada template that doesn't accept an input greater than 5lb/ton.

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Jesus Deras Energy Analyst The Wall Consulting Group
Jan 15 2014
LEEDuser Member
283 Thumbs Up

EAC4 Template Life Cycle

For refrigeration equipment(Freezers/coolers etc etc) what is the life expectancy that should be put into the EAC4 template? The equipment in question are freezers and coolers that are to be attached to Indoor Water-Cooled Remote condensing units. There is no manufacturing data as the equipment is custom made.

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Ante Vulin Sustainability Manager, YR&G Mar 07 2014 LEEDuser Expert 1169 Thumbs Up

I haven't documented such systems in my own projects, but you could try using the 20 year figure for reciprocating and scroll compressors if they are present in your system.

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david harrington
Nov 29 2013
LEEDuser Member
9 Thumbs Up

GREEN HOUSE EFFECT LINK

The link for explaning Greenhouse Effect explained and illustrated under publications is not working.

Dave

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Nadav Malin USGBC LEED Faculty, President, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 30 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Thanks for letting us know, David! I've replaced that dead link on the Resources tab with a link to a fun, interactive tutorial from Oxford U.

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Adi Negara, LEED AP BD+C Green Building Facilitator PT. Indonesia Environment Consultant
Oct 28 2013
LEEDuser Member
684 Thumbs Up

N, Qunit (tons) and Refrigerant Charge (Rc) in lb/ton

Dear All,

I'm trying to fill the EAc4 form, but I don't understand about HVAC&R at all. I'm not too sure what is N, Q and Rc column meaning. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
N = number of outdoor HVAC unit
Q = the weigh of the outdoor HVAC unit
Rc = the weigh of refrigerant inside the piping system.

Are those correct?

In addition, I also found difficulties in filling the Rc column. In the form, Rc unit is in lb/ton, but as I look into the manufacturers data, the Rc is provided in kg. How can I deal with this? Please help, because our HVAC engineers are also not familiar with refrigerant impact calculation.

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Art Irwin CBCP, LEED AP, Alfa Tech Consulting Engineers Feb 04 2014 Guest 58 Thumbs Up

N is the number of units matching that description
Q is the capacity of each unit in "tons" (1 ton = 12,000 btuA unit of energy consumed by or delivered to a building. A Btu is an acronym for British thermal unit and is defined as the amount of energy required to increase the temperature of 1 pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit, at normal atmospheric pressure. Energy consumption is expressed in Btu to allow for consumption comparisons among fuels that are measured in different units./hr)
Rc is the weight per ton of the refrigerant.

You may need to convert from kg to lb and from kW to tons. To calculate the Rc, you can divide the total refrigerant charge weight by the unit capacity. For example, a 25 ton AC unit with 23 lb of R-410A will have an Rc of 0.92 lb/ton.

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Catalina Caballero Sustainability Coordinator JALRW Eng. Group Inc.
Oct 23 2013
LEEDuser Member
2659 Thumbs Up

Long refrigeration line

Should we include the manufacturers default information on refrigerant or should we use the actual refrigeration charged installed even though these are not installed and confirmed after installation?

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Ante Vulin Sustainability Manager, YR&G Nov 04 2013 LEEDuser Expert 1169 Thumbs Up

You will want to use the actual intended refrigerant charge as shown on either mechanical schedules on drawings or on a project-specific submittal. General info from brochures or other material will not be sufficient.

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Catalina Caballero Sustainability Coordinator, JALRW Eng. Group Inc. Nov 12 2013 LEEDuser Member 2659 Thumbs Up

Then this should be a construction credit, because this most of the time depends on the contractor. We as engineers specify the type of equipment and refrigerant but not the actual charge. We have submitted this credit previously with the manufacturer values and they have approved it but I guess it really depends on the reviewer.

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Cédric Marzolf Specialist in energy modeling
Oct 15 2013
Guest
249 Thumbs Up

Acronym ARI

Little question :

What does the acronym of ARI mean in the credit guidance?

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Nadia Ayala Architect / LEED AP BD+C, KILTIK Consultoría Oct 15 2013 Guest 1217 Thumbs Up

Hi Cédric. I think it stands for Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute.

"ARI rated cooling capacity".

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ABDALAZIZ ZAQOUT LEED Coordinator OGER International
Aug 21 2013
Guest
14 Thumbs Up

Rc in split unit system

I have a split units that their Rc is above 5 mentioned in the Reference Guide, but fortunately my average refrigerant atmospheric impact is lower than 100 (according to use efficient centrifugal chillers). Now can I get this credit or not?

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Ante Vulin Sustainability Manager, YR&G Nov 04 2013 LEEDuser Expert 1169 Thumbs Up

If the calculations show that your impact is lower than 100, you can earn the credit. Typically, its the use of split systems as the only HVAC system that makes the credit difficult to achieve.

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Robert Wichert Engineer
Aug 07 2013
Guest
350 Thumbs Up

Multiple small split systems - Can they ever work?

I have about sixty-five split systems in two apartment buildings using R-410a. The factor that is keeping me from meeting this credit's requirements seems to be Rc (lb/ton). Since these are small systems, their Rc runs from 1.9 to 3.5, but most are about 2.8. It looks like that makes compliance impossible.

Has anybody, anywhere, ever made this credit with small split systems? Or am I just done for?

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Ante Vulin Sustainability Manager, YR&G Aug 07 2013 LEEDuser Expert 1169 Thumbs Up

You will probably not earn the credit with split systems. Hopefully your system selection is helping you save energy and earn points under the energy performance credit.

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Sangmin An Building Energy Simulation Analyst SGS
Jul 15 2013
Guest
146 Thumbs Up

Product Catalog or Brochure of Building Equipment.

Hello, I have a few questions regarding how to demonstrate the amount of refrigerant charge. The questions are as below.

1. Situation
We are preparing design phase review. According to the load calcualtion, we ordered mechanical equipments.
2. Questions
1) should product catalogs or brochures be submitted? In my LEED project, some building mechanical equipments were made to order. Threfore, there is no product catalog except few mechanical equipment like chillers, heat pumps. But, we have documents that indicate some information such as refrigerants charge, model number, refrigerant type from our manufacturer.
I am just wonderign if this document would be helpful for earning this credit.
Thank you for your help in solving this problem.

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Ante Vulin Sustainability Manager, YR&G Aug 01 2013 LEEDuser Expert 1169 Thumbs Up

Any kind of documentation from the manufacturer should be adequate. It doesn't need to be a catalog or brochure.

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Roland Le Roux Green Building Consultant
May 13 2013
Guest
20 Thumbs Up

District Cooling System

Hello,

I have two questions regarding a district cooling system to be used in one of our projects:

1- Can we use 0.51% value for Refrigerant leakage rateThe speed at which an appliance loses refrigerant, measured between refrigerant charges or over 12 months, whichever is shorter. The leakage rate is expressed in terms of the percentage of the appliance's full charge that would be lost over a 12-month period if the rate stabilized. (EPA Clean Air Act, Title VI, Rule 608). and 2% for end of life refrigerant if the district cooling provider's studies clearly show such numbers (it seems to me this is the case although I've recently heard this was not possible anymore)?

2 - The diversity factor of the district cooling provider is 67%. This means that even though around 100MW (28,400 tons) of cooling capacity is installed, they sell approximately 150MW of cooling capacity to their customers. When calculating the refrigerant charge, should we include the diversity factor ? This would seem logical as the district cooling system is equivalent to the installations of numerous systems totaling a 150MW cooling capacity (hence the same quantity refrigerant for a larger amount of cooling capacity).

Many thanks for your help!

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Ante Vulin Sustainability Manager, YR&G May 14 2013 LEEDuser Expert 1169 Thumbs Up

Roland -

For #1 - the NC reference guide was revised several years ago to not allow project teams to use alternate leakage rates. In my personal opinion, the change targeted manufacturer's claims about new equipment. EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems., on the other hand, requires you to use actual leakage rates. I would first check if your project can comply with the credit using default leakage rates. If so, great. If the project doesn't earn the credit,you could try checking the box for "Alternative Compliance" and provide a set of calculations with the measured leakage rate. I've never tried this, but it might work if you provide very good documentation about the leakage history.

For #2, you should use the installed capacity of the actual chilling equipment - i.e. 100 MW.

And in general, be sure to check the version of the District Energy guidelines that were in effect at the time the project was registered.

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James Chueh
Mar 12 2013
LEEDuser Member
944 Thumbs Up

Old refrigeration equipments in new construction.

Hi all,

The project we are working on will have old refrigeration equipments moved from other place. Do we need to calculate these equipments since they are not new purchased and the refrigerant is 0.5~1.5 lb? If yes, should the Installation Date be New or Existing?

Thanks for any suggestion.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Mar 21 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

James, you should include them. I would use the existing date for the installation date.

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Wei Jiang
Nov 13 2012
LEEDuser Member
498 Thumbs Up

Rated Cooling Capacity for Commercial Refrigeration Equipment

We have a project that has many commercial refrigeration equipment such as walk-in coolers and feezers in commercial kitchens. What is the ARI test standard (rating conditions) for defining the ARI rated cooling/refrigeration capacity in the credit calculation?

Thanks.

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Ante Vulin Sustainability Manager, YR&G Nov 26 2012 LEEDuser Expert 1169 Thumbs Up

AHRI publishes a number of standards that could apply to the equipment in your project. I would review the list here http://www.ahrinet.org/search+standards.aspx and then check with the equipment vendor for the project to see which standard would apply to your specific equipment.

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Scott Davis Mechanical Designer
Sep 20 2012
Guest
130 Thumbs Up

Phase-out Plans for conversion

I am working on an addition to an existing building, the addition is attempting certification. The exsting building and the chiller plant do comply with EAp3, but, 2 chillers are HCFC-22 and raise the ARI to above 100. In order to comply with EAc4 the 2 chillers will have to be changed over to R-407c or be replaced.

Question is, will it be required to be retrofitted or replaced before construction is completed or can it be completed within a 5-year timeline?

Thanks for your help.
Scott

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Ante Vulin Sustainability Manager, YR&G Sep 20 2012 LEEDuser Expert 1169 Thumbs Up

The retrofit/replacement should be done before construction is completed. While a phase-out is allowed in the prerequisite, EAc4 is like other credits where the credit should be achieved as part of the LEED scope of work.

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Emmanuel Pauwels Owner Green Living Projects s.l.
Sep 19 2012
LEEDuser Member
2249 Thumbs Up

which refrigerant

Our system has 2 different refrigerant types. One type in the compressor and another type in the refrigeration circuit. Do we take into account both refrigerants or only the refrigerant in the compressor? If we need to take both refrigerants into account, how do we calculate this?

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Ante Vulin Sustainability Manager, YR&G Sep 19 2012 LEEDuser Expert 1169 Thumbs Up

You must account for both types of refrigerant. In the calculations for this system, I think you will need to calculate the LCGWP and LCODP for each refrigerant., and then add those numbers to get the system LCGWP and LCODP. For example, if the total refrigerant charge is 2 lbs/ton, and the individual charges are 1.2 lbs/ton of Refrigerant X and 0.8 lbs/ton of Refrigerant Y, the LCGWP/LCODP of Refrigerant X should be calculated with the appropriate properties of Refrigerant X and Rc = 1.2.

This approach makes sense to me, but I haven't yet had to document a multiple-refrigerant system like this for LEED. If anyone else has, please chime in.

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Mary Petrovich Senior Sustainability Associate Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems
Aug 27 2012
LEEDuser Member
466 Thumbs Up

R 404A Maximum Refrigerant Charge?

Has anyone calculated or have access to the R 404A maximum refrigerant charge as provided for some other refrigerants in Table 2 on Page 310 of the BD+C Reference Guide?

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Ante Vulin Sustainability Manager, YR&G Sep 07 2012 LEEDuser Expert 1169 Thumbs Up

Cassidy, this is pretty simple to do. You can use the Refrigerant Management Calculator available here on LEED User under "Documentation Toolkit" for this credit to check the compliance for a given 404a charge, or you can use the ODP and GWP values from the reference guide and solve the equation for Rc.

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Maria Porter Environmental Certification Engineer, Skanska Sweden Oct 08 2012 LEEDuser Member 2379 Thumbs Up

Ante,
I got information about two of my cooling machines for a large supermarket. They have carbon dioxide as refrigerant. The actual cooling capacity is 120 kW per machine (34.12 tons of refrigeration) and 200 kg CO2Carbon dioxide (440.92 pounds) per machine. If I divide; 440.92/34.12 I get 12.92. Rc is only allowed to be between 0.5 and 5. In the calculator you mentioned, CO2 is not even in it. Any tips on why there is a max limit for Rc? What am I not understanding?

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James Keohane, PE LEED BD+C CxA CPMP Sustainability and Commissioning Consultant Sustainable Engineering Concepts, LLC
Aug 03 2012
LEEDuser Member
694 Thumbs Up

Refrigerant Calculator and Thermal Storage

Which tonnage should be used when using refrigerant calculator while considering a chiller plant serving a static ice thermal storage system? When chillers are in Ice Making Mode producing 24F fluid; chiller capacity is substantially reduced as compared to Chiller Mode when chiller is producing 42F fluid. For example a 100 ton chiller at 42F discharge temp may produce 65 tons when producing 24F fluid. I am thinking a pro-rated calculation may be appropriate based on run hours per day or week. Your thoughts and comments please and thank you.

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David Hubka Director of Operations, Transwestern Sustainability Services Aug 04 2012 LEEDuser Expert 4542 Thumbs Up

Great question!!
My guess is that the LEED reviewer will require the calculation be performed with the worst case condition (this ensures the mechanical system meet the credit requirement through all modes of operation) - similar to ventilation calculations.
good luck!

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Waylon Lo
Jul 19 2012
Guest
80 Thumbs Up

GE Profile 21.7 &15.5 Cu. Ft. Top-Freezer Refrigerators

We've tried and cannot get any info from GE other than they use R-134A refrigerant. Can anyone tell me from the valumes of these refrigerators normally for residential use that they might use less than 1/2 lb of refrigerant? Thanks.

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Nadav Malin USGBC LEED Faculty, President, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jul 19 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

Hi Waylon. Don't worry about those refrigerators. The credit language excludes "standard refrigerators" (residential type) regardless of exactly how much refrigerant they contain. 

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Lorena Moscoso
Jul 12 2012
Guest
63 Thumbs Up

Using only 2 splits (with R-410).

It is used in a project two HVAC systems (Split) in two areas of approximately 22.82 square feet, the total project area measures 27,857 square feet. The air conditioning equipment work with 1 and 1.5 tonnes at 2.18 and 2.94 pounds per ton respectively, these values ​​do not get to complete the credit. Other projects use more than two of these equipments with equipment of chilled water system and I have been able to meet the credit. I think the impact on this second project is bigger than the first that does not meet the credit because more equipment are used. Can i meet the credit highlighting that only use 2 equipment in a small area compared to the whole project?

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Ante Vulin Sustainability Manager, YR&G Jul 17 2012 LEEDuser Expert 1169 Thumbs Up

Lorena, I am not aware of an exception for projects with only a small amount of air-conditioned space. My only thought would be that there may be an alternate location available for the outdoor portion of the split systems, which would shorten the run between the indoor and outdoor units and possibly lower the required refrigerant charge.

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Tarek Dalati Sustainbility manager CRHI
Jun 25 2012
Guest
1095 Thumbs Up

Eac4 documentation

In the form it was mentioned "Provide supporting documentation for non-default Life value(s) in Table. Refrigerant Impact Calculation such as a manufacturers' life guarantee and equivalent long term service contract"
I assume if I am usig life values mentioned in the LEED handbook so nothing is non-default value.but what is meant by the other part "Refrigerant Impact Calculation such as a manufacturers' life guarantee and equivalent long term service contract"

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Mark Meaders Sustainable Design Project Manager, HDR Architecture, Inc. Jul 03 2012 LEEDuser Member 909 Thumbs Up

Tarek - You should request that the LEED Online form be upgraded to v4. The upload document item is removed from the v4 document, and you should be able to complete it.

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Lyle Axelarris Civil/Structural Engineer, LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Design Alaska Jun 30 2014 LEEDuser Member 683 Thumbs Up

I'm using the Version 4.0 of the form, and I still get the upload document item. I am using default Life values. Should I just upload a one sentence narrative saying we are using default life values? Thank you.

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Omar Katanani
May 07 2012
LEEDuser Member
8037 Thumbs Up

Additional "reserve" refrigerant box

Dear all,

The project we're working on will be cooled with centrifugal chillers. The Mechanical Engineer is suggesting installing a "Reserve refrigerant box", which is a cylinder containing the same refrigerant as the one of the chillers.
This box is piped to the chillers, and will serve as an "replenishment supply" in case there is any leakage from the chillers.

Our query is:

Do you think we should include this additional "reserve" refrigerants in this credit calculations?

Many Thanks

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Ante Vulin Sustainability Manager, YR&G Jun 21 2012 LEEDuser Expert 1169 Thumbs Up

George, I would not consider the reserve refrigerant part of the required equipment charge, so I wouldn't include it in your calculations. The intent of the credit is to reward selection of equipment with efficient use of refrigerant.

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Dennis Ross
Mar 08 2012
Guest
23 Thumbs Up

leed credit EAc4

Having built a cafeteria at a local University we are having trouble getting the Q (tons ) for some of the refrigerated display equipment. Has anybody had luck getting this information for True Mfg. Models TSSU-48-12, TSSU-60-10, TPP 44,
TAC 48, G4SM-23PT. We have contacted the MFG.s engineering dept and they have indicated they do not have this info. We do have the refrigerant charge on some of this equipment but need the tons to calc the total. Thanks any help greatly appreciated

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Craig Volcovici Consultant & Design Services Director, True Mfg Apr 17 2012 Guest 28 Thumbs Up

Hello and thank you for your inquiry. Please see the answers to your question below:

MODEL / REFRIGERANT / COOLING RATINGS (BTUH) / HEAT OF REJECTION (BTUH) / TONS COOLING

TSSU-48-12 / R134a / 2070 / 3105 / 0.26

TSSU-60-10 / R134A / 2070 / 3105 / 0.26

TPP-44 / R134A / 2070 / 3105 / 0.26

TAC-48 / R404A / 9350 / 14025 / 1.17

G4SM-23PT / R134A / 2601 / 3902 / 0.33

Please let me know if you have any other questions

-Craig

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Terry Squyres Principal GWWO Inc./Architects
Feb 13 2012
LEEDuser Member
865 Thumbs Up

EAp3 and Fire Extinguishers

Do the requirements apply to portable fire extinguishers or only permanently installed building-wide fire suppression systems?

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Ante Vulin Sustainability Manager, YR&G Jun 22 2012 LEEDuser Expert 1169 Thumbs Up

Fire-suppression systems and extinguishers are referred to as separate things in the glossary entry for "halonsHalons are substances, used in fire-suppression systems and fire extinguishers, that deplete the stratospheric ozone layer.," so it make sense that USGBC did not mean to include extinguishers in the scope of EAc4.

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Nadia Ayala Architect / LEED AP BD+C, KILTIK Consultoría Jul 20 2012 Guest 1217 Thumbs Up

Hi everyone, I had already considered that portable fire extinguishers were excluded from the credit requirements, and today I had a response from a GBCI representative that resolves the question officially:

"Dear Nadia,
Thank you for contacting the Green Building Certification Institute. Portable fire extinguishers are not required to be included in EAc4. The project team should ensure the fire suppression systems do not contain CFCsChlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are a compound of carbon, hydrogen, chlorine and fluorine, once commonly used in refrigeration, that depletes the stratospheric ozone layer., HCFCsHydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) are refrigerants that cause significantly less depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer than chlorofluorocarbons. or halonsHalons are substances, used in fire-suppression systems and fire extinguishers, that deplete the stratospheric ozone layer.".

I wanted to share the resolution with everyone. Cheers!

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Jens Apel
Jan 27 2012
Guest
922 Thumbs Up

GWP / ODP of Water & Lithium Bromide

In our project a absorption chiller will be used to cover part of the cooling load. The chiller will run on lithium bromide / water solution. In this case, water is the refrigerant.
Water is a natural refrigerant with GWP, but my feeling says in the LEED Online form GWP and ODP should be set to 0. As far as I know the water content in the atmosphere depends on temperature mainly and not on water vapour released by humans.
Any hints or comments?

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Nadav Malin USGBC LEED Faculty, President, BuildingGreen, Inc. Feb 19 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

Hi Jens,

Wow--it wouldn't have occurred to me that water would have to be listed as a refrigerant with its own GWP. I think that you're safe just omitting that--it's generally assumed that absorption chillers don't use climate-changing refrigerants. I haven't encountered this question before, though--anyone else have experience with this?

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Omar Katanani
Nov 03 2011
LEEDuser Member
8037 Thumbs Up

VRF Lifetime

Dear all,

I just wanted to double check that the VRF system lifetime is 15 years (considered a packaged AC). Is this true?

Thanks,

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Christopher Schaffner Principal & Founder, The Green Engineer, LLP Nov 03 2011 LEEDuser Expert 7506 Thumbs Up

That's how I would interpret it.

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