NC-2009 EAp2: Minimum Energy Performance

  • NC EAp2 Credit Req's Diagram
  • Beyond code compliance, but doable

    This prerequisite is a big one, not only because it’s required for all projects, but also because it feeds directly into EAc1: Optimize Energy Performance, where about a fifth of the total available points in LEED are at stake. Master these minimum requirements, and you can use the same compliance path as in EAp2 to earning points.

    You won’t earn the prerequisite by accident, though. Although “energy efficiency” is on everyone’s lips, the mandatory and performance-based requirements for EAp2 go beyond code compliance in most places. That said, there is nothing to stop you from meeting the requirements with a reasonable amount of effort, and the environmental benefits as well as the operational cost savings are significant.

    Most projects start by choosing which of the three available compliance paths to follow. We’ll look at them each in turn.

    Option 1: Energy modeling

    Option 1 alone gives you access to all of the points available through EAc1, and offers the most flexibility in giving you credit for innovative designs.

    First, you need to meet the mandatory requirements of ASHRAE 90.1-2007 for all major components, including the envelope, HVAC, lighting, and domestic hot water. ASHRAE 90.1 has had some changes and new mandatory requirements since the 2004 version, which was referenced on previous LEED systems, so be sure to review the standard carefully.

    Cost of changeEnergy efficiency is an area where it behooves project teams to start early and work together to maximize savings. Playing catch-up later on can be costly.Second, you need to demonstrate a 10% savings (5% for existing buildings) for your designed building compared with a baseline case meeting the minimum requirements of ASHRAE 90.1 (or Title 24-2005, Part 6 for California projects). You do this by creating a computer model following rules described in Appendix G of ASHRAE 90.1.

    Computer modeling offers the following key advantages:

    • It can be used to provide feedback on your design both early on, and as the design progresses, so it’s best to use in this way rather than simply demonstrating compliance.
    • It can help your team focus on the most cost-effective efficiency strategies, by plugging in different options and seeing the results.
    • If your building is unconventional or complex in design, an energy model is the best way to account for that.

    Your building type may not have a choice—you may have to follow this path, because both Options 2 and 3 are prescriptive compliance paths that are only available to specific building types and sizes.

    However, if your building type and size allow, and you don’t want to embark on the complex process of computer modeling, which also requires expert assistance from a modeler or from a member of the mechanical engineer’s team, the prescriptive compliance paths are a good way to earn the prerequisite simply by following a checklist.

    Solar shadingPassive design strategies such as shading to reduce solar heat gain are the most cost-effective ways to improve energy performance.Note, however, that when you get to EAc1, there are a lot fewer points on the table for the prescriptive paths, and that you have to follow each prescriptive requirement. These paths also require more collaboration and focus early on in design than you might think. The design team must work together to integrate all of the prescriptive requirements, and Option 3 even requires documentation of certain design processes.

    Option 2: ASHRAE Advanced Energy Design Guides

    The Advanced Energy Design Guides are published by ASHRAE for office, warehouse, and retail projects less than 20,000 ft2—so if you don’t fall into one of those categories, you’re not eligible for this path.

    These guides outline strategies to reduce energy use by 30% from 2001 levels, or an amount equivalent to approximately 10%–14% reduction from ASHRAE 90.1-2007. If you choose this compliance path, become familiar with the list of prescriptive requirements and commit to meeting all of them.

    Option 3: Advanced Buildings Core Performance Guide

    The Core Performance Guide path is a good option if all of the following are true:

    • your project is smaller than 100,000 ft2,
    • you cannot pursue Option 2 because there is not an ASHRAE guide for the building type,
    • your project is not a healthcare facility, lab, or warehouse,
    • and you would rather not commit to the energy modeling required for Option 1.

    Comply with all requirements within Sections 1 and 2 of the guide. If you choose this path, become familiar with the list of prescriptive requirements and commit to meeting them. Also note that it’s not just a list of prescriptive requirements, but a prescribed process for achieving energy efficiency goals. You must demonstrate that you considered a couple of alternate designs, for example, and that certain team meetings were held.

    Reduce energy loads first

    Energy efficiency offers a clear combination of environmental benefit and benefit to the owner through reduced operational expenses, and potentially reduced first costs, if you’re able to reduce the size and complexity of your HVAC system with a more efficient envelope.

    High-tech HVAC systems, and onsite renewable energy generation are often signature components of green buildings, but consider these strategies more “icing” on the cake, rather than a place to start. Start with building orientation and passive design features first. Also look at envelope design, such as energy-efficient windows, walls and roof, before looking at HVAC and plug loads. A poorly designed envelope with a high-tech HVAC system is not, on the whole, efficient or cost-effective. 

    District energy systems

    Projects connected to district energy systems will not be able to utilize the system efficiencies of the base plant to demonstrate compliance with the prerequisite. They can plan on benefiting from these systems under EAc1, however.

    Look for incentives

    Focusing on energy efficiency and renewable energy generation can seem to add costs to a project, but there are a variety of utility-provided, as well as state, and federal incentives available to offset those premiums. (See Resources.)

  • FAQs for EAp2

    Is it acceptable to model a split-type AC with inverter technology compressor as a heat pump, like modeling VRF?

    Ideally if the software you are using cannot model a technology directly then seek a published workaround related to your software. If you can't find a published workaround then model it as you think it should be modeled and explain how you have modeled it in the preliminary LEED submission.

    A portion of our building envelope is historic. Can we exclude it from our model?

    No, not if it is part of the LEED project. However, there is an exemption for existing building envelopes in Appendix G that allow you to model the existing condition in the baseline so you do not pay a penalty.

    For an existing building, do I need to rotate the model?

    No, not for an existing building.

    Our project has a large process load—75%. Despite our efforts to make an efficient HVAC design, the cost savings are minimal. What can we do to earn this prerequisite and be eligible for LEED certification? Is there any flexibility in how we model the process load?

    You must model accurately. Since you don't have enough savings in the building energy, find savings in the process. Either you will be able to demonstrate that compared to a conventional baseline the process being installed into the factory is demonstrably better than "similar newly constructed facilities," allowing you to claim some savings, or the owner needs to install some energy-saving measures into the process to get the project the rest of the way there. Either option can be difficult, but not impossible.

    Account for process load reductions through the exceptional calculation method. A baseline must be established based on standard practice for the process in your location. Any claim of energy savings needs a thorough narrative explaining the baseline and the strategy for energy savings along with an explanation of how the savings were calculated.

    Our process load is higher than 25%. Do we have to justify that?

    It is common to have a 80%–90% process load in a manufacturing facility. The 25% default in LEED is based on office buildings. If you think your load is lower than 25%, it is recommended that you explain why in a short narrative. It is also recommended to briefly explain it if your load is 25% exactly, since that level commonly reveals that the process loads were not accurately represented.

    Do the required savings for this prerequisite (and credit) need to come only from building energy, or also process loads?

    The energy savings are based on the whole building energy use—building and process. LEED does not stipulate exactly where they come from.

    Our local code references ASHRAE 90.1-2010. Should I use that for my documentation, or 90.1-2007?

    For LEED 2009 you'll need touse 90.1-2007. There were some significant changes in 90.1-2010—too many to account for in your LEED review, and your project would also have a much harder time demonstrating the same percentage energy savings.

    Our project doesn't have enough energy savings to earn the prerequisite. Can we get there by incorporating onsite renewables?

    Yes according to LEED, although it is not recommended as a best practice, and it is usually more cost-effective to invest in energy savings in the building.

    Can I claim exterior lighting savings for canopy lighting even though a baseline model cannot include shading elements?

    You can assume exterior lighting savings for canopies against the baseline, but not the shading effects of canopies.

    The project is built on a site with existing exterior lighting installed. How should this be accounted for?

    If exterior lighting is present on the project site, consider it as a constant in both energy model cases.

    Can mezzanines open to floors below be excluded from the energy model?

    Any conditioned area must be included in the energy model.

    How do I provide a zip code for an international location?

    The Energy Star portion of the form does not apply to international projects.

    For a project outside the U.S., how do I determine the climate zone?

    Use the tables and definitions provided in 90.1 Appendix B to determine an equivalent ASHRAE climate zone.

    For a project outside the U.S., how do I determine the Target Finder score?

    International projects are not required to enter a Target Finder score. Target Finder is based on U.S. energy use data.

    Do hotel rooms need automatic light shut-off control?

    For Section 9.4.1.1c, a manual control device would be sufficient to comply with mandatory provisions.

    How commonly are the 90.1 mandatory compliance forms submitted as part of EAp2/EAc1?

    Submitting these forms is not common; however, it can be beneficial if you are applying for any exceptions.

    The Section 9 space-by-space method does not include residential space types. What should I use?

    Use the building area method.

    Can the Passive House Planning Package (PHPP) be used to energy model for LEED?

    Although there is no formal list of approved simulation tools, there are a few requirements per G2.2.1, including the ability of the program to provide hourly simulation for 8760 hours per year, and model ten or more thermal zones, which PHPP does not meet.

    Can the Trace 700 'LEED Energy Performance Summary Report' by uploaded to LEED Online in lieu of the Section 1.4 tables spreadsheet?

    The automated Trace 700 report provides less information than is requested by the Section 1.4 tables spreadsheet. The Section 1.4 tables spreadsheet must be completed.

    Which baseline HVAC system do I use if my building has no heating or air conditioning?

    Assign HVAC systems as per Appendix-G and Section 6 but set thermostatic setpointsSetpoints are normal operating ranges for building systems and indoor environmental quality. When the building systems are outside of their normal operating range, action is taken by the building operator or automation system. out of range so that systems never turn on.

    Our project has a diesel backup generator. Should we include it in our energy model?

    If it is only used for backup and not for regular use such as peak shaving—no.

    Can SHGC be higher in the proposed than in the baseline model?

    SHGC is not a mandatory provision so it is available for trade-off and can be higher than the baseline.

    Do I need to justify the electrical and fuel rates I am using in my model?

    You generally wouldn't need to upload any documentation, but particularly for a non-U.S. project, it may help to provide a short narrative about what they are based on.

Legend

  • Best Practices
  • Gotcha
  • Action Steps
  • Cost Tip

Pre-Design

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  • Discuss your project’s energy performance objectives, along with how those are shaping design decisions, with the owner. Record energy targets in the Owners Project Requirements (OPR) for the commissioning credits EAp1 and EAc3


  • You won’t earn this prerequisite by accident. The energy efficiency requirements here are typically much more stringent than local codes, so plan on giving it special attention with your team, including leadership from the owner. 


  • Consider stating goals in terms of minimum efficiency levels and specific payback periods. For example: “Our goal is to exceed a 20% reduction from ASHRAE 90.1, with all efficiency measures having a payback period of 10 years or less.”


  • Develop a precedent for energy targets by conducting research on similar building types and using the EPA’s Target Finder program. (See Resources.)


  • For Option 1 only, you will need to comply with the mandatory requirements of ASHRAE 90.1-2007, to bring your project to the minimum level of performance. The ASHRAE 90.1-2007 User’s Manual is a great resource, with illustrated examples of solutions for meeting the requirements.


  • ASHRAE 90.1-2007 has some additional requirements compared with 2004. Read through the standard for a complete update. The following are some samples. 

    • All exterior walls must be installed with rigid insulation of the spans across all floors. This can be accomplished by placing the insulation outside the air barrier. 
    • All exterior doors must be tested for maximum air leakage rate. 
    • All spaces must have independent lighting controls. 
    • Occupancy sensors must be installed in some spaces.
    • The minimum efficiency level of specific mechanical equipment has been raised.  

  • The prerequisite’s energy-reduction target of 10% is not common practice and is considered beyond code compliance. 


  • ClerestoryIndirect sunlight delievered through clerestories like this helps reduce lighting loads as well as cooling loads. Photo – YRG Sustainability, Project – Cooper Union, New York A poorly designed envelope with a high-tech HVAC system is not, on the whole, efficient or cost-effective. Start with building orientation and passive design features first when looking for energy efficiency. Also look at envelope design, such as energy-efficient windows, walls and roof, before looking at HVAC and plug loads. HVAC may also be a good place to improve performance with more efficient equipment, but first reducing loads with smaller equipment can lead to even greater operational and upfront savings. A poorly designed envelope with a high-tech HVAC system is not, on the whole, efficient or cost-effective. 


  • Don’t plan on using onsite renewable energy generation (see EAc2) to make your building energy-efficient. It is almost always more cost-effective to make an efficient building, and then to add renewables like photovoltaics as the “icing” on the cake.


  • Some rules of thumb to reduce energy use are:

    • Program similar spaces together to reduce distribution losses 
    • Use a window-to-wall ratio below 40%, on average
    • Use a window-to-wall ratio below 20% on east and west sides, to reduce low-angle solar gain, and glare; 
    • Reduce direct solar gain with solar shades or building geometry and orientation
    • Distribute heating and cooling loads uniformly throughout all facades for a smaller system size. 
    • Design a tight and well-insulated building envelope to reduce the heating load and improve HVAC performance
    • Use right-sized and efficient heating and cooling systems
    • Consider onsite renewable energy generation.

  • Choosing your compliance path


  • Find the best credit compliance path based on your building type and energy-efficiency targets. Use the following considerations, noting that some projects are more suited to a prescriptive approach than others. 


  • Option 1: Whole Building Energy Simulation requires estimating the energy use of the whole building over a calendar year, using methodology established by ASHRAE 90.1-2007, Appendix G. Option 1 establishes a computer model of the building’s architectural design and all mechanical, electrical, domestic hot water, plug load, and other energy-consuming systems and devices. The model incorporates the occupancy load and a schedule representing projected usage in order to predict energy use. This compliance path does not prescribe any technology or strategy, but requires a minimum reduction in total energy cost of 10% (5% for an existing building), compared to a baseline building with the same form and design but using systems compliant with ASHRAE 90.1-2007. You can earn additional LEED points through EAc1 for cost reductions of 12% and greater (8% for existing buildings). 


  • Option 2: Prescriptive Compliance Path: ASHRAE Advanced Energy Design Guide refers to design guides published by ASHRAE for office, school, warehouse, and retail projects. These guides outline strategies to reduce energy use by 30% from ASHRAE 90.1-2001 levels, or an amount equivalent to a 10%–14% reduction from the ASHRAE 90.1-2007 standard. If you choose this compliance path, become familiar with the list of prescriptive requirements and commit to meeting them. (See the AEDG checklist in the Documentation Toolkit.) 


  • Option 3: Prescriptive Compliance Path: Advanced Buildings Core Performance Guide is another, more basic prescriptive path. It’s a good option if your project is smaller than 100,000 ft2, cannot pursue Option 2 (because there is not an ASHRAE guide for the building type), is not a healthcare facility, lab, or warehouse—or you would rather not commit to the energy modeling required for Option 1. Your project can be of any other building type (such as office or retail). To meet the prerequisite, you must comply with all requirements within Sections 1 and 2 of the guide. If you choose this path, become familiar with the list of activities and requirements and commit to meeting them. (See Resources for a link to the Core Performance Guide and the Documentation Toolkit for the checklist of prescriptive items.)


  • EAc1: Optimize Energy Performance uses the same structure of Options 1–3, so it makes sense to think about the credit and the prerequisite together when making your choice. In EAc1, Option 1 offers the potential for far more points than Options 2 and 3, so if you see your project as a likely candidate for earning those points, Option 1 may be best.


  • Hotels, multifamily residential, and unconventional commercial buildings may not be eligible for either Option 2 or Option 3, because the prescriptive guidance of these paths was not intended for them. Complex projects, unconventional building types, off-grid projects, or those with high energy-reduction goals are better off pursuing Option 1, which provides the opportunity to explore more flexible and innovative efficiency strategies and to trade off high-energy uses for lower ones. 


  • If your project combines new construction and existing building renovation then whatever portion contains more than 50% of the floor area would determine the energy thresholds.


  • Options 2 and 3 are suitable for small, conventional building types that may not have as much to gain from detailed energy modeling with Option 1. 


  • Meeting the prescriptive requirements of Options 2 and 3 is not common practice and requires a high degree of attention to detail by your project team. (See the Documentation Toolkit for the Core Performance Guide Checklist.) These paths are more straightforward than Option 1, but don’t think of them as easy. 


  • Options 2 and 3 require additional consultant time from architects and MEP engineers over typical design commitment, which means higher upfront costs. 


  • Option 1 references the mandatory requirements of ASHRAE 90.1-2007, which are more stringent than earlier LEED rating systems that referred to ASHRAE 90.1-2004.


  • Option 1 energy simulation provides monthly and annual operating energy use and cost breakdowns. You can complete multiple iterations, refining energy-efficiency strategies each time. Payback periods can be quickly computed for efficiency strategies using their additional first costs. A building’s life is assumed to be 60 years. A payback period of five years is considered a very good choice, and 10 years is typically considered reasonable. Consult the OPR for your owners’ goals while selecting your efficiency strategies. 


  • Option 1 energy simulation often requires hiring an energy modeling consultant, adding a cost (although this ranges, it is typically on the order of $0.10–$0.50/ft2 depending on the complexity). However, these fees produce high value in terms of design and decision-making assistance, and especially for complex or larger projects can be well worth the investment. 


  • All compliance path options may require both the architectural and engineering teams to take some time in addition to project management to review the prescriptive checklists, fill out the LEED Online credit form, and develop the compliance document. 


  • Option 1: Whole Building Energy Simulation


  • The architect, mechanical engineer, and lighting designer need to familiarize themselves and confirm compliance with the mandatory requirements of ASHRAE 90.1-2007, sections 5–9.


  • Use simple computer tools like SketchUp and Green Building Studio that are now available with energy analysis plug-ins to generate a first-order estimate of building energy use within a climate context and to identify a design direction. Note that you may need to refer to different software may not be the one used to develop complete the whole building energy simulations necessary for LEED certification. 


  • Energy modeling can inform your project team from the start of design. Early on, review site climate data—such as temperature, humidity and wind, available from most energy software—as a team. Evaluate the site context and the microclimate, noting the effects of neighboring buildings, bodies of water, and vegetation. Estimate the distribution of energy across major end uses (such as space heating and cooling, lighting, plug loads, hot water, and any additional energy uses), targeting high-energy-use areas to focus on during design.  


  • Energy use breakdown pie chartUse a preliminary energy use breakdown like this one to identify target areas for energy savings.Perform preliminary energy modeling in advance of the schematic design phase kick-off meeting or design charrette. The energy use breakdown can help identify targets for energy savings and point toward possible alternatives. 


  • For existing buildings, the baseline energy model can reflect the pre-renovation features like rather than a minimally ASHRAE-compliant building. This will help you achieve additional savings in comparison with the baseline.


  • Projects generating renewable energy onsite should use Option 1 to best demonstrate EAp2 compliance and maximize points under EAc1. Other options are possible but won’t provide as much benefit. Like any other project, model the baseline case as a system compliant with ASHRAE 90.1-2007, using grid-connected electricity, and the design case is an “as-designed” system also using grid-connected electricity. You then plug in 100% onsite renewable energy in the final energy-cost comparison table, as required by the performance rating method (PRM) or the modeling protocol of ASHRRAE 90.1 2007, Appendix G. (Refer to the sample PRM tables in the Documentation Toolkit for taking account of onsite renewable energy.


  • LEED divides energy-using systems into two categories: 

    • (i) Regulated loads. Most prominent systems—space heating, cooling, ventilation and pumps, lighting, and hot water—are regulated by ASHRAE and LEED so are termed “regulated” loads. Your energy model can provide insights into the energy use of all these systems. 
    • (ii) Non-regulated loads are those which are not directly associated with creating a comfortable environment, but with plug loads for machines. These include elevators, kitchen equipment, office equipment, televisions, and activity-oriented lighting, such as in hospitals. Though these are very large energy loads, they are not regulated by ASHRAE 90.1 or by LEED. Energy savings from specifying better equipment is not counted in energy models. It is typically expected that these non-regulated loads contribute to 25% of energy use.

  • The energy model itself will not account for any change in plug loads from the baseline case, even if your project is making a conscious effort to purchase Energy Star or other efficient equipment. Any improvement made in plug loads must be documented separately, using the exceptional calculation methodology (ECM), as described in ASHRAE 90.1-2007. These calculations determine the design case energy cost compared to the baseline case. They are included in the performance rating method (PRM) table or directly in the baseline and design case model. 


  • Besides energy modeling, you may need to use the exceptional calculation methodology (ECM) when any of the following situations occur: 

    • The energy software cannot carry out calculations for a specific systems like natural ventilation or unusual HVAC equipment.
    • Process loads are different in baseline and design cases and can influence total energy cost savings.
    • The proposed design can’t demonstrate savings with the modeling protocol and needs additional calculations. 

  • Some energy-modeling software tools have a daylight-modeling capability. Using the same model for both energy and IEQc8.1: Daylight and Views—Daylight can greatly reduce the cost of your modeling efforts.


  • Option 2: Prescriptive Compliance Path—ASHRAE Advanced Energy Design Guides


  • Provide a copy of the AEDG for office, retail, or warehouse, as applicable, to each team member as everyone, including the architect, mechanical and electrical engineers, lighting designer, and commissioning agents, are responsible for ensuring compliance. These are available to download free from the ASHRAE website. (See Resources.) 


  • Find your climate zone before attempting to meet any detailed prescriptive requirements. Climate zones vary by county, so be sure to select the right one. (See the Documentation Toolkit for a list of climate zones by county.)


  • Develop a checklist of all requirements, and assign responsible team members to accomplish them. Hold a meeting to walk the team through the AEDG checklist for your project’s climate zone. Clarify specific design goals and prescriptive requirements in the OPR for EAp1: Fundamental Commissioning.


  • Early access to the AEDG by each team member avoids last-minute changes that can have cascading, and costly, effects across many building systems. 


  • The AEDG prescriptive requirements include: 

    • a maximum allowable window-to-wall ratio;
    • continuous insulation on the outside of walls;
    • roofs and floor-slab minimum thermal performance;
    • minimum window and door thermal performance;
    • minimum boiler and chiller efficiencies;
    • and mandatory use economizers or heat recovery ventilation.

    If your project team is not comfortable following these guidelines, consider switching to Option 1, which gives you more flexibility. 


  • Although Option 2 is generally lower cost during the design phase than energy modeling, the compliance path is top heavy—it requires additional meeting time upfront for key design members. 


  • Option 3: Prescriptive—Advanced Buildings Core Performance Guide


  • Provide a copy of the New Buildings Institute Advanced Buildings: Core Performance Guide to each team member. The guide is available to download free from the NBI website. (See Resources.) 


  • The guide provides practical design assistance that can be used throughout the design process.


  • Walk your team through the project checklist to clarify design goals and prescriptive requirements. 


  • The guide provides an outline for approaching an energy-efficient design, in addition to a list of prescriptive measures. The first of its three sections emphasizes process and team interaction rather than specific building systems or features. Advise the owner to read through the guide in order to understand what is required of the architect and engineers. 


  • Section 1 in the guide focuses on best practices that benefit the project during the pre-design and schematic design stages, such as analyzing alternative designs and writing the owner’s project requirements (OPR). 


  • Section 2 of the Core Performance Guide describes architectural, lighting, and mechanical systems to be included. Section 3 is not required for EAp2 but includes additional opportunities for energy savings that can earn EAc1 points. 


  • The guide mandates that your team develop a minimum of three different design concepts to select from for best energy use.


  • Though they can be a little daunting at first glance, a majority of the guide’s requirements overlap with other LEED credits, such as EAp1: Fundamental Commissioning, IEQp1: Minimum Indoor Air Quality Performance, and IEQc6.1: Controllability of Systems—Lighting Controls


  • This compliance path is top-heavy due to upfront consultant time, but it provides adequate structure to ensure that your project is in compliance with the prerequisite requirements. For some projects it may be less expensive to pursue than Option 1. 

Schematic Design

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  • The owner should now have finalized the OPR with the support of the architect, as part of the commissioning credits EAp1 and EAc3. The goals identified here will help your team identify energy-reduction and occupant-comfort strategies.


  • Consider a broad range of energy-efficiency strategies and tools, including passive solar, daylighting, cooling-load reduction, and natural ventilation to reduce heating and cooling loads. 


  • Develop the basis of design (BOD) document in conjunction with your mechanical engineer and architect for EAp1: Fundamental Commissioning, noting key design parameters to help strategize design direction as outlined in the OPR. 


  • The OPR and BOD serve the larger purpose of documenting the owner’s vision and your team’s ideas to meet those goals. The BOD is intended to be a work-in-progress and should be updated at all key milestones in your project. Writing the document gives you an opportunity to capture the owner’s goals, whether just to meet the prerequisite or to achieve points under EAc1.


  • Confirm that your chosen compliance path is the most appropriate for your project, and make any changes now. Following a review with the design team and owner, ensure that everyone is on board with contracting an energy modeler for Option 1 or meeting all the prescriptive requirements under Options 2 or 3. 


  • Sometimes teams change from Option 1 to Options 2 or 3 very late in the design phase for various reasons including not realizing the cost of energy modeling. Making that change is risky, though: the prescriptive paths are all-or-nothing—you must comply with every item, without exception. Evaluate each requirement and consult with the contractor and estimator to ensure the inclusion of all activities within project management. 


  • To avoid costly, last-minute decisions, develop a comprehensive, component-based cost model as a decision matrix for your project. The model will help establish additional cost requirements for each energy conservation measure. It will also illustrate cost reductions from decreased equipment size, construction rendered unnecessary by energy conservation measures, and reduced architectural provisions for space and equipment access. (See the Documentation Toolkit for an example.)


  • Use envelope design and passive strategies to reduce the heating and cooling loads prior to detailed design of HVAC systems. Passive strategies can reduce heating and cooling loads, giving the engineer more options, including smaller or innovative systems.


  • Load reduction requires coordinated efforts by all design members including the architect, lighting designer, interior designer, information-technology manager, and owner. 

    • Architects can choose the optimum building orientation, select the appropriate envelope system and design it to be tight, and configure programming to utilize passive strategies as much as possible. 
    • Lighting designers help by harvesting daylight, making appropriate fixture selections, minimizing lighting layouts (fewer fixtures), providing maximum controls and daylight and occupancy sensors to reduce wasted light. 
    • Interior designers are critical for selecting reflective finishes to enhance daylighting and specifying Energy Star appliances. 
    • IT specialists are important, especially in buildings with data centers, for selection of computers and data-processing equipment that reduce the power load as well as cooling. 

  • Involving facilities staff in the design process can further inform key design decisions, helping ensure successful operation and low maintenance costs.


  • Encourage your design team to brainstorm design innovations and energy-reduction strategies. This provides a communication link among team members so they can make informed decisions. 


  • More energy-efficient HVAC equipment can cost more relative to conventional equipment. However, by reducing heating and cooling loads through good passive design, the mechanical engineer can often reduce the size and cost of the system. Reduced system size can save money through:

    • smaller chillers or boilers;
    • smaller fans, used less frequently;
    • smaller pumps and auxiliary systems;
    • smaller ducts;
    • and less square footage devoted to mechanical systems.

  • Review case studies of similar energy-efficient buildings in the same climate to provide helpful hints for selecting energy-efficiency measures. For example, a building in a heating-dominated climate can often benefit from natural ventilation and free cooling during shoulder seasons. (See Resources for leading industry journals showcasing success stories around the country and internationally.)


  • The relationship between first costs and operating costs can be complex. For example, more efficient windows will be more expensive, but could reduce the size and cost of mechanical equipment. A more efficient HVAC system may be more expensive, but will reduce operating costs. Play around with variables and different strategies to get the right fit for the building and the owner’s goals as stated in the OPR.


  • Option 1: Whole Building Energy Simulation


  • Review and confirm compliance with the mandatory requirements of all the relevant sections of ASHRAE 90.1-2007


  • Trust your project’s energy modeling task to a mechanical firm with a proven track record in using models as design tools, and experience with your building type.


  • Contract an energy modeling team for the project. These services may be provided by the mechanical engineering firm on the design team or by an outside consultant. Software used for detailed energy use analysis and submitted for final LEED certification must be accepted by the regulatory authority with jurisdiction, and must comply with paragraph G2.2 of ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007. Refer to Resources for a list of Department of Energy approved energy-analysis software that may be used for LEED projects.


  • Design team members, including the architect and mechanical engineer at a minimum, need to work together to identify a percentage improvement goal for project energy use over the ASHRAE 90.1-2007-compliant baseline model. The percentage should be at least 10% to meet the prerequisite. 


  • Plan on initiating energy modeling during the design process, and use it to inform your design—preferably executing several iterations of the design as you improve the modeled energy performance. 


  • Ask the modeling consultant to develop an annual energy-use breakdown—in order to pick the “fattest” targets for energy reduction. A typical energy-use breakdown required for LEED submission and ASHRAE protocol includes: 

    • lighting;
    • space heating;
    • space cooling;
    • domestic hot water;
    • additional installed heat recovery, refrigeration, or heat-rejection systems;
    • ventilation fans and auxiliary pumps;
    • and equipment and plug loads. 

  • Identify critical areas in which to reduce loads. For example, in a data center, the plug loads are the largest energy load. Small changes in lighting density might bring down the energy use but represent only a small fraction of annual energy use. 


  • Don't forget that LEED (following ASHRAE) uses energy cost and not straight energy when it compares your design to a base case. That's important because you might choose to use a system that burns natural gas instead of electricity and come out with a lower cost, even though the on-site energy usage in kBtus or kWhs is higher. Generally you have to specify the same fuel in your design case and in the base case, however, so you can't simply switch fuels to show a cost savings


  • Explore and analyze design alternatives for energy use analyses to compare the cost-effectiveness of your design choices. For example, do you get better overall performance from a better window or from adding a PV panel? Will demand-control ventilation outperform increased ceiling insulation?


  • Simple, comparative energy analyses of conceptual design forms are useful ways to utilize an energy model at this stage. Sample scenarios include varying the area of east-facing windows and looking at 35% versus 55% glazing. Each scenario can be ranked by absolute energy use to make informed decisions during the design stage. 


  • If your project is using BIM software, the model can be plugged into the energy analysis software to provide quick, real-time results and support better decisions. 


  • Model development should be carried out following the PRM from ASHRAE 90.1-2007, Appendix G, and the LEED 2009 Design and Construction Reference Guide, Table in EAc1. In case of a conflict between ASHRAE and LEED guidelines, follow LEED.


  • Projects using district energy systems have special requirements. For EAp2, the proposed building must achieve the 10% energy savings without counting the effects of the district generation system. To earn points in EAc1 you can take advantage of the district system’s efficiency, but you have to run the energy model again to claim those benefits (see EAc1 for details). 


  • While you could run the required energy model at the end of the design development phase, simply to demonstrate your prerequisite compliance, you don’t get the most value that way in terms of effort and expense. Instead, do it early in the design phase, and run several versions as you optimize your design. Running the model also gives you an opportunity to make improvements if your project finds itself below the required 10% savings threshold.


  • The baseline model is the designed building with mechanical systems specified in ASHRAE 90.1-2007, Appendix G, for the specific building type, with a window-to-wall ratio at a maximum of 40%, and minimally code-compliant specifications for the envelope, lighting, and mechanical components. It can be developed as soon as preliminary drawings are completed. The baseline is compared to the design case to provide a percentage of reduction in annual energy use. To avoid any bias from orientation, you need to run the baseline model in each of the four primary directions, and the average serves as your final baseline figure. 


  • The design-case is modeled using the schematic design, orientation, and proposed window-to-wall ratio—¬the model will return design-case annual energy costs. Earn points by demonstrating percentage reductions in annual energy costs from the design to the baseline case. EAp2 is achieved if the design case is 10% lower than the baseline in new construction (or 5% less in existing building renovations). 


  • Provide as much project and design detail to the modeler as possible. A checklist is typically developed by the energy modeler, listing all the construction details of the walls, roof, slabs, windows, mechanical systems, equipment efficiencies, occupancy load, and schedule of operations. Any additional relevant information or design changes should be brought to the modeler’s attention as soon as possible. The more realistic the energy model is, the more accurate the energy use figure, leading to better help with your design.


  • Invite energy modelers to project meetings. An experienced modeler can often assist in decision-making during design meetings, even without running complete models each time. 


  • All known plug loads must be included in the model. The baseline and design-case models assume identical plug loads. If your project is deliberately attempting to reduce plug loads, demonstrate this by following the exceptional calculation method (ECM), as described in ASHRAE 90.1-2007, G2.5. Incorporate these results in the model to determine energy savings. 


  • For items outside the owner’s control—like lighting layout, fans and pumps—the parameters for the design and baseline models must be identical.


  • It can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to generate meaningful energy modeling results. Schedule the due dates for modeling results so that they can inform your design process.


  • Review the rate structure from your electrical utility. The format can inform your team of the measures likely to be most effective in reducing energy costs, especially as they vary over season, peak load, and additional charges beyond minimum energy use.


  • Performing a cost-benefit analysis in conjunction with energy modeling can determine payback times for all the energy strategies, helping the iterative design process.


  • Using energy modeling only to check compliance after the design stage wastes much of the value of the service, and thus your investment.


  • Option 2: Prescriptive—ASHRAE Advanced Energy Design Guides 


  • The architect and mechanical engineer should carefully read the applicable ASHRAE Advanced Energy Design Guide for office, warehouse, or retail projects, as applicable. 


  • Keep the owner abreast of the design decisions dictated by the standard. Fill in the team-developed checklist, within the climate zone table’s prescribed requirements, with appropriate envelope improvements, system efficiencies, and a configuration that meets the standard requirements. 


  • As a prescriptive path, this option relies heavily on following the requirement checklist, which is used throughout the design process to track progress. To assist design development, provide all critical team members—not limited to the architect, mechanical and electrical engineers, and lighting designer—with a checklist highlighting their appointed tasks.


  • The architect, mechanical engineer, and lighting designer need to discuss each requirement and its design ramifications. Hold these meetings every six to eight weeks to discuss progress and make sure all requirements are being met.


  • Confirm that your project team is comfortable with following all the prescribed requirements. If not, switch to Option 1: Whole Building Energy Simulation. 


  • The LEED Online credit form does not specify how to document each prescriptive requirement because they are so different for each project; it only requires a signed confirmation by the MEP for meeting AEDG requirements. You still have to provide documentation. Submit your checklist of requirements, and supporting information for each item, through LEED Online to make your case. If your project fails to meet even one requirement, it will fail to earn the prerequisite, thus jeopardizing LEED certification.  


  • Although energy modeling consultant costs are avoided by this option, additional staff time will be required to document and track compliance status, as compared with conventional projects.


  • Energy efficiency measures prescribed by the guide can be perceived as additional costs in comparison with conventional projects. However, they are easy to implement and are cost-effective pn the whole.


  • Option 3: Prescriptive Compliance Path—Advanced Buildings Core Performance Guide 


  • Become familiar with the Core Performance Guide early in the design phase to know the multiple requirements and all requisite documents.


  • Note that the guide demands additional time, attention, and integrated process from the design team as compared to conventional projects. It’s not just a list of prescriptive requirements, but a prescribed process for achieving energy efficiency goals. LEED Online documentation requires proof of all steps outlined in Sections 1 and 2, including three conceptual design options and meeting minutes. The project manager, architect, and mechanical engineer should read the complete Core Performance Guide carefully to know beforehand the prescriptive requirements in Sections 1 and 2. 


  • The project manager must take responsibility for ensuring that the requirement checklist is on track.


  • For Section 3, the design team needs to identify three or more of the listed strategies as possible targets for the project. 


  • Create a checklist of requirements and assign a responsible party to each item. 


  • The Core Performance Guide requires an integrated design contributed by the architect, mechanical and electrical engineers, and lighting designer. The project manager must take responsibility for shepherding and documenting the collaborative process to demonstrate compliance. 


  • A long documentation list can be overwhelming for your team, so create a detailed checklist with tasks delegated to individual team members, allowing each member to focus on assigned tasks. The checklist can function as a status tracking document and, finally, the deliverable for LEED Online.

Design Development

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  • The architect and engineer, and other project team members, continue to develop a high-performance building envelope with efficient mechanical and lighting systems. 


  • Constant communication and feedback among project team members, owner, and if possible, operational staff, during design development can minimize construction as well as operational costs and keep your project on schedule. 


  • If you change or go through value-engineering on any specifications, such as the solar-heat gain coefficient of glazing, for example, be aware of impacts on mechanical system sizing. Making changes like this might not pay off as much as it first appears.


  • Consider using building information modeling (BIM) tools to keep design decisions up to date and well documented for all team members.


  • Schedule delays can be avoided if all team members share their ideas and update documents during the design development process. 


  • Option 1: Whole Building Energy Simulation


  • The modeler completes the energy analysis of the selected design and system and offers alternative scenarios for discussion. The modeler presents the energy cost reduction results to the team, identifying the LEED threshold achieved.


  • It’s helpful for the energy modeling report to include a simple payback analysis to assist the owner in making an informed decision on the operational savings of recommended features. 


  • The architect and HVAC engineer should agree on the design, working with the cost estimator and owner.


  • Demonstrating reductions in non-regulated loads requires a rigorous definition of the baseline case. The loads must be totally equivalent, in terms of functionality, to the proposed design case. For example, reducing the number of computers in the building does not qualify as a legitimate reduction in non-regulated loads. However, the substitution of laptops for desktop computers, and utilization of flat-screen displays instead of CRTs for the same number of computers, may qualify as a reduction.


  • Residential and hospitality projects that use low-flow showers, lavatories, and kitchen sinks (contributing to WEp1) benefit from lower energy use due to reduced overall demand for hot water. However, for energy-savings calculations, these are considered process loads that must be modeled as identical in baseline and design cases, or you have the choice of demonstrating the savings with ECM for process loads. 


  • Perform daylight calculations in conjunction with energy modeling to balance the potentially competing goals of more daylight versus higher solar-heat gain resulting in high cooling loads. 


  • If your project is pursuing renewable energy, the energy generated is accounted for by using the PRM. These results provide information about whether the energy is contributing to EAc2: Onsite Renewable Energy. 


  • A cost-benefit analysis can help the owner understand the return on investment of big-ticket, energy-conserving equipment that lowers operating energy bills with a quick payback. 


  • Complete at least half of the energy modeling effort by the end of the design development stage. Help the design team to finalize strategy through intensive, early efforts in energy modeling. Once the team has a design direction, the modeler can develop a second model during the construction documents phase for final confirmation. 


  • If pursuing ECM for non-regulated loads, calculate energy saving for each measure separately if you are, for example, installing an energy-efficient elevator instead of a typical one so that the reduction would contribute to total building energy savings. Calculate the anticipated energy use of the typical elevator in kBTUs or kWh. Using the same occupancy load, calculate the energy use of the efficient elevator. Incorporate the savings into design case energy use within the PRM. Refer to the ECM strategy for detailed calculation guidelines. 


  • Option 2: Prescriptive Compliance Path—ASHRAE Advanced Energy Design Guides 


  • Ensure that all prescriptive requirements are incorporated into the design by the end of the design development stage.


  • Revisit the Advanced Energy Design Guides (AEDG) checklist to ensure that the design meets the prescriptive requirements.


  • Option 3: Prescriptive Compliance Path—Advanced Buildings Core Performance Guide


  • The mechanical engineer, lighting consultant, and architect revisit the checklist for an update on the requirements and how they are being integrated into the design. All prescriptive requirements should be specifically incorporated into the design by the end of the design development phase. 


  • The mechanical engineer and architect track the status of each requirement.


  • While the LEED Online credit form does not require detailed documentation for each Core Performance Guide requirement, it is important that each item be documented as required and reviewed by the rest of the team to confirm compliance, especially as further documentation may be requested by during review. Your design team should work with the owner to identify cost-effective strategies from Section 3 that can be pursued for the project. 

Construction Documents

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  • Construction documents clearly detail the architectural and mechanical systems that address energy-efficiency strategies.  


  • Confirm that specifications and the bid package integrate all equipment and activities associated with the project. 


  • If the project goes through value engineering, refer to the OPR and BOD to ensure that no key comfort, health, productivity, daylight, or life-cycle cost concerns are sacrificed.


  • During the budget estimating phase, the project team may decide to remove some energy-saving strategies that have been identified as high-cost items during the value-engineering process. However, it is very important to help the project team understand that these so-called add-ons are actually integral to the building’s market value and the owner’s goals. 


  • Removing an atrium, for example, due to high cost may provide additional saleable floor area, but may also reduce daylight penetration while increasing the lighting and conditioning loads.  


  • Option 1: Whole Building Energy Simulation


  • Although this prerequisite is a design-phase submittal, it may make sense to submit it, along with EAc1, after construction. Your project could undergo changes during construction that might compel a new run of the energy model to obtain the latest energy-saving information. Waiting until the completion of construction ensures that the actual designed project is reflected in your energy model.


  • Create a final energy model based completely on construction document drawings—to confirm actual energy savings as compared to ASHRAE 90.1-2007 requirements. An energy model based on the construction documents phase will provide realistic energy-cost savings and corresponding LEED points likely to be earned. 


  • Make sure the results fit the LEED Online credit form requirements. For example, the unmet load hours have to be less than 300 and process loads will raise a red flag if they’re not approximately 25%. If any of the results are off mark, take time to redo the model. Time spent in design saves more later on in the LEED review process. 


  • Option 2: Prescriptive Compliance Path—ASHRAE Advanced Energy Design Guides


  • Finalize all design decisions and confirm that you’ve met all of the prescriptive requirements. Your team must document the checklist with relevant project drawings, including wall sections, specifications, and the MEP drawing layout.


  • Value engineering and other factors can result in design changes that eliminate certain energy features relevant to the prerequisite. As this compliance path is prescriptive, your project cannot afford to drop even one prescribed item.


  • Option 3: Prescriptive Compliance Path—Advanced Buildings Core Performance Guide


  • Finalize all design decisions and confirm that you’ve met all of the prescriptive requirements. Your team must document the checklist with relevant project drawings, including wall sections, specifications, and the MEP drawing layout.


  • Value engineering and other factors can result in design changes that eliminate certain energy features relevant to the credit. As this compliance path is prescriptive, your project cannot afford to drop even one listed item. Although perceived as high-cost, prescriptive requirements lower energy costs during operation and provide a simple payback structure. 

Construction

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  • The architect and mechanical engineer review the shop drawings to confirm the installation of the selected systems. 


  • The commissioning agent and the contractor conduct functional testing of all mechanical equipment in accordance with EAp1: Fundamental Commissioning and EAc3: Enhanced Commissioning. 


  • Find your Energy Star rating with EPA’s Target Finder tool if your building type is in the database. Input your project location, size, and number of occupants, computers, and kitchen appliances. The target may be a percentage energy-use reduction compared to a code-compliant building, or “anticipated energy use” data from energy model results. Add information about your fuel use and rate, then click to “View Results.” Your Target Finder score should be documented at LEED Online.


  • Plan for frequent site visits by the mechanical designer and architect during construction and installation to make sure construction meets the design intent and specifications. 


  • Emphasize team interaction and construction involvement when defining the project scope with key design team members. Contractor and designer meetings can help ensure correct construction practices and avoid high change-order costs for the owner. 


  • Subcontractors may attempt to add a premium during the bidding process for any unusual or unknown materials or practices, so inform your construction bidders of any atypical design systems at the pre-bid meeting.


  • Option 1: Whole Building Energy Simulation


  • The energy modeler ensures that any final design changes have been incorporated into the updated model.


  • Upon finalizing of the design, the responsible party or energy modeler completes the LEED Online submittal with building design inputs and a PRM result energy summary. 


  • Although EAp2 is a design phase submittals, it may make sense to submit it (along with EAc1) after construction. Your project could undergo changes during construction that might require a new run of the energy model. Waiting until the completion of construction ensures that your actual designed project is reflected. On the other hand, it gives you less opportunity to respond to questions that might come up during a LEED review. 


  • Include supporting documents like equipment cut sheets, specifications and equipment schedules to demonstrate all energy efficiency measures claimed in the building. 


  • It common for the LEED reviewers to make requests for more information. Go along with the process—it doesn’t mean that you’ve lost the credit. Provide as much information for LEED Online submittal as requested and possible. 


  • Option 2: Prescriptive Compliance Path—ASHRAE Advanced Energy Design Guides (AEDG)


  • The design team completes the LEED Online documentation, signing off on compliance with the applicable AEDG, and writing the narrative report on the design approach and key highlights.


  • During LEED submission, the project team needs to make an extra effort to support the prerequisite with the completed checklist and the required documents. Although the LEED rating system does not list detailed documentation, it is best practice to send in supporting documents for the prescriptive requirements from the AEDG. The supporting documents should include relevant narratives, wall sections, mechanical drawings, and calculations. 


  • Although the LEED Online sign-off does not include a checklist of AEDG requirements, it assumes that the team member is confirming compliance with all detailed requirements of the guide. 


  • Option 3: Prescriptive Compliance Path—Advanced Building Core Performance Guide


  • The design team completes the LEED Online credit form, signing off on compliance with the Core Performance Guide, and writing the narrative report on the design approach and key highlights.


  • During LEED submission, your project team needs to make an extra effort to support the prerequisite with the completed checklist and the required documents. Although not every requirement may be mentioned in the LEED documentation, the supporting documents need to cover all requirements with narratives, wall sections, mechanical drawings, and calculations. 


  • Many of this option’s compliance documents are common to other LEED credits or design documents, thus reducing duplicated efforts. 

Operations & Maintenance

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  • Develop an operations manual with input from the design team in collaboration with facility management and commissioning agent if pursuing EAc3: Enhanced Commissioning. 


  • The benefit of designing for energy efficiency is realized only during operations and maintenance. Record energy use to confirm that your project is saving energy as anticipated. If you are not pursuing EAc5: Measurement and Verification, you can implement tracking procedures such as reviewing monthly energy bills or on-the-spot metering.


  • Some energy efficiency features may require special training for operations and maintenance personnel. For example, cogeneration and building automation systems require commissioning and operator training. Consider employing a trained professional to aid in creating operation manuals for specialty items. 


  • Energy-efficiency measures with a higher first cost often provide large savings in energy use and operational energy bills. These credit requirements are directly tied to the benefits of efficient, low-cost operations.

  • USGBC

    Excerpted from LEED 2009 for New Construction and Major Renovations

    EA Prerequisite 2: Minimum energy performance

    Required

    Intent

    To establish the minimum level of energy efficiency for the proposed building and systems to reduce environmental and economic impacts associated with excessive energy use.

    Requirements

    Option 1. Whole building energy simulation

    Demonstrate a 10% improvement in the proposed building performance rating for new buildings, or a 5% improvement in the proposed building performance rating for major renovations to existing buildings, compared with the baseline building performanceBaseline building performance is the annual energy cost for a building design, used as a baseline for comparison with above-standard design. rating.

    Calculate the baseline building performance rating according to the building performance rating method in Appendix G of ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2007 (with errata but without addenda1) using a computer simulation model for the whole building project. Projects outside the U.S. may use a USGBC approved equivalent standard2.

    Appendix G of Standard 90.1-2007 requires that the energy analysis done for the building performance rating method include all energy costs associated with the building project. To achieve points using this credit, the proposed design must meet the following criteria:

    • Comply with the mandatory provisions (Sections 5.4, 6.4, 7.4, 8.4, 9.4 and 10.4) in Standard 90.1-2007 (with errata but without addenda1) or USGBC approved equivalent.
    • Inclusion of all the energy costs within and associated with the building project.
    • Compare against a baseline building that complies with Appendix G of Standard 90.1-2007 (with errata but without addenda1) or USGBC approved equivalent. The default process energy cost is 25% of the total energy cost for the baseline building. If the building’s process energy cost is less than 25% of the baseline building energy cost, the LEED submittal must include documentation substantiating that process energy inputs are appropriate.

    For the purpose of this analysis, process energy is considered to include, but is not limited to, office and general miscellaneous equipment, computers, elevators and escalators,kitchen cooking and refrigeration, laundry washing and drying, lighting exempt from the lighting power allowance (e.g., lighting integral to medical equipment) and other (e.g., waterfall pumps).

    Regulated (non-process) energy includes lighting (for the interior, parking garage, surface parking, façade, or building grounds, etc. except as noted above), heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) (for space heating, space cooling, fans, pumps, toilet exhaust, parking garage ventilation, kitchen hood exhaust, etc.), and service water heating for domestic or space heating purposes.

    Process loads must be identical for both the baseline building performance rating and the proposed building performance rating. However, project teams may follow the exceptional calculation method (ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2007 G2.5) or USGBC approved equivalent to document measures that reduce process loads. Documentation of process load energy savings must include a list of the assumptions made for both the base and the proposed design, and theoretical or empirical information supporting these assumptions.

    Projects in California may use Title 24-2005, Part 6 in place of ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2007 for Option 1.

    OR

    Option 2. Prescriptive compliance path: ASHRAE Advanced Energy Design Guide

    Comply with the prescriptive measures of the ASHRAE Advanced Energy Design Guide appropriate to the project scope, outlined below. Project teams must comply with all applicable criteria as established in the Advanced Energy Design Guide for the climate zoneOne of five climatically distinct areas, defined by long-term weather conditions which affect the heating and cooling loads in buildings. The zones were determined according to the 45-year average (1931-1975) of the annual heating and cooling degree-days (base 65 degrees Fahrenheit). An individual building was assigned to a climate zone according to the 45-year average annual degree-days for its National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Division. in which the building is located. Projects outside the U.S. may use ASHRAE/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2007 Appendices B and D to determine the appropriate climate zone.

    Path 1. ASHRAE Advanced Energy Design Guide for Small Office Buildings 2004

    The building must meet the following requirements:

    • Less than 20,000 square feet (1,800 square meters).
    • Office occupancy.
    Path 2. ASHRAE Advanced Energy Design Guide for Small Retail Buildings 2006

    The building must meet the following requirements:

    • Less than 20,000 square feet (1,800 square meters).
    • Retail occupancy.
    Path 3. ASHRAE Advanced Energy Design Guide for Small Warehouses and Self Storage Buildings 2008

    The building must meet the following requirements:

    • Less than 50,000 square feet (4,600 square meters).
    • Warehouse or self-storage occupancy.

    OR

    Option 3. Prescriptive compliance path: Advanced Buildings™ Core Performance™ Guide

    Comply with the prescriptive measures identified in the Advanced Buildings™ Core Performance™ Guide developed by the New Buildings Institute. The building must meet the following requirements:

    • Less than 100,000 square feet (9,300 square meters).
    • Comply with Section 1: Design Process Strategies, and Section 2: Core Performance Requirements.
    • Health care, warehouse and laboratory projects are ineligible for this path.

    Projects outside the U.S. may use ASHRAE/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2007 Appendices B and D to determine the appropriate climate zone.

    1Project teams wishing to use ASHRAE approved addenda for the purposes of this prerequisite may do so at their discretion. Addenda must be applied consistently across all LEED credits.

    2 Projects outside the U.S. may use an alternative standard to ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2007 if it is approved by USGBC as an equivalent standard using the process identified in the LEED 2009 Green Building Design and Construction Global ACP Reference Guide Supplement.

    Potential Technologies & Strategies

    Design the building envelope and systems to meet baseline requirements. Use a computer simulation model to assess the energy performance and identify the most cost-effective energy efficiency measures. Quantify energy performance compared with a baseline building.

    If local code has demonstrated quantitative and textual equivalence following, at a minimum, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) standard process for commercial energy code determination, then the results of that analysis may be used to correlate local code performance with ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2007. Details on the DOE process for commercial energy code determination can be found at http://www.energycodes.gov/implement/
    determinations_com.stm.

    FOOTNOTES

    1 Project teams wishing to use ASHRAE approved addenda for the purposes of this prerequisite may do so at their discretion. Addenda must be applied consistently across all LEED credits.

    2 Projects outside the U.S. may use an alternative standard to ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1‐2007 if it is approved by USGBC as an equivalent standard using the process located at www.usgbc.org/leedisglobal

Organizations

Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE)

This database shows state-by-state incentives for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other green building measures. Included in this database are incentives on demand control ventilation, ERVs, and HRVs.


New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)

Useful web resource with information on local/regional incentives for energy-efficiency programs.


American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

ACEEE is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing energy efficiency through technical and policy assessments; advising policymakers and program managers; collaborating with businesses, public interest groups, and other organizations; and providing education and outreach through conferences, workshops, and publications. 


New Buildings Institute

The New Buildings Institute is a nonprofit, public-benefits corporation dedicated to making buildings better for people and the environment. Its mission is to promote energy efficiency in buildings through technology research, guidelines, and codes.


U.S. Department of Energy, Building Energy Codes Program

The Building Energy Codes program provides comprehensive resources for states and code users, including news, compliance software, code comparisons, and the Status of State Energy Codes database. The database includes state energy contacts, code status, code history, DOE grants awarded, and construction data. The program is also updating the COMcheck-EZ compliance tool to include ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1–2007. This compliance tool includes the prescriptive path and trade-off compliance methods. The software generates appropriate compliance forms as well. 


Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute: Daylighting Resources

Research center at RPI provides access to a wide range of  daylighting resources, case studies, design tools, reports, publications and more.


IBPSA

International association of energy modelers with various national and local chapters. 


Architecture 2030

Non-profit organization aiming at design community to increase collaboration for designing energy efficient buildings.


Low Impact Hydropower Institute

The Low Impact Hydropower Institute is a non-profit organization and certification body that establishes criteria against which to judge the environmental impacts of hydropower projects in the United States.


U.S. Department of Energy Building Technologies Program

The Building Technologies Program (BTP) provides resources for commercial and residential building components, energy modeling tools, building energy codes, and appliance standards including the Buildings Energy Data Book, High Performance Buildings Database and Software Tools Directory.

Web Tools

Energy Analysis Tools

This website discusses the step-by-step process for energy modeling.


Advanced Buildings Technologies and Practices

This online resource, supported by Natural Resources Canada, presents energy-efficient technologies, strategies for commercial buildings, and pertinent case studies.


U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

This website is a comprehensive resource for U.S. Department of Energy information on energy efficiency and renewable energy and provides access to energy links and downloadable documents. 


U.S. EPA, Combined Heat and Power Partnership

Information on cogenerationThe simultaneous production of electric and thermal energy in on-site, distributed energy systems; typically, waste heat from the electricity generation process is recovered and used to heat, cool, or dehumidify building space. Neither generation of electricity without use of the byproduct heat, nor waste-heat recovery from processes other than electricity generation is included in the definition of cogeneration., also called combined heat and power, is available from EPA through the CHPCombined heat and power (CHP), or cogeneration, generates both electrical power and thermal energy from a single fuel source. Partnership. The CHP Partnership is a voluntary program seeking to reduce the environmental impact of power generation by promoting the use of CHP. The Partnership works closely with energy users, the CHP industry, state and local governments, and other clean energy stakeholders to facilitate the development of new projects and to promote their environmental and economic benefits. 


Advanced Energy Design Guides

Free download of AHSRAE energy savings guide, use for Option 2.


Lawrence Berkeley Lab: Building Technologies Department

Research warehouse for strategies and case studies of energy efficiency in buildings.


Efficient Windows Collaborative

An online window selection tool with performance characteristics.


Whole Building Design Guide (WBDG)

This website lays out design process for developing an energy efficient building.


AIA Sustainability 2030 Toolkit

This website discusses ways to improve design for lower energy demand as they relate to the AIA 2030 challenge.


Windows for High-Performance Commercial Buildings

This website includes discussion of design issues, materials and assemblies, window design decisions and case studies. 


California Integrated Waste Management Board: Environmental and Economic Assessment Tools

This site lists multiple web-based and downloadable tools that can be used for energy analyses.


DEER: Database for Energy Efficient Resource

This database is maintainted by the California Energy Commission and lists resources related to energy use and efficiency. 


Energy Design Resources - CA

Energy design tools are available to be used for free online or available to download.


Building Materials Property Table

This website lists performance characteristics for various envelope materials. 


One Building

This is an online forum of discussion for energy efficiency, computer model software users.


EPA’s Target Finder

Target Finder is a goal-setting tool that informs your design team about their project’s energy performance as compared to a national database of projects compiled by the EPA.


Building Energy Software Tools Directory

This directory provides information on 406 building software tools for evaluating energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainability in buildings.


EnergyPlus Format Weather Data Resources

Weather data for more than 2100 locations are available in EnergyPlus weather format.


DOE-2 Format Weather Data Resources

Weather data for U.S. and Non-U.S. locations in BIN format.


BEMbook – Building Energy Modeling Book

A web-based, free content project by IBPSA-USA to develop an online compendium of the domain of Building Energy Modeling (BEM). The intention is to delineate a cohesive body of knowledge for building energy modeling.

Technical Guides

Advanced Buildings Core Performance Guide

A guide for achieving energy efficiency in new commercial buildings, referenced in the LEED energy credits.


ENERGY STAR Building Upgrade Manual

This manual is a strategic guide for planning and implementing energy-saving building upgrades. It provides general methods for reviewing and adjusting system control settings, plus procedures for testing and correcting calibration and operation of system components such as sensors, actuators, and controlled devices.


Treatment of District or Campus Thermal Energy in LEED V2 and LEED 2009 – Design & Construction

This document is USGBC’s second (v2.0) major release of guidance for district or campus thermal energy in LEED, and is a unified set of guidance comprising the following an update to the original Version 1.0 guidance released May 2008 for LEED v2.x and the initial release of formal guidance for LEED v2009.


COMNET Commercial Buildings Energy Modeling Guidelines and Procedures

This manual offers guidance to building energy modelers, ensuring technically rigorous and credible assessment of energy performance of commercial and multifamily residential buildings. It provides a streamlined process that can be used with various existing modeling software and systems, across a range of programs.


2009 ASHRAE Handbook of Fundamentals, Chapter 19

Chapter 19 is titled, “Energy Estimating and Modeling Methods”. The chapter discusses methods for estimating energy use for two purposes: modeling for building and HVAC system design and associated design optimization (forward modeling), and modeling energy use of existing buildings for establishing baselines and calculating retrofit savings (data-driven modeling).


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.

Publications

ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1–2007 User’s Manual (ASHRAE).

ASHRAE writes standards for the purpose of establishing consensus for: 1) methods of test for use in commerce and 2) performance criteria for use as facilitators with which to guide the industry.


Energy Information Administration

Energy statistics from the U.S. government.


New Buildings Institute— Advanced Lighting Guidelines: 2003 Edition

This guide includes instructional graphics and superior lighting design solutions for varying types of buildings and spaces, from private offices to big box retail stores.


Building Energy Performance News

This website offers information on energy efficiency in buildings, highlighting success stories, breakthrough technology, and policy updates.


GreenSource magazine

Bimonthly publication on case studies and new technologies for energy efficiency in commercial buildings. 


AIA Local Leaders in Sustainability: Green Incentives

AIA publication highlighting local and state green building incentives.


Federal Research and Devlopment Agenda for Net-Zero Energy, High-Performance Green Buildings

2008 guidelines and performance goals from the National Science and Technology Council.


Energy Design Resources (EDR) Simulation Guidebooks

Information about energy-efficient building practices available in EDR's Design Briefs, Design Guidelines, Case Studies, and Technology Overviews.

Software Tools

Building Energy Software Tools Directory

DOE tools for whole building analyses, including energy simulation, load calculation, renewable energy, retrofit analysis and green buildings tools.


Building and Fire Research Laboratory

This is a computer program that predicts the one-dimensional transfer of heat and moisture.


DesignBuilder and EnergyPlus

DesignBuilder is a Graphical User Interface to EnergyPlus. DesignBuilder is a complete 3-D graphical design modeling and energy use simulation program providing information on building energy consumption, CO2Carbon dioxide emissions, occupant comfort, daylighting effects, ASHRAE 90.1 and LEED compliance, and more.


Integrated Environmental Solutions – Virtual Environment Pro / Apache

IES VE Pro is an integrated computing environment encompassing a wide range of tasks in building design including model building, energy/carbon, solar, light, HVAC, climate, airflow, value/cost and egress.

Advanced Energy Design Guide Checklist

Option 2: Prescriptive Compliance Path

Use this checklist of prescriptive requirements (with sample filled out) to have an at-a-glance picture of AEDG requirements for Option 2, and how your project is meeting them.

Advanced Buildings Core Performance Guide (CPG) Checklist

Option 3

This spreadsheet lists all the requirements for meeting EAp2 – Option 3 and and EAc1 – Option 3. You can review the requirements, assign responsible parties and track status of each requirement through design and construction.

Energy Simulation Narrative

Option 1

Sometimes the energy simulation software being used to demonstrate compliance with Option 1 doesn't allow you to simulate key aspects of the design. In this situation you'll need to write a short sample narrative, as in these examples, describing the situation and how it was handled.

Equipment and Product Cut Sheets

All Options

In your supporting documentation, include spec sheets of equipment described in the Option 1 energy model or Options 2–3 prescriptive paths.

PRM Table

Option 1

This is a sample building energy performance and cost summary using the Performance Rating Method (PRM). Electricity and natural gas use should be broken down by end uses including space heating, space cooling, lights, task lights, ventilation fans, pumps, and domestic hot water, at the least.

Tariff Charges

Option 1

Option 1 calculates savings in annual energy cost, but utility prices may vary over the course of a year. This sample demonstrates how to document varying electricity tariffs.

Modeled Energy Reductions

Option 1

This graph, for an office building design, shows how five overall strategies were implemented to realize energy savings of 30% below an ASHRAE baseline. (From modeling conducted by Synergy Engineering, PLLC.)

U.S. Climate Zones

All Options

The climate zones shown on this Department of Energy map are relevant to all options for this credit.

Appendix G Fan Power Calculator

Option 1

This spreadsheet, provided here by 7group, can be used to calculate the fan volume and fan power for Appendix G models submitted for EAp2/EAc1.  Tabs are included to cover both ASHRAE 90.1-2004 and 90.1-2007 Appendix G methodologies.

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.

2440 Comments

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Praveenbabu R Energy Analyst Conserve consultants pvt ltd
Oct 23 2014
Guest

Selection of HVAC Baseline System

Project Location: India

Hi,

Sorry for my English

Any one can suggest, which is correct baseline HVAC system for following project description.

No. of Floors: 7 - including terrace floor (B+G+4+Terrace)

Conditioned Floors: 5 floors (G+4)

Conditioned Area: 45,000 sq.ft,
Gross floor AreaGross floor area (based on ASHRAE definition) is the sum of the floor areas of the spaces within the building, including basements, mezzanine and intermediate‐floored tiers, and penthouses wi th headroom height of 7.5 ft (2.2 meters) or greater. Measurements m ust be taken from the exterior 39 faces of exterior walls OR from the centerline of walls separating buildings, OR (for LEED CI certifying spaces) from the centerline of walls separating spaces. Excludes non‐en closed (or non‐enclosable) roofed‐over areas such as exterior covered walkways, porches, terraces or steps, roof overhangs, and similar features. Excludes air shafts, pipe trenches, and chimneys. Excludes floor area dedicated to the parking and circulation of motor vehicles. ( Note that while excluded features may not be part of the gross floor area, and therefore technically not a part of the LEED project building, they may still be required to be a part of the overall LEED project and subject to MPRs, prerequisites, and credits.): 85,000 sq.ft

No zones is conditioned in Basement & Terrace floors.

Based on this details, I will go to System 6 (PVAV with PFP boxes)

Is this correct.

Any guidance would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Praveenbabu R

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Francesco Passerini engineer, leedme.it Oct 24 2014 Guest 1043 Thumbs Up

Is the building residential or nonresidential (see the definition of "residential" at p. 11)?
How is the project building heated (fossil fuel, or purchased heat, or electricity...)?

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Praveenbabu R Energy Analyst, Conserve consultants pvt ltd Oct 25 2014 Guest

This Project is Non residential & heating from electricity.

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Vassil Vassilev Manager Termoservice OOD
Oct 23 2014
LEEDuser Member
7 Thumbs Up

Heating only system; Baseline modeling of DHW

Project Location: Russian Federation

Markus, thanks a lot for your answer.
Another issue appeared to this Heating only system - Baseline modeling of DHWDomestic hot water (DHW) is water used for food preparation, cleaning and sanitation and personal hygiene, but not heating. (Domestic Hot Water).
The Proposed model is having a gas fired boiler to provide hot water for heating and for preparation of DHW
The Baseline system for this project is system 9. There are no boilers there, just gas fired furnace.
The question is: How to model the DHW for the Baseline? Should this be Gas instantaneous water heaters or some other approach is to be applied? Also, how to model the circulation pump associated with the DHW device?
Thanks.

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Oct 23 2014 LEEDuser Expert 43610 Thumbs Up

Baseline should be a gas-fired tank type water heater. The circulation pump if installed in the proposed is modeled identically in the baseline.

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Francesco Passerini engineer leedme.it
Oct 22 2014
Guest
1043 Thumbs Up

Exception b. of G3.1.1 and setpoint temperature

Project Location: Italy

Exception b. of G3.1.1 states: “use separate single-zone systems (..) for any spaces that have occupancy or process loads or schedule that differ significantly from the rest of the building”. Are setpoint temperatures considered as “schedules”?
Consider a floor where there are a space with cooling setpoint temperature equal to 25°C and another space with cooling setpoint temperature equal to 40°C. They have similar process loads. During many hours the first space will need cooling while the second one won’t. Anyway, if the two spaces are connected with the same system they will both be supplied with cooled air. For the space that doesn't need cooling the air flow will be at the minimum level (see G3.1.3.13), but anyway supplying a space with cooled air when it doesn’t need cooling is an energy waste. What is correct for the baseline model?
Regards
P.S.: as supply temperature from the central AHU1.Air-handling units (AHUs) are mechanical indirect heating, ventilating, or air-conditioning systems in which the air is treated or handled by equipment located outside the rooms served, usually at a central location, and conveyed to and from the rooms by a fan and a system of distributing ducts. (NEEB, 1997 edition) 2.A type of heating and/or cooling distribution equipment that channels warm or cool air to different parts of a building. This process of channeling the conditioned air often involves drawing air over heating or cooling coils and forcing it from a central location through ducts or air-handling units. Air-handling units are hidden in the walls or ceilings, where they use steam or hot water to heat, or chilled water to cool the air inside the ductwork. I’m going to use 25°C – 11°C = 14°C, and I’m going to “reset higher by 2.3°C under the minimum cooling load conditions”, based on the outdoor temperature (see G3.1.3.12)

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Jean Marais b.i.g. Bechtold DesignBuilder Expert Oct 23 2014 LEEDuser Member 8747 Thumbs Up

Yes they are in my opinion. I've also come accross this issue. And yes, that is why there is a reset rule. The reset rule is basically trying to minimize the waste.

You can consider it differently. The rooms with the 40 C setpointsSetpoints are normal operating ranges for building systems and indoor environmental quality. When the building systems are outside of their normal operating range, action is taken by the building operator or automation system. have very different loads than those with 25 C, and there is an exception for that. So don't hang a trash room on the same air circuit as the office spaces in the proposed design, for example.

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Oct 23 2014 LEEDuser Expert 43610 Thumbs Up

The temperature set points are certainly like schedules in that they need to be identical in both models.

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Ivan Souza Sustainability Consultancy Services Cushman & Wakefield
Oct 17 2014
LEEDuser Member
890 Thumbs Up

Pressure Drop Adjustment

Project Location: Brazil

How do I set which the fan power limitation adjutment pressure drop I use at baseline? The standard display multiple values for MERVMinimum efficiency reporting value. filters, exhaust and others. What should I use at baseline? 0.5 w.c?

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Francesco Passerini engineer, leedme.it Oct 22 2014 Guest 1043 Thumbs Up

It depends on what is installed in the real building (or designed for the project building, if the building doesn't exist yet).

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Victoria Watson
Oct 16 2014
Guest
100 Thumbs Up

Chilled water pumping head > baseline design

Project Location: United States

Hi, h

Has anyone come across issues with the chilled water pumps in the proposed and baseline building W/gpm being very different. It seems if you have a large building you will inherently have a high head so it doesn't seem right that the baseline uses 22W/gpm - equal to a pump operating against a 75 ft head, 65% combined impeller and motor efficiency. My building has 140 feet of secondary head and 50ft of primary head through the chiller plant which is 2,700 tons. This is 190ft of head giving me a primary of 15W/gpm and a secondary of 37W/gpm.

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Jean Marais b.i.g. Bechtold DesignBuilder Expert Oct 17 2014 LEEDuser Member 8747 Thumbs Up

In large buildings there is possibly more errors in the design, but physically speaking larger fluid movers inherently become more efficient.

Also, from memory the requirement of 22W/gpm is for the sum of both primary and secondary pumps, i.e. the total W/gpm = total W / total gpm, right?

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Oct 23 2014 LEEDuser Expert 43610 Thumbs Up

Yes it is the sum of the two. ASHRAE clarified that because the language in the standard was not clear. LEED was allowing 22W/gpm for each before the clarification, so some projects would have been approved that way in the past.

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Catalina Caballero Sustainability Coordinator JALRW Eng. Group Inc.
Oct 15 2014
LEEDuser Member
2661 Thumbs Up

No autosizing of equipment on proposed?

Project Location: United States

Is there a reason why the equipment on the proposed can not be autosized? if you are inputting the fan consumption as "kw" and not based on cfm, what is the effect of exactly matching the capacities and airflow of the equipment to the schedules, since load calculations defer from energy calcs, one accounting for the highest peak possible and the other one for the lowest energy consumpting version. Load calculations possibly depicting the initial highest possible number of occupants and conservative envelope values, while energy model the highest efficiency.

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Jean Marais b.i.g. Bechtold DesignBuilder Expert Oct 16 2014 LEEDuser Member 8747 Thumbs Up

1) yes. the leed process requires the proposed model to match the design documentation of the project. For initial testing of your model, or at early stages before the design documentation is finished, you could start with autosized values, but these are not for submission.
2) i use energyplus. in energyplus, you define a seperate set of schedules that are used for the load calculations when running the sizing simulations. sometimes these schedules are the same as used for the annual simulation, but for some items like occupation, they are not...they are also different for the heating load simulation and the cooling load simulation.
3) if your innitial question is about fan power consumption at different flow rates, then the answere is beyond the scope of this forum (hint: the flow impacts on the hydronic pressure that the fan must overcome in the system and directly impacts the power...check out your software's user forum).

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Oct 20 2014 LEEDuser Expert 43610 Thumbs Up

Appendix G requires that you model the building as designed. It the capacities and airflows are autosized and only slightly differ it is usually not an issue. It is when they differ by a wide margin that it can affect energy use.

Most modeling software is not used to size equipment.

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Juliane Muench
Oct 15 2014
LEEDuser Member
687 Thumbs Up

On-site renewable energy

Project Location: Denmark

Hi!
We are trying to offset as much as possible from our electricity consumption with on-site PV. We will install about 750 m2 of PV, of these 750 m2 PV only 500 can be placed on site and we are considering to place the remaining 250m2 on the roof of the neighbor building. The 250m2 will not be within the LEED boundary, but there will be a direct line to our building and no other line anywhere else.
Does anybody have experience with this kind of case.
Can all 750m2 be used towards compliance of EAp2 (we follow the energy simulation option)?
Thanks

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Oct 15 2014 LEEDuser Expert 43610 Thumbs Up

That should not be a problem, especially since the systems are directly connected. It would all count.

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Juliane Muench Oct 17 2014 LEEDuser Member 687 Thumbs Up

Thanks a lot Marcus.

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Francesco Passerini engineer leedme.it
Oct 14 2014
Guest
1043 Thumbs Up

exceptions and alternative options for vestibules

According to 5.4.3.4 (mandatory provision) enclosed vestibules shall protect building entrances that separate the conditioned space from the exterior. In the building that I’m considering, a factory, a huge space is occupied for the production and it is conditioned. There are big doors where trucks can enter the building. Shall those entrances have enclosed vestibules or could some exception exclude them? Could air curtains (“air doors”) be used as alternative option? Since they would be used by trucks, the vestibules would occupy a big area. Regards

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Oct 14 2014 LEEDuser Expert 43610 Thumbs Up

I think this applies to primary pedestrian entrances only.

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Ivan Souza Sustainability Consultancy Services Cushman & Wakefield
Oct 14 2014
LEEDuser Member
890 Thumbs Up

External Lightning Exceptions

Project Location: Brazil

Hi everyone,

It is necessary to prove the power density in external illuminations with the following characteristics:

- Accent lighting (lighting focused on plants and trees)
- Lighting for visual communication

These lights are not part of the load of lighting design.

Should I consider them as exceptions, correct?

Thank you!

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Oct 14 2014 LEEDuser Expert 43610 Thumbs Up

There is a list of exceptions in 9.4.5. I do not see anything on the list that would exempt the accent lighting. The lighting for visual communication might be under a, b, or c?

You can exempt those exceptions listed from the requirements of the standard but you still must include them in your energy models as identical process loads.

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Ivan Souza Sustainability Consultancy Services, Cushman & Wakefield Oct 14 2014 LEEDuser Member 890 Thumbs Up

I believe these fixtures focused on plants and trees, do not make sense considering the illuminated area. Made this analysis and the power of the baseline was much higher compared to the proposed.

I think in this case the best option is to consider according to what you said. Identical process loads.

Lights for visual communication, I think in some cases can be considered both in Option A, as in Option B.

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Oct 14 2014 LEEDuser Expert 43610 Thumbs Up

If you are exempting any exterior lighting you will need to cite an exception in order to consider it a process load. Other wise this lighting goes in the Proposed and not the Baseline.

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Ivan Souza Sustainability Consultancy Services, Cushman & Wakefield Oct 14 2014 LEEDuser Member 890 Thumbs Up

Marcus, thank you.
Now I understand. I will follow with this parameter.

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Ivan Souza Sustainability Consultancy Services Cushman & Wakefield
Oct 13 2014
LEEDuser Member
890 Thumbs Up

Time Setpoint No Met & Setback Temperatures

Project Location: Brazil

Hi everyone! I've some doubts about this points.

Whats is the setback temperatures?

The time setpoint not met is calculated only in the occupied hours? I ask this because the air conditioning in my building works at the same time that the time of occupation.

How can I prove these hours when there is no air conditioning in unoccupied schedules?

My energy simulation software presents a summary of the LEED only with "setpoint team not met" in time of occupation however, I received a question about the hours of non-occupation.

Setpoint does not work in that time has no occupation.

Thanks!

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Oct 13 2014 LEEDuser Expert 43610 Thumbs Up

Setback generally refers to the adjustment of temperature settings during unoccupied periods.

Unmet load hours could possible occur at any time but they are far more likely during occupied periods.

If the air conditioning is shut off during unoccupied hours and the temperature settings in the model reflect this sequence then you should not generate any unmet load hours.

Sounds like maybe you need to enter a very high set point that would never be reached during unoccupied hours.

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Ivan Souza Sustainability Consultancy Services, Cushman & Wakefield Oct 13 2014 LEEDuser Member 890 Thumbs Up

Thanks Marcus!

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Francesco Passerini engineer leedme.it
Oct 10 2014
Guest
1043 Thumbs Up

Multi-purpose unit for 4-pipe systems

Project Location: Italy

I'm considering a "Multi-purpose indoor unit for use in 4-pipe systems for the simultaneous production of chilled and hot water by means of two independent water circuits". The unit transfers heat from a chilled water loop to a heated water loop. If the requests of heated water and chilled water are not balanced, then heat is exchanged with ambient air.
What mandatory provisions shall such a system respect? Shall I consider Table 6.8.1C?
Regards

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Oct 10 2014 LEEDuser Expert 43610 Thumbs Up

Section 6.4.3 in general perhaps.

Section 6.5.2 certainly comes to mind as well.

Based on your description I am not sure which 6.8.1 table would apply. If none of them specifically apply then there is no minimum efficiency requirement since 90.1 does not not address it.

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João Costa Engineer ETRIA
Oct 09 2014
Guest
2 Thumbs Up

Baseline envelope - Existing Buildings (Retrofit)

Project Location: Brazil

Hello,
I would like to ask if anyone has a comment on two questions regarding the baseline model for existing buildings:

1) According to Table 3.1 from Appendix G, thermal loads due to occupancy and equipment as well as all schedules should be the same for both Baseline and Proposed models.
I concluded that the disposal of the interior areas should be common to both models (eg same areas for restrooms and offices).
Question: Should I use the proposed model to define the indoor areas distribution and replicate in baseline?

2) My existing building (before retrofit) have outside shading (brises) and there is the intention to keep this device in the new project. In accordance with G3.5.1 table:
"f. Existing Buildings: For existing buildings envelopes, the baseline building design shall reflect existing conditions prior to any revisions that are part of the scope of work being evaluated"
But the same table says I should model the baseline with no shading devices:
"5.5-1- through 5.5-8: All vertical glazing shall be assumed to be flush with the exterior wall, and no shading projections shall be modeled..."
Question: Should I ignore this last quote and include shadowing devices in the baseline model?

Further on, I contacted ASHRAE as well, and they answered me that I should look to 2013 version in order to clarify my doubt of version 2007. According toTable G.3.15:
"d. Vertical Fenestration Assemblies. Fenestration for new buildings, existing buildings, and additions shall comply with the following:
- Fenestration U-factores shall match the appropriate requirements..."
- Fenestration SHGCs shall match the appropriate...
ALL VERTICAL FENESTRATION SHALL BE ASSUMED TO BE FLUSH WITH THE EXTERIOR WALL, AND NO SHADING PROJECTIONS SHALL BE MODELED"

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Oct 10 2014 LEEDuser Expert 43610 Thumbs Up

1. Yes the interior areas should be the same.
2. Model the baseline without any external shading. Table G3.1-5 Baseline (f) only applies to the envelop which includes insulation and windows, not external shading.

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VICTOR MORENO TECHNICAL DIRECTOR ISOLANA AHORRO ENERGÉTICO SL
Oct 07 2014
Guest
248 Thumbs Up

Exterior lighting power

Project Location: Spain

Hello.

One review comments that i have received about E&Ap2 prerequisite is:

2. No exterior lighting power has been modeled for the Baseline or Proposed Case. Confirm that no exterior lighting is included in the building site or revise the models to reflect exterior lighting. Verify that the Proposed Case exterior lighting reflects the actual building design and the Baseline Case reflects the allowed lighting power from Section 9. Ensure that no credit is taken in the Proposed Case for lighting reductions on non#tradable surfaces; additional lighting power allowance cannot be claimed in the Baseline Case for surfaces that are not provided with lighting in the actual design and lighting fixtures cannot be double-counted for different exterior surfaces. Report the tradable and non#tradable surface lighting power separately (in units of Watts or Kilowatts) for both the Baseline and Proposed Case in Supplemental Table 1.4. Update the model and results to reflect exterior lighting if included in the model and is consistent with SSc8: Light Pollution Reduction.

I´m updating the Section 1.4 with new version (Jan 2014), and I have a problem with this excell (Secction 1.4):

When i input the Total Exterior Lighting Power Modeled (Watts), similar to Total Exterior Lighting Power Calculated (Watts), this cells are coloured red.

I don´t understand the reason to happen it.

Do I have to include these Kw (exterior lighting) in my Baseline and Proposed models?? Or no.

Thanks in advanced

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Oct 07 2014 LEEDuser Expert 43610 Thumbs Up

It is likely red because it does not match the value calculated by the form. The form adds the 5% unrestricted allowance.

Yes you must include exterior lighting in the models. Note that exterior lighting is a mandatory provision so you must comply with the requirements.

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VICTOR MORENO TECHNICAL DIRECTOR , ISOLANA AHORRO ENERGÉTICO SL Oct 07 2014 Guest 248 Thumbs Up

My surprise is that the values ​​are the same.

If I match the valou 0, the cells are green.

These are tradable surfaces

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VICTOR MORENO TECHNICAL DIRECTOR , ISOLANA AHORRO ENERGÉTICO SL Oct 08 2014 Guest 248 Thumbs Up

I've found the error.

It is an error of excell (Section 1.4)

Must impute all decimal upper cells.

I hope that they resolve this cuestion.

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Oct 09 2014 LEEDuser Expert 43610 Thumbs Up

Here is a response from Tyler in our office who actually authored the spreadsheet.

Yeah I’ve noticed that one too, but it’s not really an error so much as an imperfect formula. It is set up so that the cell turns red if the modeled exterior lighting power does not equal the calculated allowance, but does not account for rounding. So if the allowance is actually 49.99 (which gets displayed as 50) and you enter 50, it will turn red.

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Marian Keeler Senior Associate Thornton Tomasetti / Sustainability
Oct 02 2014
LEEDuser Member
3508 Thumbs Up

Non regulated items (residential light & receptacle loads)

Project Location: United States

We are looking at an energy model report for a Residential tower. The project was initially achieving 12% savings. Later they removed the non-regulated use items (residential light & receptacle loads) and now the project performs 15.7% better than ASHRAE.

Is this allowed per GBCI?

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Oct 04 2014 LEEDuser Expert 43610 Thumbs Up

No you must include all of the energy use associated with the project.

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Vassil Vassilev Manager Termoservice OOD
Oct 01 2014
LEEDuser Member
7 Thumbs Up

Baseline systems - heating only

The project I'm working on currently is for a production plant and office zones all in one building. There is no cooling coils in all designed system with the exception of the Dx unit in the server room.
All systems are Ventilation and heating.
The question is related to the system in the Baseline model. There are allowed heating only systems when it is for stores, stairs, technical rooms, etc. In my case however the office zones are also designed as Heating only (ventilation and aux radiator heating).
Should this be modeled in the Baseline also as the other heating only systems, regarding that it is for office areas.
Thanks.

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Oct 04 2014 LEEDuser Expert 43610 Thumbs Up

You can use the heating only systems for any space type.

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Vassil Vassilev Manager, Termoservice OOD Oct 13 2014 LEEDuser Member 7 Thumbs Up

Hi Marcus,
Thanks a lot for your reply.
There are however few more clearing questions to this issue, for which I'm not sure how to proceed.
1. Baseline system arrangement. In ASHRAE 90.1 2010 Manual (G-28) is written "For systems ...9 and 10, each floor is modeled with a separate HVAC system".
My project has two floors (46 000 sqft), but has 8 different heating system servicing various zones, which are Radiation (heating only) and ventilation DOA (also heating only).
Reading the manual, I'm considering that for Baseline I have to model 2 systems - Ventilation - heating only. Is this correct or I should model the systems as they are in the Proposed?
2. Number of Boilers, pumps. In app. G are written the conditions for these equipment, but applicable to systems 1, 5 and 7.
My project has two gas fired boilers and the whole system is based on hot water circulated by pumps.
Should I stick also to these systems (1,5,7) ?
Your support will be highly appreciated.
Thanks.

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Oct 13 2014 LEEDuser Expert 43610 Thumbs Up

1. Baseline is one system per floor. Do not map the baseline systems to the proposed systems.
2. A system 9 uses a furnace, not a boiler. So the baseline would not have a boiler, pumps, etc.

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Jean Marais b.i.g. Bechtold DesignBuilder Expert Oct 14 2014 LEEDuser Member 8747 Thumbs Up

Marcus you are always(?!) right. However, I would like to ask you to perhaps bring this up with the TAGLEED Technical Advisory Group (TAG): Subcommittees that consist of industry experts who assist in developing credit interpretations and technical improvements to the LEED system. if you get the chance, i.e. to allow the baseline to map to the design case. It would make things a lot easier for the simulation program TrnSys (and most others as well) on large geometery projects and makes some sense on both accuracy (especially the routing and controls) and zoning practice.

If you are of the other oppinion, I'd love to hear the reasoning from an expert such as yourself.

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Oct 14 2014 LEEDuser Expert 43610 Thumbs Up

Jean I am frequently wrong, just ask my wife.

I am no longer on the EA TAGLEED Technical Advisory Group (TAG): Subcommittees that consist of industry experts who assist in developing credit interpretations and technical improvements to the LEED system. and the issue is embedded in Appendix G so I don't think the TAG would opt to change it.

You raise a good point. This makes sense in certain building type but does not make sense in others. 90.1-2013 has added building types and differentiates system type by climate zoneOne of five climatically distinct areas, defined by long-term weather conditions which affect the heating and cooling loads in buildings. The zones were determined according to the 45-year average (1931-1975) of the annual heating and cooling degree-days (base 65 degrees Fahrenheit). An individual building was assigned to a climate zone according to the 45-year average annual degree-days for its National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Division. instead of heating fuel. I think that as this continues to be refined hopefully they will do more differentiation by building type to address this issue.

Your issue is with the Appendix G folks, not the LEED folks I think.

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Mario S.
Sep 30 2014
LEEDuser Member
413 Thumbs Up

Modeling Heat Reclaim in EAp2 v2009

Project Location: Lebanon

Hello,

We are working on a project that uses heat reclaim as a source of energy for service hot water. Heat is reclaimed from the flue gases of a generator set that is used to complement the utility grid in providing electricity since the utility doesn't provide 24/7 electricity.

How can this reclaimed heat be modeled? And is this considered CHPCombined heat and power (CHP), or cogeneration, generates both electrical power and thermal energy from a single fuel source. and to be modeled according to the document titled: "Treatment of District or Campus Thermal Energy in LEED V2 and LEED 2009 – Design & Construction"?

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Sep 30 2014 LEEDuser Expert 43610 Thumbs Up

Yes that is CHPCombined heat and power (CHP), or cogeneration, generates both electrical power and thermal energy from a single fuel source.. In addition to the DESv2 there is guidance in CHP modeling in the Reference Guide.

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Mario S. Oct 01 2014 LEEDuser Member 413 Thumbs Up

Thank you for your reply Marcos.
We have indeed gone over the mentioned guidance in the reference guide and have the following query:

Case 1 "Same ownership, CHPCombined heat and power (CHP), or cogeneration, generates both electrical power and thermal energy from a single fuel source. inside building" - which is the case of our project - mentions that "electricity produced is considered free, as is the produced thermal energy";

Having 50% of electricity being produced by the generators (Utility grid only produces 50% of electricity), what is the rate charged to the proposed and baseline cases after the overall electrical energy demand has been simulated?

E.g. if we have 1000 MWh for the proposed case and 1100 MWh for the baseline case.
Proposed:
The calculation is done so that 500 MWh are charged according to the Utility grid rate and the other 500 MWh are considered free of charge?!
Baseline:
The calculation is done so that 550 MWh are charged according to the Utility grid rate and the other 550 MWh are considered free of charge?!

And according to the above rationale, where are the heat reclaim savings accounted for? Are they accounted for as reductions in the 500 MWh of the proposed? This seems a bit extreme because we will end up with very high cost savings.

Your advice is highly appreciated.

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Khaled Fouda Oct 01 2014 LEEDuser Member 20 Thumbs Up

Mario, I just had the same issue with the CHPCombined heat and power (CHP), or cogeneration, generates both electrical power and thermal energy from a single fuel source. that I was working on last week and what I would do in your case is showing the calculations as 1100 MWh for the Baseline and 1000 MWh for the Proposed, then I can show the reduction in the Exceptional Calculation Method section (ECMEnergy conservation measures are installations or modifications of equipment or systems intended to reduce energy use and costs.) by addressing the cost of the fuel needed for the CHP too, so it will look like (Saving $$: 500 MWh - Cost $$: CHP fuel and accessories)

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Oct 04 2014 LEEDuser Expert 43610 Thumbs Up

The savings are offset by adding the cost of the fuel used to produce the electricity. So the electricity is not really free even though you do not assign a cost to it as the cost is already in the fuel used to produce it.

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Chilufya Lombe Sustainability Consultant Solid Green Consulting
Sep 29 2014
Guest
312 Thumbs Up

LEED V4 Section 1.4 Tables

Hi, not sure if I am missing something but the USGBC website's 'Resources' section does not have an updated section 1.4 table for LEED v4. The version on their website (Revised Section 1.4 Tables (Jan 2014)) is still based on ASHRAE 90.1 2007. Is there a version of the excel sheet that is based on ASHRAE 2010 for us to use on LEED v4 projects?

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Chilufya Lombe Sustainability Consultant, Solid Green Consulting Sep 29 2014 Guest 312 Thumbs Up

Apologies, found the document!

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Charalampos Giannikopoulos
Sep 26 2014
LEEDuser Member
70 Thumbs Up

Demand Control Ventilation

Further, to the preliminary review of EAp2 our project team got a comment with regard to demand control ventilation (DCV). however, although the project includes spaces larger than 500 sf, none of those ha a design occupancy of greater than 40 people per 1.000 sf of floor area. Would a notification of the occupancy not exceeding 40 people/1,000 sf be sufficient to justify why DCV is not required to our project? Thank you in advance.

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Sep 26 2014 LEEDuser Expert 43610 Thumbs Up

That would be a start. It is always a good idea to back up your claims, statements and notifications with documentation. In this case you could point to the calculations for IEQp1. Make sure that you are not contradicting yourself in documentation submitted for another credit. Projects usually get this comment when they show a space as having 40 people per 1000 in the documentation for IEQp1 or if there is a large gathering space in the project like an auditorium where this density is likely at peak ventilation requirements.

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Charalampos Giannikopoulos Sep 27 2014 LEEDuser Member 70 Thumbs Up

Thank you Marcus. We are not contradicting ourselves with IEQp1 since no space exceeds the threshold (40pax/1,000sf). Although there is an auditorium in the project, occupancy will be still lower than 40pax/1,000sf.
However, although DCV is not required (based on not exceeding the occupancy threshold) all large areas (>500sf) of our project are equipped with carbon dioxide sensors allowing for demand control ventilation.

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Sep 27 2014 LEEDuser Expert 43610 Thumbs Up

Perhaps the reviewer saw the auditorium and this is why they raised the question. State that the auditorium is under 40/1000 and provide the max occupancy and total square footage for that (and any similar) spaces in your response.

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April Brown Projects Manager Institute for the Built Environment
Sep 18 2014
LEEDuser Expert
532 Thumbs Up

Equipment Capacity for Design and Baseline Case

Hi Marcus 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.,

I received a question from one of our project energy modelers that I cannot answer -

Recently we have been receiving a new comment on EAp2 that states
“The HVAC equipment capacities cannot be autosized in the Proposed model.”

This comment brings up the following concerns. Our actual design documents include engineering of the building, safety factors, owner desired extra capacities, & good engineering practices for operation & functionality. If we are to put in the true design capacities (which are peak capacities plus safety factors not average operating conditions) but allow the baseline to auto calculate, we are never going to show energy savings as the baseline has none of the previously mentioned included. The baseline is bare bones and as minimal as one can get. Are we allowed to also put in the design capacities in for the baseline? For example, in past experience, the baseline requires more airflow because the equipment is a little less efficient and the envelope typically has a lower R value & better glazing than the proposed. However, if we have to hard input our design Peak airflows but allow the baseline to calculate airflows there will be skewed results. The reason I say this is that in general an interior room may require 50 CFM to meet its load. However, we know that diffusersIn an HVAC context, diffusers disperse heating, cooling, or ventilation air as it enters a room, ideally preventing uncomfortable direct currents and in many cases, reducing energy costs and improving indoor air quality (IAQ). In light fixtures, diffusers filter and disperse light. need a minimum of 75-100 CFM for the air to actually reach the occupant and effectively cool the space. Therefore, our design would show 100 CFM and the baseline model would calculate 50 CFM. This does not seem like a fair and true comparison.

Can you offer insight and direction for how to adjust our model to address the reviewer concerns while still showing energy cost savings and reflecting our actual design conditions?

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Matt Scott Engineer, N.E. Fisher & Associates, Inc. Sep 18 2014 Guest 251 Thumbs Up

My two cents... Appendix G is pretty clear that if you have completed design documents, you cannot auto-size the proposed case, and you must model the HVAC system "as designed" including the scheduled capacities. Remember, the baseline capacities are to be over-sized by 15% for cooling and 25% for heating, so that should help make up for a little "over-engineering" on the proposed case.

You should still be able to squeeze some points out even with these restrictions. I've found the baseline systems pretty much always have lower airflows, but in the end the proposed systems are usually still more efficient and use less overall energy than the baseline theoretical systems.

Safety factors and "good engineering practice" enter a grey area of violating the energy code and engineering in extra capacity isn't really "green" and being green is the whole point; getting the certification is just a bonus.

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Sep 18 2014 LEEDuser Expert 43610 Thumbs Up

Agreed. If you oversize the Proposed systems to any significant degree you should pay a penalty. The software will calculate peaks and average based on the actual loads so you are not really comparing average to peak. You enter the full capacity and the software automatically matches the capacity needed to the loads in both models.

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Khaled Fouda Sep 18 2014 LEEDuser Member 20 Thumbs Up

This issue brings a question to my mind. The multifamily building that I am working at right now has some unconditioned (no cooling) spaces and according to Appx.G I should model these spaces identically with the baseline. I am wondering if I will ever receive a comment from the reviewer about some proposed systems being (auto-sized) and being (15% over-sized).

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Sep 18 2014 LEEDuser Expert 43610 Thumbs Up

The reviewer will check the proposed system capacities against the information in the mechanical schedules to ensure that the proposed is modeled as designed. If they are only slightly off you should not get a comment however.

There are times when auto-sizing proposed systems is appropriate. Like when you have to model a space that does not have a mechanical design identically to the baseline system.

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Catalina Caballero Sustainability Coordinator, JALRW Eng. Group Inc. Oct 13 2014 LEEDuser Member 2661 Thumbs Up

What is the threshold that the reviewer consider reasonable in terms of capacities and airflows? 10%?

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Oct 13 2014 LEEDuser Expert 43610 Thumbs Up

For capacities and airflows I would say under 10%. For fan power it should be identical or explained.

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LEEDme STRATEGIE D'IMPRESA
Sep 16 2014
LEEDuser Member
79 Thumbs Up

Radiant tube

A radiant tube gas can be associated with the table 6.8.1E ASHRAE 2007?

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Sep 17 2014 LEEDuser Expert 43610 Thumbs Up

Gas radiant heaters are not covered in the 6.8.1 Tables. So there is no minimum efficiency requirement.

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HOUCINE TLEMSANI Mechanical Designer MEP Engineering Solutions, Inc
Sep 11 2014
LEEDuser Member
313 Thumbs Up

kitchen hoods

Hi,
I am working on a dining facility where we have two makeup air units serving the kitchen hoods. The units in the proposed case are equipped with chilled water coils served with the building air cooled chiller to tamper the air to 80 degree F. the units are considered as process and are supposed to be modeled identical in the proposed and the baseline case. Since the building chiller is a high performance magnetic chiller serving the whole building what is the baseline piece of equipment that needs to be modeled to serve the makeup units since the baseline system is type 3 dx packaged units.
Is it an air cooled chiller with ASHRAE 90.1 performance and sized for the coils capacity?

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HOUCINE TLEMSANI Mechanical Designer, MEP Engineering Solutions, Inc Sep 17 2014 LEEDuser Member 313 Thumbs Up

Any guidance would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Victoria Watson Sep 17 2014 Guest 100 Thumbs Up

Hi Houcine,
One way of thinking about this (I am be wrong) is that perhaps the makeup units are not classed as process energy if they have chilled water coils as they are conditioning the space. However the outside ventilation rates should be the same in both building so the baseline building would also need to makeup this air. If the baseline system is type 3 DX packaged units, then this serves the space but with the outside air rate to match the proposed building (E.g. there will be a constant outside air during times the makeup unit is in operating in the proposed at that rate).

Anyone have any other thoughts? I have come across similar tricky situations with makeup air in buildings.

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HOUCINE TLEMSANI Mechanical Designer, MEP Engineering Solutions, Inc Sep 19 2014 LEEDuser Member 313 Thumbs Up

Thanks Victoria
The kitchen makeup units are serving 80% of the hood required makeup the rest is coming from the building system and are not really conditioning the space. The only reason the air is tempered to 80F is for the cooks safety purpose and RFP requirement. All the hoods ventilation system is for kitchen heat and smoke removal. Therefore I believe that it is process, (correct me if I am wrong).
My question is that if it is process how will it be modeled in the base line and what type of equipment will be modeled for the chilled water coils. Since the base line model does not have a chilled water system.
I guess the only way is to compare it to a chiller with ASHRAE 90.1 performance and claim savings.
Anyone had this situation?

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