Note: This pilot credit was closed for new registrations as of August 15, 2011.
This credit was created to emphasize the positive social and cultural effects of building reuse in a community. USGBC sees building reuse as a top priority for green building, and this credit aims to incentivize the rehabilitation of buildings of significant importance or potential impact to the community.
Project teams are encouraged to begin envisioning their project by evaluating existing building rehabilitation options and considering the community impacts of their project.
Submittal requirements for this credit have not been finalized. The below submittals are suggested documentation only. Submit documents you feel are appropriate to support your claims to assist in the development of submittal requirements.
Create a table describing the envelope and the existing area and reused area of the structural elements. This table should account for all square footage of the existing envelope and structural elements. Exclude non-structural roofing material from credit calculations. If portions of structural elements have been excluded from either existing or reused areas due to structural unsoundness, presence of hazardous materials and/or contamina-tion risk to occupants, include a narrative indicating the situation and reasons for exclusion.
Excerpted from LEED 2009 for New Construction and Major Renovations
To respect local landmarks and conserve material and cultural resources by encouraging the preservation and adaptive use of underused buildings.
Maintain the existing building structure (including structural floor and roof decking) and envelope (the exterior skin and framing excluding window assemblies and non structural roofing material) and existing interior nonstructural elements (e.g. interior walls, doors, floor coverings and ceiling systems to a sum of at least 75% (by area) of the total building surface. Exclude from the calculation any structurally unsound portions of the building or hazardous materials; however, only up to 20% of the total building square footage may be excluded because of deterioration or damage.
There is no limit on the square footage that can be added to the existing building, but the existing building (or portion) must meet the minimum size and eligibility criteria for LEED.
Option 1 – Historic Building Reuse
The building or site must be previously listed or submitted for listing in the local, state, or national register of historic buildings/places. Do not demolish any historic buildings or portions thereof as part of the project. For buildings listed locally, approval for construction activities must be granted by the local historic preservation review board, or the equivalent. For buildings listed in a state register or the National Register of Historic Places, approval for construction must appear in an agreement with the State Historic Preservation Office.
Any rehabilitation of a historic building on the project site must be done in accordance with local or federal standards for rehabilitation, whichever are more restrictive, using one of the following approaches:
Option 2 – Renovation of Abandoned or Blighted Buildings
Buildings that meet local criteria of abandoned2 or are considered blight3 must be renovated to a state of productive occupancy.
1 Local historic districts have preservation ordinances requiring proposed work on designated historic properties be reviewed by a local historic preservation commission or design review board. When the board reviews and approves proposed changes to a historic building, they issue a "Certificate of Appropriateness," a document stating that the proposed work is appropriate for the historic district and meets local code criteria. Contact your city government's preservation official for specific information about what is needed for a Certificate of Appropriateness, the design review process, and to obtain an application for proposed exterior work.
2 Abandoned property is defined as property left behind intentionally and permanently when it appears that the former owner does not intend to come back, pick it up, or use it. One may have abandoned the property of contract rights by not doing what is required by the contract. However, an easement and other land rights are not abandoned property just because of non-use. Abandoned land is defined as land not being used at the present time but that may have utilities and infrastructure in place
3 A structure is blighted when it exhibits objectively determinable signs of deterioration sufficient to constitute a threat to human health, safety, and public welfare.
The homepage for the LEED Pilot Credit Library. The LEED Pilot Credit Library is intended to facilitate the introduction of new prerequisites and credits to LEED. This process will allow USGBC to test and refine credits through LEED 2009 project evaluations before they are sent through the balloting process for introduction into LEED.
Background for the LEED Pilot Credit Library is provided in this foundational document.
Hi, I'd like to verify if I have documented this Pilot Credit correctly?
-I have included exterior windows in the building envelope calculations since the team is preserving all existing windows (both original to the 100-year old building and previously installed replacement windows), but I'd like to make sure this approach is correct since the pilot credit requirement language states to calculate the envelope "excluding window assemblies."
-I have used the same approach for calculating the interior nonstructural elements as in LEED NC 2009 MRc1.2, but the pilot credit requirement language states "maintain...existing interior nonstructural elements." Was the approach that I used correct (calculating the percentage of the total completed area of interior elements that are reused), or should I only consider the percentage of pre-construction interior nonstructural elements that were maintained?
Your comments are just the kind of feedback this pilot process is intended to elicit. We need to figure out this ratio of non-structural and structural / envelope surfaces and total materials mass and then impacts / value to create a good holistic approach. One aspect of the surface area quantification is simply the ease of documentation and the issue of mixing different metrics. Surface area might be critical for the preservation of quality and character - which could be either interior or exterior - and not so easily reduced to a mass of materials. On the other hand environmental impacts would be a function of mass of material / type retained and therefore not extracted new. Thanks very much for your analysis and suggestions and pleaseprovide your comments on the LEED 2012 2nd public comment version during the public comment period ending September 14.
True about preservation of quality and character, but since so many of the historic buildings we touch have already had major retrofits in the 50s, 70s or 90s is the character of a 1970 office wall weighted the same as that amazing plaster ceiling that somehow remained above an ACT mess. Removing the ACT to expose the ceiling above would count against. Maybe a good thing would be interior elements which are contemporary to the shell construction or listed as "contributing" by NPS?
I will put together a comment for the 2012 version. Having worked on a handful of LEED NC historic rehabs I have a lot of comments... :)
As I see it the major issue with this credit is the 75% threshold in MR 1.1 &1.3.
Consider two possible assemblies.
- A 1920s 18" thick historic masonry and terracotta facade
- An 1970s gypsum board and metal stud partition
Under the methodology for calculating the credit I should include area for BOTH SIDES of the metal stud partition wall but only one side of the masonry wall, in effect giving the 1970s stud twice the weight per square foot as the historic wall.
Similarly a sheet of carpet or vinyl flooring has the same weight as a concrete waffle slab.
Similarly, I do not believe that historic buildings should be heavily penalized for removing non-historic interior elements & finishes, especially for those projects which have gone through review by NPS.
Perhaps some kind of a matrix which includes depth of the item as well, to calculate volume. USGBC/GBCI could set default widths for things like carpet (1"), interior part ions (6"), etc to simplify the calculations. Believe me, having done MR 1 credits on several projects I realize it will be a pain, but when combining MR1.1&1.3 I don't know how else you do it fairly.
One thing to consider by requiring project teams to include windows in the calculation is areas where the exisitng windows cannot physically be retrofitted to meet the new performance criteria. Replacement of windows and other building openings such as doors and louvers are not just done for energy purposes, but to also meet Building Code requirements for windborne debris in certian regions such as hurricane zones. Additionally, with the times we live in, many buildings (federal projects especially) have force protection requirements that must be met. Replacement windows and doors can match the historic appearance and not detract from the historic exterior. There should be an option for replacement windows that meet the historic preservation requirements where these requirements exist.
Good point Patrick,
We will consider your point of code vs historic requirements for windows when developing the calculation tools for this credit. This sounds like a region specific issue, perhaps there is opportunity for a regional variation for the credit calculations.
Oh, and also I wanted to remind everyone that this credit will no longer be stand alone in the 2012 draft, it will appear in the "Environmentally Preferable Structure and Envelope" credit.
To answer your questions -
1. Yes that is correct this is the total of structural and non-structural assemblies and components as defined by each in MRc 1.1 and 1.3.
2. Yes that is technically correct specifically for this pilot credit, not for MRc 1.1 or 1.2 Building Reuse. The goal was to get feedback on whether this distinction makes a difference to projects in both achieving this credit and also their historic status while insuring building performance is not compromised.
3. Casework is a component of the interior non-structural elements, although it is not spelled out in the pilot credit language.
I hope that helps,
We are finishing up documenation on a building which is on the National Register, went through review, recieved approval from the state, and earned historic tax credits.
I just found this Pilot Credit and am going to start my calcs to see if we meet the 75% reus threshold. Under MR1.1 we are at 99%, however we are not attempting MR1.2 because the interior renovation on the second floor and half of the first floor is pretty extensive. But I have a couple questions.
1. The way the point reads the 75% is a combination of MR1.1 & MR1.2 elements, so you should add up the square footage for all elements listed in each to calculate the reused percentage?
2. In the requirements (p.1) it says "excluding window assemblies" however in additional questions (p.3) it says "In this credit we have included windows as part of the reused envelope to incentivize the restoration of historic/existing window assemblies". Our building has historic windows on the main facade and existing replacement windows on the other three facades. We are maintaining a majority of these windows. We are planning to include all reused windows both historic and replacement for this credit. That is correct?
3. The point does not list Casework in interior non-structural elements? Do I need to include it?
It was very interesting to find this credit source. We are going after platinum status for the renovation of the abandoned Guam Legislature. We are knocking ourselves out to get Exemplary points and have secured five on paper, however now that we understand that there is a limit of three points, it wont change our approach but if there is a historic option that would be a far more appropriate approach.
The Guam Congress Building was constructed in 1948 in the bombed out center of the capital of Guam, Hagatna. It served as the seat of the Legislature untill 1990 when it was partially demolished as part of an extensive expansion which was them abnandoned. So the building has been un occupied for 20 plus years.
Our project is the complete restoration of the original public spaces in the building and the addition of office support areas. The restoration of the Session Halls and the central Lobby and galleries, 8000 sq ft, will maintain the highest fidelity to the original possible, this includes the dismantling and rebuilding of all existing woodwork, ceiling work, and some furniture.
Anyway, I would think we are right on track for this credit and I would like to know how to proceed. We are the project for this approach.
Hi Richard - This seems like a great use of this building! Your next step would be to register to test the pilot credit at www.usgbc.org/pilotcreditlibrary and further guidance will be given to you there.
The building we are reusing for a project is considered as "contributing" to the historic neighborhood. In addition, the neighborhood has been designated as a "blight" area for the purpose of securing state and federal grant monies. We are reusing the entire building, however, the old windows are being moved from exterior walls (replacing them with new, thermal panes) and reusing old windows (single pane) as interior dividers, avenues for daylighting, etc. We registered as a pilot project for this credit but are unsure whether our strategy meets the goals of this pilot credit. Advice??
Hi Kath - it seems like you are definitely in line with the goals of the credit, particularly the path for reusing an abandoned or blighted building. The goal of this credit is to reduce the overall material resource through building reuse, in this case for blighted buildings. For documentation, you will need to show that you are reusing the required percentage of the building necessary to meet the credit requirements (based on your description, it sounds like you probably would be).
We hope the consideration of cultural and social aspects of reusing existing buildings through this credit is a valuable addition to the LEED standards. Your inputs are welcome in the development process and it is hoped this credit will be highly utilized...
Please provide your comments !
We are in a Historical Building that is listed in the registry. It was rehabilitated prior to our seeking LEED certification. Would we be eligable to apply for this credit?
The goal of the credit is to encourage the application of LEED to buildings on the National Register or eligible or for which an application has been submitted If I understand the question, and you are working towards and hope to obtain LEED certification for a building that was already on the National Register - and assuming you meet the details of the credit requirements - then the answer is yes.
Details on what the LEED pilot credit library is and how to use it.
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