LEED 2012 - 4th Public Comment and Ballot Forum

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LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser BuildingGreen, Inc. May 11 2012 LEEDuser Moderator Post a Comment

Editor's note: USGBC has taken your comments and opened the fifth public comment period with the new draft of LEED v4 (note the name change from LEED 2012). Please post your thoughts on our LEED v4 fifth public comment forum!

The LEED 2012 fourth public comment period will be open from May 11 to May 28 (11:59 p.m. 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.).

Information on the 4th public comment draft of LEED 2012 is available on the USGBC website.

LEEDuser's analysis of the current draft is below, and we encourage the LEED user community to post your analyses and opinions here in this forum. Here are some useful links:

Under USGBC's process for development of the rating systems, any substantive changes must be followed by a comment period. This 4th comment period had not been planned—indicating that there are some noteworthy changes from the 3rd public comment period. However, any changes between now and the version that wil go out to ballot on June 1st are going to be superficial, making this comment period a warm-up for the balloting process.

LEEDuser's Analysis of the 4th Public Comment Draft

By Nadav Malin – LEEDuser

With a special fourth public comment period, USGBC is now—through May 28—seeking input on the latest changes to the LEED 2012 family of rating systems. Only credits that have changed significantly since the 3rd public comment draft are open for comments this time. If you haven’t been paying attention, it’s time to wake up, because LEED 2012 is by far the most fundamental revamping of LEED in its history.

LEED has been through several iterations since it was originally launched in March 2000. It has also spawned additional rating systems over the years—the LEED that started things off in 2000 was just for “New Construction and Major Renovations” (NC); LEED for Existing Buildings, Commercial Interiors, Schools, Retail, Healthcare, Neighborhood Developments, and Homes all came later. But most of those changes trickled in: one rating system at a time, and relatively minor changes to credit requirements from one version to the next. LEED 2009 gave LEED a new point structure, with all the rating systems on a 100-point scale (plus bonus points), but the actual credit requirements didn’t change all that much.

LEED 2012 includes a fresh look at credits across the board, and introduces the first more specialized versions of LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (EBOM), with EBOM for Schools, Retail, Data Centers, Hospitality, and Warehouses. While many in the LEED community have complained that the changes are too much too fast, few would argue that most of the old requirements have gotten old and tired.
Responding to those concerns, however, the fourth public comment draft continues a trend of backing off on some of the proposed changes:

  • The credit for electric vehicle charging stations and preferred parkingPreferred parking, available to particular users, includes designated spaces close to the building (aside from designated handicapped spots), designated covered spaces, discounted parking passes, and guaranteed passes in a lottery system. has been reinstated in this draft, with minor adjustments.
  • A distinction between heavy and non-heavy construction and demolition waste was deemed too difficult to track on the job site and has been removed from this draft.
  • A requirement in the commissioning prerequisite to include building envelope commissioning was removed in an earlier draft, and now applies only to the credit.
  • Minimum energy performance over ASHRAE 90.1-2010 was lowered from 10% to 5%, recognizing that 90.1-2010 is already about 20% tougher than 90.1-2007, making the cumulative change too challenging.
  • An “angle of view” requirement that would have greatly restricted the indoor spaces that could count towards the views credit was eliminated.

Among the biggest changes in LEED 2012 are those in the Materials and Resources (MR) category. Even though this category carries relatively few points (about 10% of the total in most Building Design & Construction rating systems), it has the most direct impact on major building material markets with their associated economic and ecological impacts, so this category is a lightening rod for commentary.

USGBC has stuck with its strong commitment to the Forest Stewardship Council as the minimum standard for wood product certification. It has, however, backed off in this draft from a credit that included PVC—the plastic most widely used in buildings—among the substances to be avoided. That’s a function of a decision to reference the European REACH list for that credit. PVC remains among the substances that would have to be disclosed, based on the lists in Clean Production Action’s Green Screen Benchmark.

LEED 2012 introduces a more sophisticated approach to many of the materials credits, replacing simple proxies for environmental benefit, such as recycled content and rapidly renewableTerm describing a natural material that is grown and harvested on a relatively short-rotation cycle (defined by the LEED rating system to be ten years or less). materials, with requirements that call for life-cycle assessment1. Life-cycle assessment is an analysis of the environmental aspects and potential impacts associated with a product, process, or service. 2. The practice of quantifying and characterizing all the resource and pollution flows associated with a process or product, for the purpose of documenting its environmental impact. It is defined by the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) as "a compilation and evaluation of the inputs, outputs and the potential environmental impacts of a product system throughout its life-cycle.", disclosure of ingredients, and avoidance of problem chemicals.

These new approaches are challenging because tools and protocols for meeting these requirements are not yet widely available. USGBC is responding to this situation in several ways:

  • Introducing a pilot projects program and extended phase-in period for all of LEED 2012, so that only project teams that want to knock themselves out pioneering these new practices have to do so;
  • Pointing out that building commissioning and energy modeling were also not widely used when LEED began requiring them in 2000, so there is precedent for LEED creating this kind of infrastructure; and, to support that process,
  • Offering credit in some cases for merely reporting on ingredients and LCA results, regardless of how good those results are. This approach amounts to a big vote for transparency and support for developing data sources and tools, in the hopes that future versions of LEED will be able to make use of widely available data to set rigorous thresholds.

While the methods are far from perfect, moving to include mining impacts in the mix, and introducing some filters to the old blanket endorsement of any rapidly renewable material, are clearly big steps forward. Similarly, in the arena of indoor pollutants from materials, USGBC has determined that the market is finally ready to move from documenting VOC content to measuring VOC emissions. An attempt to do that when LEED for Schools was released in 2008 proved premature, but I think we’re ready now.

191 Comments

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser BuildingGreen, Inc.
Oct 15 2012
LEEDuser Moderator

fifth public comment period is open

USGBC has taken your comments and opened the fifth public comment period with the new draft of LEED v4 (note the name change from LEED 2012). Please post your thoughts on our LEED v4 fifth public comment forum!

http://www.leeduser.com/topic/leed-v4-public-comment-forum-leed-takes-ne...

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Rudy De La O LEED AP BD+C
Oct 15 2012
LEEDuser Member
66 Thumbs Up

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Hi Tristan,

Above you mention "The credit for electric vehicle charging stations and preferred parkingPreferred parking, available to particular users, includes designated spaces close to the building (aside from designated handicapped spots), designated covered spaces, discounted parking passes, and guaranteed passes in a lottery system. has been reinstated in this draft, with minor adjustments".

Can you provide more information on that topic or point me to where I can learn more?

Thanks.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Oct 15 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

Rudy, what in particular are you looking for more information on?

There is now a newer draft of LEED v4 (for the 5th public comment period) that would be your best source of information on where LEED is going on this topic—see the link I posted above.

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Chris Miller Chief Mechanical Engineer Design Alaska
Jun 11 2012
LEEDuser Member
988 Thumbs Up

Where is the O+M 4th public comment draft?

All of the links that I can find to the most current draft of O+M (and NC, as well) dead-end at Rick's letter or lead me to the 2nd public comment draft. Can someone please provide a link to the latest draft of O+M and NC?

Thank you in advance.

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Chrissy Macken Assistant Project Manager, LEED v4 , U.S. Green Building Council Jun 11 2012 LEEDuser Member 1190 Thumbs Up

Hello -

We're in the process of updating the titles to the documents to reflect the name change of the program. The docs will be back up in the next couple days.

Thanks!

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Bill Swanson PE, LEED AP, Integrated Architecture Jun 12 2012 LEEDuser Expert 15988 Thumbs Up
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Hernando Miranda Owner, Soltierra LLC Jun 12 2012 Guest 8313 Thumbs Up

Other Versions & Redlines:

BD+C (4th Draft) Redline Version
https://www.usgbc.org/ShowFile.aspx?DocumentID=18937

EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems. (4th Draft) Redline Version
https://www.usgbc.org/ShowFile.aspx?DocumentID=18941

ID&C (4th Draft)
https://www.usgbc.org/ShowFile.aspx?DocumentID=18939

ID&C (4th Draft) Redline Version
https://www.usgbc.org/ShowFile.aspx?DocumentID=18940

BD&C (4th Draft) Substantive Changes
https://www.usgbc.org/ShowFile.aspx?DocumentID=18943

EBOM (4th Draft) Substantive Changes
https://www.usgbc.org/ShowFile.aspx?DocumentID=18944

ID&C (4th Draft) Substantive Changes
https://www.usgbc.org/ShowFile.aspx?DocumentID=18946

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Chris Miller Chief Mechanical Engineer, Design Alaska Jun 20 2012 LEEDuser Member 988 Thumbs Up

Thank you Bill and Hernando.

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Mara Baum Healthcare Sustainable Design Leader, LEED Fellow HOK
Jun 04 2012
LEEDuser Expert
8173 Thumbs Up

LEED 2012 (now v4) Ballot Postponed until 2013

From Rick:

"In response to overwhelming feedback from our members, core LEED users and engaged stakeholders, USGBC announced today that it will delay ballot on LEED 2012 until June 1, 2013. Because of this date change LEED 2012 is being renamed LEED v4."

http://usgbcblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/important-news-about-leed-2012-mes...

Summary:

2009 stays open for 3 more years
v4 beta will be open through June 1, 2013 (yes, 2013)
v4 vote will be on June 1, 2013 (yes, 2013)
There will be another public comment spanning GreenBuild (October 2 – December 10)

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jun 04 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

Thanks for posting, Mara!

LEEDuser just posted an article on this change, with a bit more background and context.

 

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Michelle Teague Architect, LEED Consultant Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects
Jun 01 2012
Guest
677 Thumbs Up

LEED Online, Reference Guides, User Friendly Documentation

LEED Users, what are your thoughts and experiences with LEED Documentation?
I've seen a couple of posts from Karen Joslin about LEED 2012 likely not being "ready" for the marketplace based on experience with 2009 forms and reviews. LEED User has been great in the tips & resources available and the forum discussions. Yet it reveals much confusion, even among "elite users" about satisfying requirements and responding to reviewers.
What confidence can we have for new versions in terms of ease of use and ability for the building industry to continue transformation? (In our state the IGCC is no where near being adopted.)

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Rob Watson CEO, ECON Group Jun 01 2012 LEEDuser Member 2125 Thumbs Up

Which letter is this, Barry?

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Peggy White White + GreenSpec Jun 01 2012 LEEDuser Member 2035 Thumbs Up

Yea Barry - do tell! :o) Was it anything like his entertaining rant at the NCC Gala last week?

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Barry Giles Founder & CEO, LEED Fellow, BuildingWise LLC Jun 01 2012 LEEDuser Expert 4613 Thumbs Up

Rob

A followup from Rick's plaque cermony at Integral last week and NCC's GreenSuper hero's (you missed a great evening)...Integral got the highest LEED CI certification on the Planet (or so Rick says)...now that's great...we loved being part of that...but if we continue to push the bar in point numbers higher and higher...what does that prove? The parrallel to that is Energy Star...once the score reaches 98...what does 99 prove?
Others have mentioned that with point reduction in credits that 'high scores' are not achievable...if that is correct then Platinum in V4 would REALLY mean something

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Barry Giles Founder & CEO, LEED Fellow, BuildingWise LLC Jun 01 2012 LEEDuser Expert 4613 Thumbs Up

Peggy...I'm shocked...Rick didn't rant did he?...OK, OK...so it was a little pointed and at a major public event.
But remembering Rick's comment about being the highest LEED ever got me thinking that the Platinum bar needs to be a lot harder to achieve

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Jun 01 2012 LEEDuser Expert 46347 Thumbs Up

To address the original issue - the documentation and review process I think is the Achilles heel of LEED. It is currently pretty much a punitive process that is viewed negatively by customers as something to endure to get your reward. We need to change the process to make it a mostly positive and value-added experience.

We need to consider and test alternative certification review methods including a greater degree of reviewer-customer interaction including possible site visits. I recently went through a Green Globes certification (the project failed to meet a LEED prerequisite and the client was expecting monies tied to LEED or GG certification) which was far more positive in nature.

So I think the specific tools and requirements are actually the least of our worries. It is the fundamental process which needs to change IMO.

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Barry Giles Founder & CEO, LEED Fellow, BuildingWise LLC Jun 01 2012 LEEDuser Expert 4613 Thumbs Up

Marcus...are you suggesting 'dump GBCI' and take the BREEAMBuilding Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method, the first widely used green building rating system, developed in the U.K. in the early 1990s, currently used primarily in the U.K. and in Hong Kong. route?

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Michelle Teague Architect, LEED Consultant, Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects Jun 01 2012 Guest 677 Thumbs Up

Marcus, well put. I think a place to begin is with the MPRs. LEED boundaries have been a sticking point in all our LEED projects. A "simple site" it the exception to the rule in our office. Early interaction (and cost friendly) to work out a logical boundary with your reviewer on which to base future calculations (or decide to part ways with LEED) would be a great step. I do not think this should be a pay-per one-way communication void of graphics that are CIRs.
Suggestions for others?

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Barry Giles Founder & CEO, LEED Fellow, BuildingWise LLC Jun 01 2012 LEEDuser Expert 4613 Thumbs Up

Marcus...are you suggesting 'dump GBCI' and take the BREEAMBuilding Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method, the first widely used green building rating system, developed in the U.K. in the early 1990s, currently used primarily in the U.K. and in Hong Kong. route? It bares discussion. Certainly I see no reason for the top teams not to be able to ‘self certify’ Certified and maybe Silver projects…with GBCI stepping in and doing reviews on an ad hoc basis. (al la BREEAM). But Gold and Platinum should take the GBCI route. This self certifying route would take a lot of pressure off of GBCI. Another option could be to reassess the points level and reduce Certified to 35 points or maybe 30 points…this would help to bring in more buildings.

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Jun 01 2012 LEEDuser Expert 46347 Thumbs Up

I would never suggest dumping GBCI! I am suggesting that we come up with better ideas on how to do reviews and pilot several options to see what works best. We need to maintain the integrity of the system so it needs to be somewhat rigorous but in a more streamlined, effective and positive manner.

Barry your idea is just what I am talking about, lets pilot a process where teams which have submitted successful, accurate documentation on multiple projects can utilize a more streamlined approach.

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Scott Bowman LEED Fellow Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC
May 31 2012
LEEDuser Expert
6496 Thumbs Up

Commissioning has changed more than is being discussed...

I do not fully agree with Nadav’s analysis above that Envelope Cx1. Commissioning (Cx) is the process of verifying and documenting that a building and all of its systems and assemblies are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained to meet the owner's project requirements. 2. The process of checking the performance of a building against the owner's goals during design, construction, and occupancy. At a minimum, mechanical and electrical equipment are tested, although much more extensive testing may also be included. was moved to the credit. There are still some serious issues with the v2012 commissioning that I have commented on at every opportunity, including this one.

First, they are requiring that the envelope be included in the OPROwner's project requirements (OPR) is a written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project. and BODBasis of design (BOD) includes design information necessary to accomplish the owner's project requirements, including system descriptions, indoor environmental quality criteria, design assumptions, and references to applicable codes, standards, regulations, and guidelines., which I agree with. Kind of like reporting chemicals as a start, making sure that design teams fully outline and narrate the envelope is great. However, it continues to require a “design review” of the envelope to be included in the fundamental commissioning, but it can be by the design team. I just do not agree that the “design review” should be part of fundamental commissioning…that should always be third party, and it should be part of enhanced.

So I continue to assert that the design review should be part of enhanced for all systems, not part of fundamental. Also, the design review as currently mentioned in the standard is not well defined, of course it was not well defined in v2009 either, and means different things to different people. You only have to look to LinkedIn conversations on the topic to know that. This is where a well written Reference Guide will be helpful.

Lastly, there is a weird typo (hopefully) that could be read that the CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. should develop the OPR and BOD…and that is just plain wrong.

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group May 31 2012 LEEDuser Expert 46347 Thumbs Up

As you well know there are many different approaches to commissioning. The folks who do this in our shop will not commission a project without doing a design review. So within the current requirements we do not separate the credit requirements from the prerequisite requirements. We will do it the way we think is right or we just won't do it.

Where does the prerequisite language say that the CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. should develop the OPROwner's project requirements (OPR) is a written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project. and BODBasis of design (BOD) includes design information necessary to accomplish the owner's project requirements, including system descriptions, indoor environmental quality criteria, design assumptions, and references to applicable codes, standards, regulations, and guidelines.? The language indicates that the OPR and BOD must be developed but the CxA scope of work includes review of the OPR and BOD, not development.

Perhaps it would be clearer if it said:

The owner and project design team must do the following:
- Develop the OPR
- Develop a BOD

Fun writing credit language isn't it? :-)

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Scott Bowman LEED Fellow, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Jun 01 2012 LEEDuser Expert 6496 Thumbs Up

I agree that it must be a typo Marcus, there are so many edits, I know your suggestion is the intent.

I also agree that a design review is valuable…but we have to compete with very low scope, low cost providers. And I have seen little enforcement from GBCI on Cx1. Commissioning (Cx) is the process of verifying and documenting that a building and all of its systems and assemblies are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained to meet the owner's project requirements. 2. The process of checking the performance of a building against the owner's goals during design, construction, and occupancy. At a minimum, mechanical and electrical equipment are tested, although much more extensive testing may also be included. (although I just read in another part of LEEDuser someone being denied the Enhanced credit due to an inadequate Systems Manual). So we also work to provide high value to our clients.

There are other places to debate scope and definition of commissioning, and if you look on LinkedIn and other places on LEEDuser you will find that I am not just a whiner on this topic. A well written Reference Guide would help our clients and the market to stabilize on the level of service deserved. For a long time I have advocated for a separate Cx TAGLEED Technical Advisory Group (TAG): Subcommittees that consist of industry experts who assist in developing credit interpretations and technical improvements to the LEED system., as EA is so focused on energy efficiency and simulation (as it should) that I do not feel Cx is getting the attention it should. I would love to volunteer for that TAG, as I have been turned down for the EA TAG several times now (ok, now I am whining).

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Jun 01 2012 LEEDuser Expert 46347 Thumbs Up

I understand your having to compete with low scope, low cost providers. We just choose not to and are small enough to have that luxury. So that being the case if the design review comes into the prerequisite than the scope remains the same for all providers, somewhat evening the playing field.

The issue with endorsement is a lack of documentation required in the submission. Generally not much to look at or comment on.

There is a separate working group on Cx1. Commissioning (Cx) is the process of verifying and documenting that a building and all of its systems and assemblies are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained to meet the owner's project requirements. 2. The process of checking the performance of a building against the owner's goals during design, construction, and occupancy. At a minimum, mechanical and electrical equipment are tested, although much more extensive testing may also be included. issues full of CxAs under 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. who primarily worked on the 2012 credit language.

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Drew George Drew George & Partners
May 28 2012
LEEDuser Member
202 Thumbs Up

No "equivalency" stated for ASHRAE 90.1-2010 and Title 24-2008?

It is my understanding that the proposed version of LEED 2012 does not include an "equivalency" between ASHRAE 90.1-2010 and California's Title 24-2008 energy code.

Accordingly, I just posted the following comment.

(begin)

Simply put, to discontinue the long precedent and tradition of allowing projects in California to use Title 24 - and instead, force these projects to demonstrate compliance with two different energy codes, will most likely:
a) increase costs for projects in California, which will...
b) discourage projects from using LEED 2012, which will...
c) result in fewer projects using LEED in the future...and thereby reduce the probability of the USGBC Vision from being achieved.

Accordingly, we implore you to reconsider this choice.

If not, we respectfully request that GBCI demonstrate complete transparency in this decision-making process, as follows.

1. Please provide access to all the specific backup documentation that GBCI relied on to substantiate the statement that "Title 24-2008 is generally not as stringent as ASHRAE 90.1-2010".

2. Please provide access to all the specific backup documentation that USGBC/GBCI relied on to substantiate the conclusion that the difference between 90.1-10 and T24-08 is *substantially greater* than the differences between *prior versions* of these respective energy codes, specifically 90.1-04 compared to T24-01, and 90.1-07 compared to T24-05 (which were all previously deemed substantially equivalent, of course).

3. Please provide the proposed timeline for evaluating the Title 24-2013 energy code for equivalency with ASHRAE 90.1-2010, and clarify what month and year this determination is expected to be complete.

Thank you in advance for your consideration of this feedback, and we look forward to your response.

(end)

If you agree that forcing California projects to be modeled using two different energy codes is redundant, does not follow previous LEED precedents, and most likely will result in fewer LEED projects, then I encourage you to submit a comment stating your concerns.

Thank you for reading,
Drew

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Mara Baum Healthcare Sustainable Design Leader, LEED Fellow, HOK May 29 2012 LEEDuser Expert 8173 Thumbs Up

Drew, if I remember correctly the Title 24 equivalency values came shortly after the release of prior versions of LEED, not in advance of them... I have fond memories of the printed out equivalency chart taped into my Reference Guide. Unless you see language that explicitly forbids an equivalency (have I missed that?) I would hope that USGBC would do this as soon as possible, but given the extent of their work on this new system I'm not surprised that it isn't complete yet.

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Peggy White White + GreenSpec May 29 2012 LEEDuser Member 2035 Thumbs Up

This is the type of issue/strategy that would best be covered by a Regional Credit, yes?

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Mara Baum Healthcare Sustainable Design Leader, LEED Fellow, HOK May 29 2012 LEEDuser Expert 8173 Thumbs Up

No, this is the path that most CA projects use to achieve EAc1. It's fundamental to our ability to efficiently (in terms of time and money) pursue LEED.

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Peggy White White + GreenSpec May 29 2012 LEEDuser Member 2035 Thumbs Up

I understand that. Since we are required by Code to comply with T-24 and it is equal to or exceeds LEED, it seems redundant and complicated to me that we would continue to have to then translate T-24 results into LEED. (...so NOT an engineer, but I am a logical thinker!).

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Drew George Drew George & Partners May 29 2012 LEEDuser Member 202 Thumbs Up

Hi Mara, and thanks for your response! And yes, I neglected to state that USGBC's response to several LEED 2012 comments related to the desired ASHRAE / Title 24 equivalency was, "Title 24-2008 is generally not as stringent as ASHRAE90.1-2010. When T24-2013 is released, equivalency will be evaluated." So, it appears they have made up their mind regarding the current version of T24, and will consider T24-2013 some time in the future.

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Mara Baum Healthcare Sustainable Design Leader, LEED Fellow, HOK May 29 2012 LEEDuser Expert 8173 Thumbs Up

Peggy, the first comment above suggests that T-24 would not be permitted at all, and that separate ASHRAE 90.1 modeling would need to be done. I doubt that will be the case with 2013 but the language (usually a reference guide supplement thing) isn't in place yet. Prior versions of T-24 and 90.1 weren't closely equivalent enough to be treated the same for LEED.

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Beth Brummitt President, Brummitt Energy Associates, Inc. May 29 2012 LEEDuser Member 104 Thumbs Up

Hi, Mara - Yes, in earlier versions of LEED, there was an equivalency letter or notice that was written after the fact. Usually, long after the fact, and hard to find for many teams. You will notice that in LEED 2009, it is written right in to the language for EA-p2 and EA-c1 at the conclusion of OPTION 1. "Projects in California may use Title 24-2005, Part 6 in place of ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2007 for Option 1."
hi, Peggy - FYI- Even when CA projects use the Title 24 energu use baseline, it must still be mapped into LEED project energy costs. This has always been true and is not the issue here.

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Amy Boyce Manager, LEED, USGBC May 29 2012 LEEDuser Member 348 Thumbs Up

Hello all -
I am the LEED subject matter expert for EA at USGBC, and I just wanted to clarify some of the discussion regarding Title-24 equivalency.

USGBC's information regarding stringency has always been provided by third party studies, such as those commissioned by the DOE. The USGBC does not itself conduct analysis of energy codes to determine relative stringency. The latest comparison provided on the DOE website between T24-2008 and 90.1-2007, indicated that T24 was more stringent that 90.1-2007, but no percentages for relative stringency were provided. (http://www.energycodes.gov/states/state_info.php?stateAB=CA).

DOE has determined that the quantitative analysis of the energy consumption of buildings built to Standard 90.1-2010, as compared with buildings built to Standards 90.1-2007, indicates national source energySource energy is the total amount of raw fuel required to operate a building; it incorporates all transmission, delivery, and production losses for a complete assessment of a building's energy use. savings of approximately 18.2%. (http://www.energycodes.gov/status/documents/Standard_901-2010_Final_Dete...). There have been no studies to suggest that the energy consumption of buildings built to California Title-24 2008, as compared with buildings built to Standard 90.1-2007, indicate average source energy savings up to that level.

Per the DOE website, each state is expected to submit certification that demonstrates that the provisions of the State's commercial building energy code regarding energy efficiency meet or exceed Standard 90.1–2010 and be filed by October 18, 2013 (http://www.energycodes.gov/status/determinations_com.stm). Once the state of California submits this study to the DOE and it is approved, it is probable that an alternative compliance path will be approved that will allow Title-24 2013 to be used in lieu of ASHRAE 90.1-2010 Appendix G to document compliance with EA prerequisite: Minimum Energy Performance and EA credit: Optimize Energy Performance.

The current software developers who offer Title-24 2008 compliance (and the software developers who are preparing software to offer Title-24 2013 compliance) have offered modules that include some ASHRAE 90.1-2007 Baseline modeling functionality. It is expected that the software developers will also update their software to include the capability to model ASHRAE 90.1-2010 Baseline modeling functionality. Therefore, during the interim period before Title-24 2013 takes effect (currently scheduled for January 2014), it is probable that there will be software available that will allow dual compliance to be documented with California Title-24 2008 and ASHRAE 90.1-2010.

I hope that clears things up a bit. It is not USGBC's intention to make compliance with the Energy prerequisite/credit overly difficult, but we also want to make sure that buildings are demonstrating comparable performance. Please feel free to follow up if there are more questions!

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group May 31 2012 LEEDuser Expert 46347 Thumbs Up

Great summary Amy! It is very hard for those who just see the result to understand the discussions and research that goes into these decisions. It is wonderful when USGBC shares the rational behind the decision.

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Hernando Miranda Owner, Soltierra LLC Jun 11 2012 Guest 8313 Thumbs Up

Well, the reason Title 24 2008 was not given a percentage bump compared to ASHRAE 90.1-2004 was the the EA Technical Advisory Group deemed it was too hard to determine a percentage for the bump. The two codes would be equal with no zero bump.

In LEED v2 the USGBC provided an average bump for all Title 24 projects, regardless of type of project. Yes, some types of building would get a percentage bump they did not deserve, and others not enough of a bump.

For LEED v3 (was 2009?) it appears, from meeting minute notes that used to be provided to EA TAG corresponding members, that the EA TAG did not want to use a single percentage for all Title 24 2008 projects. A breakdown by building type seems to have been the desire, and it was deemed too hard to do.

For my LEED v3 projects the energy analyst do a both 2008 and 2005 analysis. Not the intent of saving analysis effort, but that is the best way to efficiently document a California Title 24 project and not leave points on the table.

On one of my projects, nearly 15% more on-site renewables would have been required if the model was not run under the prior code. The added cost was significant to the owner.

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Bill Swanson PE, LEED AP Integrated Architecture
May 25 2012
LEEDuser Expert
15988 Thumbs Up

Code required site lighting

In this draft SSc8 has removed the exemption...
"lighting that is specifically designated as required by a health or life safety statute, ordinance, or regulation."

I understand this was a loop hole for designers to drive trucks thru but I'm curious how lighting required by a health or life safety statute, ordinance, or regulation can be outside of the scope of LEED's goals and principals.

LEED has gone thru great efforts to add prerequisits and credits for the safety and comfort of building occupants. Why does none of that matter in regards to this credit? Why would a project be excluded from any credit for doing something that is for a person's safety?

If the main problem with safe lighting is the spill light onto a public street or neighbor's parking lot, then I would say so what. Can anyone explain to me the harm this spill light would cause? We can still limit uplight, and glare, but I don't see any reason why this spill light is a concern.

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Glenn Heinmiller IALD, LC, LEED AP, Principal, Lam Partners May 26 2012 Guest 1689 Thumbs Up

Bill,

I'm to sure I really understand your questions and comments, but I'll give it a shot.

The thought was that you should be able to meet the lighting requirements of life safety codes, specifically exit discharge lighting, AND meet the requirements of the credit. The lack of the exemption does not prevent meeting life safety code requirements or providing lighting for the "safety and comfort of building occupants".

For previous versions of this credit this exemption may have been needed because on projects with project boundaries at the curb and building exits directly onto the sidewalk it might be impossible to provide code required exit discharge lighting without violating the credit trespass limits. With the new "Lighting Boundary" approach, this is unlikely to be a problem.

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Bill Swanson PE, LEED AP, Integrated Architecture May 29 2012 LEEDuser Expert 15988 Thumbs Up

Off the top of my head. In LZ2 with a zero lot line an egress door with a full cutoffA full cutoff luminaire has zero candela intensity at an angle of 90 degrees above the vertical axis (nadir or straight down) and at all angles greater than 90 degrees from straight down. Additionally, the candela per 1,000 lamp lumens does not numerically exceed 100 (10%) at an angle of 80 degrees above nadir. This applies to all lateral angles around the luminaire. wall pack, (2) 26W lamps, mounted at 8' above grade.
@ 10' away from building I'm measuring 2.38 fc1. A footcandle (fc) is a measure of light falling on a given surface. One footcandle is defined as the quantity of light falling on a 1-square-foot area from a 1 candela light source at a distance of 1 foot (which equals 1 lumen per square foot). Footcandles can be measured both horizontally and vertically by a footcandle meter or light meter. 2. The non-metric measurement of lumens per square foot, one footcandle is the amount of light that is received one foot from a light source called a candela, which is based on the light output of a standardized candle. A common range for interior lighting is 10 to 100 footcandles, while exterior daytime levels can range from 100 to over 10,000 footcandles. Footcandles decrease with distance from the light source. The metric equivalent of a foot candle is 10.76 lux, or lumens per square meter. max vertical.
@ 15' away (with 5' parking lot bonus) 0.89 fc max vertical.
@ 25' away (centerline of road bonus) 0.12 fc max vertical.

All three situations violate the calculated method for light trespass. I'm sure others will manage to find other situations.

This goes back to my question of what's the harm? Why is spill light control more important than life safety?

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Bill Swanson PE, LEED AP, Integrated Architecture May 29 2012 LEEDuser Expert 15988 Thumbs Up

What do I do when a city ordinance requires a 1fc average and a max:min ratio of 15:1 in all parking lots and drives? I still say there is a concern with this Credit not allowing me to properly light the drive entrance.

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Glenn Heinmiller IALD, LC, LEED AP, Principal, Lam Partners May 31 2012 Guest 1689 Thumbs Up

Nice analysis, but if I may critique it I'd say this. If the objective is to meet life safety code required minimum light levels to light the exit discharge, which in this case would be the area of the sidewalk in front of what we assume is an exit door with the fixture above it, then I'd say that you have much more light than is needed. So reduce the output of your fixture and you will probably meet the trespass limits. Granted, when the lighting boundary is 10ft. from the face of the building, it is going to be tough. The other way to approach this would be to use the BUG option. No one is saying that light trespass control is more important than life safety. There may be extreme cases where it is impossible to meet life safety code requirements and meet the credit requirements. So in that case life safety trumps and you don't get the point.
The credit is optional, it is not a prerequisite, and LEED is not mandatory code. Or you write a narrative and make the case that you have done everything practically possible to control light pollution and meet life safety code requirements.

Regarding your second comment: Are you saying that if the lighting boundary is the centerline of the public roadway, you can’t properly light the of the driveway? I don’t see that. Can you explain?

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Bill Swanson PE, LEED AP, Integrated Architecture May 31 2012 LEEDuser Expert 15988 Thumbs Up

A (2) lamp, 26W full-cutoff wall pack is in no way excessive.

And per the National Electrical Code (700.16) the failure of any single lamp cannot cause a space to be in complete darkness. So I need two lamps. And these are the smallest standard CFL1. Compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) – light source in which the tube is folded or twisted into a spiral to concentrate the light output; CFLs are typically 3 to 4 times as efficient as incandescent light bulbs, and they last 8 to 10 times as long. 2. Small fluorescent lamps used as more efficient alternatives to incandescent lighting. Also called PL, CFL, Twin-Tube, or BIAX lamps. (EPA) 3. A light bulb designed to replace screw-in incandescent light bulbs; they are often found in table lamps, wall sconces, and hall and ceiling fixtures of commercial buildings with residential type lights. They combine the efficiency of fluorescent lighting with the convenience of standard incandescent bulbs. Light is produced the same way as other fluorescent lamps. Compact fluorescent bulbs have either electronic or magnetic ballasts. available.

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Bill Swanson PE, LEED AP, Integrated Architecture May 31 2012 LEEDuser Expert 15988 Thumbs Up

Regarding the drive entrance just look at the sample site plan I have available on this site under the SSc8 documentation examples.

A 20' tall, 100W MH, type-III, full cutoffA full cutoff luminaire has zero candela intensity at an angle of 90 degrees above the vertical axis (nadir or straight down) and at all angles greater than 90 degrees from straight down. Additionally, the candela per 1,000 lamp lumens does not numerically exceed 100 (10%) at an angle of 80 degrees above nadir. This applies to all lateral angles around the luminaire. mounted 60' away from the centerline of the road is too much light per this credit. (0.4 fc1. A footcandle (fc) is a measure of light falling on a given surface. One footcandle is defined as the quantity of light falling on a 1-square-foot area from a 1 candela light source at a distance of 1 foot (which equals 1 lumen per square foot). Footcandles can be measured both horizontally and vertically by a footcandle meter or light meter. 2. The non-metric measurement of lumens per square foot, one footcandle is the amount of light that is received one foot from a light source called a candela, which is based on the light output of a standardized candle. A common range for interior lighting is 10 to 100 footcandles, while exterior daytime levels can range from 100 to over 10,000 footcandles. Footcandles decrease with distance from the light source. The metric equivalent of a foot candle is 10.76 lux, or lumens per square meter. vertical)

It's a road, it is okay if there is some extra light. I haven't heard an answer yet to the harm caused by spill light if we still control uplight and glare.

I also don't think it matters if this is an optional credit. Any credit being unavailable because a life safety code was followed is the opposite of USGBC's mission statement.

"To transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life."

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Glenn Heinmiller IALD, LC, LEED AP, Principal, Lam Partners May 31 2012 Guest 1689 Thumbs Up

Bill,

All I was saying is that if you have 2.38fc VERTICAL at 10ft. from the door, then you probably have WAY more than 1fc HORIZONTAL on the sidewalk, which is generally what you would need for egress code at the discharge. So I don't think you'd need a 2x26watt fixture to meet code. That's all I'm saying. FYI, there are CFL1. Compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) – light source in which the tube is folded or twisted into a spiral to concentrate the light output; CFLs are typically 3 to 4 times as efficient as incandescent light bulbs, and they last 8 to 10 times as long. 2. Small fluorescent lamps used as more efficient alternatives to incandescent lighting. Also called PL, CFL, Twin-Tube, or BIAX lamps. (EPA) 3. A light bulb designed to replace screw-in incandescent light bulbs; they are often found in table lamps, wall sconces, and hall and ceiling fixtures of commercial buildings with residential type lights. They combine the efficiency of fluorescent lighting with the convenience of standard incandescent bulbs. Light is produced the same way as other fluorescent lamps. Compact fluorescent bulbs have either electronic or magnetic ballasts. lamps as small as 7-watts, although typically the smallest you might use in a fixture like this would be 13-watts. Or maybe a small LED fixture.

I hunted around for the sample site plan you mentioned but can't find it. Maybe you can post a link. The 100-watt fixture 60ft. from the center of the road on a 20ft. pole seems arbitrary. The exercise should be to light your driveway to minimum IES recommended levels and then either run the calc or look at the BUG rating of the fixture. Then see if you pass, and if not, see if you can by adjusting pole location, height, fixture output, etc.

Spill light in the public roadway IS OK. That is the whole reason that the Lighting Boundary concept was developed and why it can be in the centerline of the road (you get half the road, the guy across the street gets the other half - that's the idea). It's certainly a lot more sensible than the way the credit is now in 2009, right?

Spill light into private property or protected natural areas IS a problem and something the credit controls. Everyone has the right to, and need for, darkness at night.

The issue of code requirements conflicting with credit requirements being contradictory with the USGBC mission statement is something best answered by USGBC staff. Speaking for myself, I'd say that the credit is designed to encourage the minimization of light pollution. If the credit allows excessive light pollution then it is not serving its purpose. The intent was that projects should, in general, be able to simultaneously meet credit requirements and life safety code requirements. But some projects just aren't going to be able to get the credit, and if they don't control light pollution, then they shouldn't. Isn't this the way it should be with all LEED credits?

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Bill Swanson PE, LEED AP, Integrated Architecture Jun 01 2012 LEEDuser Expert 15988 Thumbs Up

How long do you want to keep dancing back and forth? I said the 26W is the smallest standard lamp. The number just above zero is how many full-cutoff wall packs you'll find with (2) 13W lamps as an option.

This 2-26W fixture has a glare rating of G1. I could go all the way up to a 150W MH lamp with forward throw optics and still get a G1 rating which makes this fixture perfectly acceptable per your BUG rating system with the boundary 10' away. So I'm sorry but I'm not seeing the puritan line of limiting spill light.

"Everyone has the right to, and need for, darkness at night." What need? Either no one is using that space at night or they are and they're lighting it themselves. I asked what harm is done? Especially if the neighbor has already chosen to light their site.

And why measure vertical light at the ground? (Who's laying on their belly worrying about light coming off from the property?) Why 30' above the highest fixture? (Doesn't requiring most of the lights to be cutoff already limit this?) I'd rather just a single line drawn at 5' above grade measured at the neighbors' building or building set back line. (Or 15' past property line if there are no neighbors.) Keep the light out of their windows which is a concern.

I see you are a Guest. I don't think you have access to the files on this site for download.

My goal is to keep people safe while doing good design. That includes getting people out of a building safely in the event of an emergency. That also includes trying to reduce the 4,000 deaths and 70,000 injuries to pedestrian by cars each year in the US. Providing adequate light where the two paths cross is important to doing this. And saying it is more important to block light onto another property that is usually also lit does not make sense to me.

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Glenn Heinmiller IALD, LC, LEED AP, Principal, Lam Partners Jun 03 2012 Guest 1689 Thumbs Up

Bill,

So, should we just conclude that we should use the BUG method for your exit discharge example? Meets credit requirements and you can use the 2x26-watt fixture? No problems?

Regarding the "need" for darkness, I refer you to the following:

http://docs.darksky.org/Docs/ida_human-health_brochure.pdf

http://docs.darksky.org/Docs/ida_wildlife_brochure.pdf

And personally I believe that you should ideally be able to sit in your backyard and enjoy the darkness, and just the light from the moon and stars. It's like noise pollution. I should be able to sit in my backyard and enjoy the quiet and just the sounds of nature. I don't think it is right to assume that if someone is outdoors at night they are going to have the lights on, any more than you would assume that if they are outdoors they will be making so much noise they don't mind the neighbor across the street revving his motorcycle.

I'm not sure if you are saying that light trespass is not a problem, or if you are just questioning how it should be defined and where the "line" should be set where trespass is measured. If the later, then you have hit upon a complex issue. In general, the approach with light pollution control standards has been to use the property line, with the idea of protecting the private property rights of the owner or the neighboring property regardless of their uses of their property. But with, for example, a commercial office building, where no one is sleeping or spending anytime outdoors except going to their cars, you could argue that light trespass causes no problems. Of course to write a standard that takes all kinds of property types and uses into consideration would be very complex. The LZ concept does sort of address this - you can't expect darkness on your apartment roof-deck in the middle of the city, but in the backyard of your farmhouse, you can.

Regarding the issue we have been discussing when you have a public roadway between two private properties, it is certainly debatable where the lighting boundary should be placed. The consensus of the SMEs was that it should be in the middle of the roadway, but I recall there was some discussion of placing it at the property line of the property across the street. Either way, it is certainly an improvement over SS8 in LEED-2009. (also note that the lighting boundary definition is consistent with MLO, IgCC, 189.1 - there is something to be said for consistency)

The 30ft. above highest fixture requirement is based on the idea that you could have a tall building adjacent to the subject property that would be looking down on the site. This comes from the performance method in the MLO. I agree that it is unlikely that you are going to get higher levels on the grid above the highest fixture, but there are probably some scenarios where it could happen. It really isn't any more work to run the grid up higher. Or just use the BUG method.

Regarding your comments on pedestrian/vehicle conflict safety, I believe that in principle the credit should not prevent the lighting of sidewalks and driveways according to IES recommended practices. (Note that the BUG method and the "lighting boundary" are in the MLO which is a document jointly developed by the IES and the IDA, so the assumption is that the IES isn't going to write light pollution control standard that prevents you from meeting their own recommendations.) The tricky area has always been where a private drive intersects a public roadway and there are sidewalks and pedestrian activity. But I contend that It is not the LEED project's responsibility to light the intersection, rather it is the municipalities. It would be great to run some models of this condition for various LZs and sizes/types of roadways, lighting the driveway and roadway and intersection to IES minimum recommend levels and uniformities.

The SMEs and staff worked very hard to IMPROVE the credit - to make compliance much simpler (BUG method) and to fix quirks in the credit that prevented perfectly good designs from meeting the credit requirements - but still have a credit that would control light pollution, and a credit that did not inadvertently allow excessive light pollution. In this conversation I'm just trying to explain the concepts and background behind the credit as best as I understand them. So please don't shoot the messenger.

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Bill Swanson PE, LEED AP, Integrated Architecture Jun 04 2012 LEEDuser Expert 15988 Thumbs Up

I think we are fundamentally not understanding each other.

I still do not like the BUG system and plan to use the alternative. I want the alternative to work, and not used to push people into using the BUG system. It seems the IES is trying to control and unify all definitions of light pollution and ignores dissent. I am trying to improve LEED, not the IES.

A plan can be perfect in design but if it's not functional then it is useless. I have lots of issues with vertical calculation grids on a site. Promises keep getting made to show an example but if the past is an indicator then the Reference Guide will be confusing and vague in how to show compliance. If you can't show compliance to a rule then the rule does not work.

There are lots of problems with how spill light is controlled by this Credit. Yes, it's better than it was (though past efforts to improve that fell on deaf ears.) but that doesn't mean it's good now. If you care about the light on the ground then measure horizontal, not vertical. If you care about glare then measure vertical at the eye, not at the ground.

I was trying to express that an exemption for life safety lighting could be limited to only spill light and that glare and uplight for these fixtures would still be controlled.

The health effects that you reference are for our 24-hour life style. Indoor lighting, not the low levels from a parking lot. And all of the harm to wildlife can be mitigated by full cutoffA full cutoff luminaire has zero candela intensity at an angle of 90 degrees above the vertical axis (nadir or straight down) and at all angles greater than 90 degrees from straight down. Additionally, the candela per 1,000 lamp lumens does not numerically exceed 100 (10%) at an angle of 80 degrees above nadir. This applies to all lateral angles around the luminaire. lighting and a curfew shutoff for rural areas. Nothing relating to measuring 0.4 fc1. A footcandle (fc) is a measure of light falling on a given surface. One footcandle is defined as the quantity of light falling on a 1-square-foot area from a 1 candela light source at a distance of 1 foot (which equals 1 lumen per square foot). Footcandles can be measured both horizontally and vertically by a footcandle meter or light meter. 2. The non-metric measurement of lumens per square foot, one footcandle is the amount of light that is received one foot from a light source called a candela, which is based on the light output of a standardized candle. A common range for interior lighting is 10 to 100 footcandles, while exterior daytime levels can range from 100 to over 10,000 footcandles. Footcandles decrease with distance from the light source. The metric equivalent of a foot candle is 10.76 lux, or lumens per square meter. at my toes on the property line.

If the building owner is adding a parking lot and a drive to access that parking lot then I say it is absolutely the responsibility of the building owner to light the new intersection where pedestrians and cars cross.

I'm not trying to shoot the messenger, I'm just trying to be heard. The obsession with matching the MLO means this credit is not open for comment. That the IES controls this credit and we are wasting our time commenting.

I compare sound pollution with light pollution often. You can't draw a simple line and expect sound to stop. Light also doesn't stop so easily. Your example about your backyard and the neighbor's motorcycle is a bit exagerated since we're talking about full cutoff wall packs. It's more like the neighbor's Ford Focus starting up.

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Glenn Heinmiller IALD, LC, LEED AP, Principal, Lam Partners Jun 05 2012 Guest 1689 Thumbs Up

Bill,

Well, it looks like we'll have plenty of time to get this hashed out. I do want to counter a few misunderstandings.

You mention an "obsession with matching the MLO". If such an obsession existed then what you call the "alternative" - which is basically the current method - would have been deleted altogether. I think the consensus was that it would be too radical to convert exclusively to a new method that had not been widely tested with real-world projects, even though that method (BUG) had been developed over a 6-year period with tons of work from lighting and light pollution experts and the endorsement of the IDA and the IES. The current method is still there just for people like you who are more comfortable with it, or prefer a performance rather than a prescriptive method. Because of the two options, the new credit "looks" very complicated, and we received flack for that, but stuck with the two optional methods.

You may not like the BUG method, but it has the huge advantage of not requiring any computer modeling. Some have argued that the current method is flawed because it requires lighting computer modeling and significant lighting expertise to comply with, and this discourages projects from pursuing the credit.

The IES does not "control the credit" - they have zero involvement with credit development and have not been pushing for use of the MLO in LEED. And you are NOT wasting your time commenting. I encourage you to submit constructive and clear comments the next time around. And please participate in “beta testing”.

And you are right-on about the reference guide. It is key, and has been a weak link in the past. The new light pollution credit will fall on its face without a good ref guide.

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Bill Swanson PE, LEED AP, Integrated Architecture Jun 06 2012 LEEDuser Expert 15988 Thumbs Up

During development of LEED-ND I suggested matching the current draft of ASHRAE 189. This was rejected because it was only a DRAFT. Another person suggested adopting the current DRAFT of the MLO. This was completely adopted. And ASHRAE 189 was later revised to match the MLO. What would that look like other than IES control?

My first post in this thread is as constructive and clear as I can be. The minimum lighting needed to meet life safety Codes should not exclude compliance with this Credit. What I hear in response is that your need not to "hear the neighbor's car" is more important to earning this Credit. It just seems to discourage this Credit in urban locations where we're all very close to each other.

If this still won't be considered then can we raise the height of the calc grid to start at eye level rather than at the toes?

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Glenn Heinmiller IALD, LC, LEED AP, Principal, Lam Partners Jun 06 2012 Guest 1689 Thumbs Up

Bill,

You seem to be seeing a conspiracy where there wasn't one. And even if there was, what you say doesn't make sense to me. IES is also one of the developing organizations of ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1.

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Bill Swanson PE, LEED AP, Integrated Architecture Jun 07 2012 LEEDuser Expert 15988 Thumbs Up

You can marginalize me as much as you'd like but I will keep squeaking. You had your mind made up what this credit was going to be 2 years ago and seem to feel entitled to reject comments that don't help your opinion.

"The LEED-2012 Public Review Draft is expected to be published for public comment in September, and USGBC responses to these comments will be published thereafter. If the USGBC follows its previous procedure, comments that are deemed to be an improvement will be incorporated into a new draft and other comments rejected, but without any formal dialog with commenters. The final draft of the new version of the rating systems will be voted on by USGBC member organizations, with a target release date of January 2012.

"The public review draft of LEED-2012 will provide an indication of what the next version will look like. The credit that addresses light pollution control will be significantly revised to resolve some of the quirks that can prevent very sensitive designs from meeting the requirements. It also will likely adopt the BUG (backlight, uplight, and glare) system developed for the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) and Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) Model Lighting Ordinance (MLO)."

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Theresa Backhus Sites Technical Specialist, LEED, USGBC Jun 07 2012 LEEDuser Member 466 Thumbs Up

Hi Bill,
We actually have modified the Light Pollution Reduction credit in response to your comments (submitted through both the USGBC Public Comment process and LEED User). Specifically:
1. We did not have an exemption for National Flag lighting, but in response to your comment, we included this exemption starting in the 3rd Public Comment draft; 2. We revised the BUG tables to fix errors, per your suggestions; 3. We provided a height for the boundary calculation grid, as you suggested in the 1st public comment period; and 4. We clarified signage requirement compliance (how luminance data is to be provided for conventional backlit signs) based on the issue you raised in September of last year.

We take the public comments very seriously, and we do respect and value the expertise of our stakeholders. We have not simply rejected comments because they don't help our "opinion." Rather, we have had multiple long discussions as a group over the last year+ about the comments and considered all of them when writing the credit. And as you can see above, we have revised the credit based on your input.
Thank you!

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Bill Swanson PE, LEED AP, Integrated Architecture Jun 07 2012 LEEDuser Expert 15988 Thumbs Up

1. Thank you for allowing National flag lighting. Why was something so simple like pulling teeth?

2. You updated from a draft MLO to the final MLO and changed a sub-note to reference a newer standard. I doubt that wouldn't have happen without me.

3. The first draft had grid heights called out. I don't know what you are refering to.

4. This hasn't changed. It still says cd/m2.

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Glenn Heinmiller IALD, LC, LEED AP, Principal, Lam Partners Jun 07 2012 Guest 1689 Thumbs Up

Bill,

I'm assuming that your last two comments were directed to USGBC staff, not me. I don't work for the USGBC.

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Bill Swanson PE, LEED AP, Integrated Architecture Jun 07 2012 LEEDuser Expert 15988 Thumbs Up

Glenn, I have been responding the the comment above me. The last one was to USGBC, the one before was to you. You were appointed as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) and in charge of developing this credit. The two paragraphs I quoted were from an article you wrote two years ago. It seems the only role the public has during public comments is to error check the draft. The sole source for content ideas comes from the SME group.

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Glenn Heinmiller IALD, LC, LEED AP, Principal, Lam Partners Jun 08 2012 Guest 1689 Thumbs Up

Bill,

In my experience, SME's do not have the kind of authority or unified opinion that you attribute to them. Although influential on the content (isn't that the idea?) we are not "in charge of developing this credit". I appreciate your frustration with the development process, but it’s the USGBC that defines and controls the process, not me. Please address your concerns with the development process to the USGBC, not me.

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Bill Swanson PE, LEED AP, Integrated Architecture Jun 08 2012 LEEDuser Expert 15988 Thumbs Up

When I see a response to a Public Comment that says this it seems otherwise.

"Thanks, Lee. The changes have been made per SME discussions."

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Bill Swanson PE, LEED AP, Integrated Architecture Jun 12 2012 LEEDuser Expert 15988 Thumbs Up

Glenn,
I have the feeling that the USGBC and you are under different opinions on what the development process is. Can you explain the instructions given by USGBC for responding to Public Comments?

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Chrissy Macken Assistant Project Manager, LEED v4 , U.S. Green Building Council Jun 12 2012 LEEDuser Member 1190 Thumbs Up

Hi Bill -

I can answer your question - I assist in the management of the overall LEED v4 program , with particular focus on ensuring consistent development through the consensus process, which involves our volunteer committees, public comment, consensus body and ballot.

Our development process is simple and completely overwhelming at the same time. We open our substantive changes up for public comment, consolidate that feedback based on credits and expertise areas, and provide it to our technical experts (internal to staff and external volunteers) to review. These small groups (sometimes loosely referred to as SMEs) discuss in the context of a number of issues [technical feasibility, market acceptance, organizational mission, international applicability, relation to our LEED Impact Categories, cost & time to implement, simplicity for the user, appropriate for inclusion in rating system vs. ref guide, credit achievement, and so on], and provide responses, making a change to the rating system language only if appropriate. Multiply this by the over 20,000 comments received over the course of the past four comment periods, and you've got more than enough work to go around. :)

All of our proposed changes - which are provided to our users for a subsequent public comment period - as well as the responses to all of our public comments are approved by our LEED Steering Committee. The Steering Committee is an integrated group of staff and volunteers who ensures the integrity of the LEED system and - in the case of rating system development - ensures that the changes proposed over time are consistent with the direction provided to each group in terms of objectives and priorities for the v4 update to LEED.

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Hernando Miranda Owner, Soltierra LLC Jun 12 2012 Guest 8313 Thumbs Up

Subject Matter Expert (SME). Technical Advisory Group (TAGLEED Technical Advisory Group (TAG): Subcommittees that consist of industry experts who assist in developing credit interpretations and technical improvements to the LEED system.). Core-Committee Members. Take your pick. The final control over the LEED development is none of these.

What many people do not realize about LEED is that once a requirement is "invented" it is nearly impossible to remove it. Regardless of whether the requirement is an error in interpretation.

Any uplight is bad. Surface reflected light you can have all you want.

Flag lighting was not the specific issue as it was ZERO uplighting being determined as the hard requirement for SSc8 in LEED v2.0. Ever since then, the uplighting restriction has been hardcast in LEED. Flags, everygreen trees, facades, anything.

Flag lighting has been a sore point since it was "invented" by the Reference Guide authors. It was not developed by the person responsible for the development of SSc8 for LEED v2.1, David Nelson (SME). For LEED v2.0 there were mo SME's. There was a single firm that read standards and made up the rules.

Although, flag lighting was deemed okay, it was deleted by the the v2.1 Reference Guide authors as contradicting what they originally developed. If the requirement was there in 2.0 then it must remain for v2.1, etc. Ten years later and still, flag lighting is a sore point.

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Bill Swanson PE, LEED AP, Integrated Architecture Jun 12 2012 LEEDuser Expert 15988 Thumbs Up

Chrissy,
What you describe sounds very impressive, and very confusing. How do the people doing that work interpret it? The article written by Glenn said they accept "improvements" and reject everything else. What's an improvement?

If my suggestion increases light pollution, that's not an "improvement" so it can be rejected and the group can move onto the next item? This would limit comments to error checking essentially.

USGBC has a list of requirements that credits have to be, one of them is that it must be "documentable". I keep saying that vertical calc grids are not documentable and should go back to being a single line at the boundary. A single line is less coverage, and allows more light pollution so this is not an "improvement" so it gets rejected.

I am trying to find out what the TAGs or SMEs or who ever, what do they think their instructions are?

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Hernando Miranda Owner, Soltierra LLC Jun 13 2012 Guest 8313 Thumbs Up

The TAGs and SMEs don't invent things like vertical grid calculations. Those get invented either as part of the Reference Guides or the Certification Review process.

The inventor appears to be the USGBC's LEED Department, and the outside consultants they hire to assist with rules development.

At some point in time, one of the rules writers decided to change the requirements and the LEED Department rubber stamped it. The reason for a change like this is, "oops, we forgot something." In this case that something was to limit light pollution to the exceptions were allowed.

Uplighting is controlled by the requirements. Check!

Boundary footcandles are controlled by the requirements. Check!

The a discussion between rules inventors occurs, something to the effect:

"Opps, what about the boundary envelop?"

"The What?"

"The boundary envelop implied by the credit."

"There is nothing about a boundary envelop in the credit."

"It is implied. We must control all light in the envelope. What if someone points a laser light above the ground level and below horizontal? They would be cheating the credit."

"Okay, I see. Yes, lets add it. The envelop restriction is implied. We do not need TAG, Steering Committee or Membership approval."

"Okay, a vertical calculation grid is now required, and should have been required since LEED v2. Now we can enforce on all projects. Those that have ignored the new requirement can slide. Everyone else must immediately be held responsible for the new requirement that has always been there."

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Nadav Malin USGBC LEED Faculty, President BuildingGreen, Inc.
May 24 2012
LEEDuser Moderator

Breaking News: Ballot postponed to August 15

Hi folks,

Just learned that the ballot has been postponed. Not sure yet what this means in terms of whether or not more changes can be made. Here's the announcement on USGBC.org: http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CMSPageID=2360

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Peggy White White + GreenSpec May 29 2012 LEEDuser Member 2035 Thumbs Up

Hopefully they will bring in some serious technical expertise and green building practitioners with some solid experience to pull this v4 LEED package together to refine and coordinate the Credits. We all want it to be successful, and we all want the market to be nudged forward as much as possible. Fingers crossed!

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Christopher Schaffner Principal & Founder, The Green Engineer, LLP May 29 2012 LEEDuser Expert 7674 Thumbs Up

"serious technical expertise and green building practitioners with some solid experience" have been working on this for the last 3+ years.

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Rob Watson CEO, ECON Group May 29 2012 LEEDuser Member 2125 Thumbs Up

And the cumulative field experience with mandatory features such as ASHRAE 90.1-2010 is exactly zero.

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Christopher Schaffner Principal & Founder, The Green Engineer, LLP May 29 2012 LEEDuser Expert 7674 Thumbs Up

I beg to differ. Here in Massachusetts, 118 cities and towns including Boston and Cambridge have adopted the Massachusetts Stretch Energy Code. The Stretch Code requires large projects to be 20% better than ASHRAE 90,1-2007. According to estimates, ASHRAE 90.1-2010 is about 19% better than 90.1-2007. So in Massachusetts we have several years worth of field experience with these types of requirements. And guess what? - even the developers can meet this code. The sky isn't falling. In fact, we're having a building boom - cranes are all over the downtown skyline.

Disagree with the requirements if you like. Make you comments heard. But to say that the problem with LEED 2012 is that we haven't involved "green building practitioners with some solid experience" is absurd.

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Mara Baum Healthcare Sustainable Design Leader, LEED Fellow, HOK May 29 2012 LEEDuser Expert 8173 Thumbs Up

Chris, if some of the other credits were as thoroughly tested as that one, I would totally agree with you, and I suspect others would too.

Also, if I'm reading Peggy's original post correctly, I don't think she's saying that there weren't solid practitioners involved over the last three years, but rather that she'd like to see that involvement continue and possibly grow as 2012 comes to market.

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Peggy White White + GreenSpec May 29 2012 LEEDuser Member 2035 Thumbs Up

Yes Mara - that is an accurate interpretation of my comment. It's not personal, although unfortunately Chris seems to have taken it that way. It's business. We can, and should do better with v4 before it goes live, or we risk LEEDs reputation and future (IMO).

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Rob Watson CEO, ECON Group May 29 2012 LEEDuser Member 2125 Thumbs Up

My turn to differ...1/2 of 1% of the US market does not "tested" make--I'll even throw in Maryland and make it an even 2%.

In today's LEED, "solid experience" requires overseas practice where a soon-to-be majority of our projects will be originating. Right now, I promise you that only a tiny fraction of them even know that 90.1-2010 even exists. In addition, LEED as a totality should be at least theoretically accessible to the top quartile of the domestic market.

Right now, just to play, let alone get any points, in LEED V4 you're talking the 6-7 point range under 2009, which by itself will eliminate close to 35% of the projects certifying under V3. When you add that to the raft of un-tested water and materials prerequisites and credits, I believe you are talking about eliminating a minimum of another 15-25% of the market that's gone after LEED to date. This is just over 20% of new construction but a low single-digit percentage of the eligible EB stock.

Oh, and have the reviewers been trained on this? Practitioners with solid experience doubtless understand that the certification chain breaks at its weakest link.

Which brings me to my final point: the Massachusetts example is irrelevant: if the 118 cities mentioned have adopted the stretch standard as code, that means that if developers (even them!) want to build in that jurisdiction, they don't have a choice but to comply if they want to build there. Since the "estimates" are that the MA stretch code is equivalent to 2010 (BCAP seems to think not) it would be interested to see how far beyond the code these complying buildings go. As I'm sure we've all learned the hard way, a couple of percent one way or another makes a BIG difference in LEED, particularly with prerequisites.

LEED is a voluntary standard and there's nothing forcing people from not using it if they want to build.

The job of USGBC (including its staff and dedicated volunteer and kibitzing pissant members) is to keep LEED close enough to the market train so that the standard can continue acting as an engine for transformation. Easiest thing to do would be to decouple the engine from the train and make it go faster. And then what would you have?

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Barry Giles Founder & CEO, LEED Fellow, BuildingWise LLC May 29 2012 LEEDuser Expert 4613 Thumbs Up

Rob, not going to argue with your numbers. Certainly any new version of LEED is going to be a numbers game somewhere or other, but in the past we have had good take up with LEED basically because there are plenty of people out there who REALLY want it to work….and that includes you.
LEED has gained traction not just because of what (or in some cases not) the USGBC has done…it’s worked because ‘we all’ have made it work….HOK, Gensler, Lynn Simon, Chris, you, me. (and many, many others) Many of us work abroad where we have had to ‘manipulate LEED to make it work’, and the bottom line has been education.
Leaving aside the fact that USGBC are ‘changing faculty’ and the USGBC educational piece is going to change…in reality the majority of the great education has come from the practitioners in the industry, we have sold it into the marketplace, our companies have put the program on the line and made it work in each building…building by building.
Those fighting to understand outside of the core practitioners have made use of LEED User and their great team to understand the information to help the uptake.
LEED is not a mandatory/must do program as ASHRAE can be in some circumstances…even you said it’s a ‘voluntary standard’…we ALL know that, including the clients…each job is a sell and an opportunity to educate.
Is V4 perfect..no..IT NEVER WILL BE….just as V3 wasn’t…nor the reviewers, nor LEED on Line…nor…well whatever, we can all find fault somewhere, but at some point we have to take V4…and use it. Now would be a really sensible time to do so.

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Rob Watson CEO, ECON Group May 29 2012 LEEDuser Member 2125 Thumbs Up

Well, Barry. There's one lesson I hope we never learn from the market: 'You shouldn't have gone so far so fast'.

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Susan Walter Sr Project Architect, Wilmot/Sanz May 30 2012 LEEDuser Expert 15729 Thumbs Up

Given that several states, cities and the District of Columbia all have mandatory LEED building policies in place, we can't say that LEED is purely voluntary anymore. While LEED was not initially set up to be a de facto code, it has effectively become that in many localities with the USGBC celebrating every adoption.

As for the definition of 'solid experience', I have to reject the notion that it must include 'overseas practice'. I think you can have a lot of great knowledge without ever stepping a professional foot outside of the US. Not every building professional using LEED has the opportunity to work in a different country outside of their country of origin. This does not diminish their capacity to think critically, apply knowledge and push LEED forward. Most professionals with solid experience would be able to grasp that a US standard applied outside of the US will have problems and will require that professional to understand the US standard, the other country's standard and interpolate the difference while working actively with the GBCI to get the job done correctly.

However, I do agree that every job is a sell and opportunity to educate.

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Karen Joslin principal, Joslin Consulting May 31 2012 LEEDuser Member 1808 Thumbs Up

Chris I have to completely disagree - my take on who has been "working" on this is lots of special interests, narrowly focused practitioners, and a whole bunch of environmental extremists, with some industry folks who want "their" standards to be just as important as those referenced in LEED already. Definitely not folks who have to deliver projects either as LEED experts, architects or engineers. And definitely not those realistically interested in the long term sustainability of the LEED systems.

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group May 31 2012 LEEDuser Expert 46347 Thumbs Up

Karen - I have been working on LEED development since 1997 and have been one of those folks working on this like Chris. In my experience your "take" is completely inaccurate relative to reality. The vast majority of those folks are and have been working directly on LEED project delivery including innumerable contractors, architects, engineers and consultants like yourself. Very few represent special interests beyond a strong desire to improve building performance relative to the environment and human health. Very few representing any environmental groups serve on the LEED development committees (actually Rob used to represent any environmental group, NRDC, that some may consider extreme!). Almost no folks promoting particular standards serve on the LEED committees due to an inherent conflict of interest.

In my experience everyone working as a volunteer on LEED development is keenly interested in the long term sustainability of the green building movement. LEED is just a means to perpetual improvement in this field. The issue at hand is how far and how fast to change LEED to continue a steady pace of market transformation. That is obviously subject to debate and is a very difficult balancing act. The market is full of status quo extremists opposed to the pace of change or even any change on particular issues. This is counter to the fundamental reason for being of LEED to transform the market regarding the issues LEED addresses. I can tell you from personal experience that finding the right balance between two extremes is hard work which has been undertaken by thousands of well-informed, practical-minded, and mission dedicated professionals who volunteer their time to enable LEED to deliver market transformation.

Too far, too fast - maybe, maybe not. However, I would personally vouch for the dedication and integrity of the professionals involved in LEED development. In my experience those folks are the reason that LEED has risen to the point where the status quo cares enough to even have these discussions.

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Rob Watson CEO, ECON Group May 31 2012 LEEDuser Member 2125 Thumbs Up

I think Marcus' points are correct. My experience is that the three biggest 'sins' committed by committee members is 1) their belief that their experience is much more representative than it in fact is, 2) a willingness to forgive flaws large and small in the mechanics of the system due to their incontestable devotion to the cause of greening the built environment and 3) not appreciating that the market will turn on a dime and devour anything--including LEED--that is not sufficiently alert to its fickle nature.

There is all of the extremism and bare-knuckle politics Karen rightly abhors, but they occur less at the committee level and more in various state and national political and media forums.

The question "too far, too fast?" is not an academic one. It is a 'you-bet-your-certification-program' proposition. Unfortunately, the market is 'slippery down/sticky up', meaning that once customers jump ship, it will be versions/cycles before they come back, not a matter of months or years.

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Mara Baum Healthcare Sustainable Design Leader, LEED Fellow, HOK May 31 2012 LEEDuser Expert 8173 Thumbs Up

Marcus, your position is very well stated. Having been on and off of LEED committees and serving as an advisor to LEED committees over the years, I agree that everyone is on the same team, so to speak, and that there are relatively few special interests. (The latter does influence LEED in other ways, however.)

The challenge that I have experienced, both from being inside the fold and from the outside looking in, is that the process can feel fragmented, and we don’t always have enough opportunity to step back and take stock of the impact of the cumulative level of change across the entire rating system. The overarching committees, e.g. Market Advisory, are intended for this, but my sense in speaking with members is that they are more reactive than proactive. Also, despite the thousands of person-hours by practitioners, this version of LEED is also more staff-driven than past versions have been. Does this ring true to you too? (My experience is that this has been the case with USGBC committees across the board before vs. after the big change-up in 2007 or 2008 when they disbanded and reformed most/all committees. I’m not complaining – it’s been nice to have more staff support! – but I wonder about unintended consequences.)

I wouldn’t be concerned if we had only a handful of major changes – the individual items (e.g. 90.1 2010) on their own are not a big deal, but the holistic set of changes is a different story. There’s been *tons* of work put into this version of LEED – probably more than any other – but so much is new that it will be hard for both USGBC and the industry to keep pace. I’m excited to dive in and use it, but the glitches in past releases of LEED that Karen points out are unfortunately quite real. There are sectors of the market – possibly very large sectors – that will become very frustrated and drop out completely. My hope is that the beta period will be extensive and effective enough to prevent this. We’ll see.

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Al Wei Senior Associate Principal, Planning & Sustainability, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates PC May 31 2012 Guest 201 Thumbs Up

I admit I'm not a member of any LEED committees at present, so I can only guess at what goes on, on them. My engagement here is just as somebody who has worked on more than a few LEED certified projects over the years.

What I wanted to note here is that developing and writing standards is difficult work under the best of circumstances. By their nature, standards must be universal, whilst their applications are, by definition, project and situationally specific. Precisely as Rob noted above, the dedicated people who work on creating standards can only represent their own experience with complete effectiveness, experience that is, by definition, project and situationally specific. They are tasked with the difficult task of generalizing the specific, and that task inevitably requires a long, iterative process of review, feedback, testing and adjustment, since nobody can conceivably anticipate every possible project and situation.

I care about greenbuilding, and so I'm greatful that so many dedicated and talented people are working on creating standards for them, whether LEED or otherwise. In the future, I even hope to help.

What is needed here is some type of trial or beta period to get the inevitable kinks out of a good system, while hopefully, in the interim (in, what will hopefully be an extended interim), allowing projects to continue to move forward under 2009.

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group May 31 2012 LEEDuser Expert 46347 Thumbs Up

Rob as it is written - "let he who is without sin cast the first stone". I think this leaves you out brother. :-)

Mara - It has been my experience (as chair of 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. during the first part of 2012 development and as a current member of the Market Advisory Committee during the latter parts) that the volunteer committees were leading the development up until last fall and after that the staff took over.

I do not necessarily disagree with many of the concerns expressed here (beside the obvious compulsion to defend my fellow LEED committee members). LEED development is full of examples of unintended consequences related to untested requirements. The market sends a clear message when that happens and so far LEED has been nimble enough to adjust. I do agree that a reactionary approach is inferior to a precautionary one so testing new requirements is a no brainer. The latest version of 2012 has removed virtually all of these untested requirements from the prerequisites in an effort to lower the entry point for projects while raising the bar on many of the optional credits. The whole point behind the pilot credit library is to test these new requirements before including them in the system. So no need to test drive the full LEED 2012 beta, you can test it in small pieces without risking your client's certification desires. I do understand that this is not the same as testing the whole.

My personal proclivity is to set my goals very high and fall short as opposed to setting them low and exceeding them, as you usually end up in a better place in the long run. To a significant degree the market has caught up with LEED BD+C 2009. Around 50% of BD+C projects obtain LEED Gold certification and the vast majority of credits have not fundamentally changed since 2005. So how far and how fast is enough to sufficiently and continually transform the market? I would suggest that that is impossible to answer (at least not with my feeble brain) with any significant degree of accuracy. LEED 2012 development has been reigned in considerably to date and will likely be reigned in some more before ballot.

Rob I look forward to seeing your analysis, perhaps it can answer my impossible question.

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Mara Baum Healthcare Sustainable Design Leader, LEED Fellow, HOK May 31 2012 LEEDuser Expert 8173 Thumbs Up

Marcus, that staff/committee assessment is relatively in line with what I've been hearing/experiencing. The main issue is that we've gotten more or less a whole new MR approach since last fall. Other than construction waste, the credits in the current draft are pretty untested.

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group May 31 2012 LEEDuser Expert 46347 Thumbs Up

Yep MR is very new and I think staff felt the need to take over LEED development in the interest of getting it done faster so they could deliver the necessary support materials (LEED Online, Reference Guides, exams, education, etc.).

The Market Advisory Committee has been almost completely out of the loop since last fall with the vast majority of our calls cancelled by staff. Taking its place have been some of those special interest market forces you alluded to in your previous post. At least that is what it appears like to me.

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Mara Baum Healthcare Sustainable Design Leader, LEED Fellow, HOK May 31 2012 LEEDuser Expert 8173 Thumbs Up

My sense is that at least the MR section has been overly rushed, which would lead to all sorts of unintended market and technical consequences if not vetted more thoroughly.

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group May 31 2012 LEEDuser Expert 46347 Thumbs Up

Not sure about rushed (we have been working on v3 since about 2003 or 2004) but certainly untested to a significant degree.

Of course the EA section is perfect! :-)

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Mara Baum Healthcare Sustainable Design Leader, LEED Fellow, HOK May 31 2012 LEEDuser Expert 8173 Thumbs Up

I'll definitely agree that the EA section feels more refined and in many cases better tested than some of the others.

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Rob Watson CEO, ECON Group May 31 2012 LEEDuser Member 2125 Thumbs Up

Actually, much of what's in V4 reminds me of what we discussed at Wingspread in 2001. It just shows that the 1 percentile is pretty far ahead of the 20-25th percentile.

Indeed, a simple 'administrative' change would significantly raise the bar without changing a comma in LEED.

This would be going back to the original point distributions for the different certification levels: 50-59% for Certified (or Bronze, as it was known back then in the Bronze age...), 60-69% for Silver, 70-79% for Gold and 80%+ for Platinum, which is still getting way less than 10% of the certifications, which indicates to me that the market is not as far along as everyone would like to think.

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Jun 01 2012 LEEDuser Expert 46347 Thumbs Up

Great point about the points and certification levels. All things being equal that would help even it out.

I have worked on a couple of projects lately that received Platinum certification without even pushing the envelop. Built at or below market rates, no renewables, no beyond code strategies to address rainwater or on-site treatment, nothing particularly innovative about them but all in urban locations. In my opinion neither of them deserved Platinum certification but were able to earn it pretty easily. Just my anecdotal experience.

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Peggy White White + GreenSpec Jun 01 2012 LEEDuser Member 2035 Thumbs Up

From Marcus: "Yep MR is very new and I think staff felt the need to take over LEED development in the interest of getting it done faster so they could deliver the necessary support materials (LEED Online, Reference Guides, exams, education, etc.)."

Faster? Methinks there may have been other reasons. Removing the general membership from the development of the new MR Credits and disbanding the MR committee, and then leaving MR development to 'staff' has resulted in something less than desirable, Credits that appear to serve industry rather than sustainability. Curious conundrum we're in now.

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Karen Joslin principal, Joslin Consulting Jun 01 2012 LEEDuser Member 1808 Thumbs Up

Truly unfortunate that my serious and detailed reply yesterday was not posted - feeling a little censored right about now!

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Mara Baum Healthcare Sustainable Design Leader, LEED Fellow, HOK Jun 01 2012 LEEDuser Expert 8173 Thumbs Up

Karen, I don't know if this is your issue, but a few times my responses don't make it up when I inadvertently try to post something at the same time that someone else does. I've learned to copy/paste my longer responses before hitting submit for this reason. If this is an ongoing problem you should contact the site admin.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jun 01 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

Karen, there has been absolutely no censorship on this forum. I apologize for what was apparently a technical issue that lost your post. Our IT team is now looking at how to prevent this kind of thing in the future. Again, I'm sorry and I hope you'll repost!

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Mara Baum Healthcare Sustainable Design Leader, LEED Fellow, HOK Jun 01 2012 LEEDuser Expert 8173 Thumbs Up

Peggy, I've spent a lot of time discussing MR with staff and 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. over the last few months. One of the interesting revelations was that the motivations behind some of the major changes weren't at all what I had assumed just by reading the rating system. After learning the logic behind some of the credits they made much more sense (though I didn't always agree) - I don't think staff has done a good job in communicating this publicly, but we should see improvements in coming months. Also the MR TAG wasn't disbanded, it was just less involved than it had been. Their process for credit development was more inclusive but to Marcus's point also more time consuming. At that time they were still trying for a June 1 ballot.

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Rob Watson CEO, ECON Group Jun 01 2012 LEEDuser Member 2125 Thumbs Up

Karen--I've lost posts before. Definitely a PITA but don't think there's anything nefarious.

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Jun 01 2012 LEEDuser Expert 46347 Thumbs Up

It happened to me yesterday too Karen regarding my second long rant. Unfortunately I had to try and remember what I said and repost.

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Jun 01 2012 LEEDuser Expert 46347 Thumbs Up

Mara raises another excellent point. Just reading the outcome without being privy to the hundreds of hours of discussions that led up to it is like reading the last page of a book.

I agree that USGBC could do a better job of communicating the rational behind the outcome but that would be a massive undertaking. For example, on this page the issue of Title 24 equivalency was raised. Amy Boyce from staff very thoroughly explained the rational behind the outcome. Imagine the time it would take to address every issue in LEED so i understand why USGBC has not been written the book just yet!

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Peggy White White + GreenSpec Jun 01 2012 LEEDuser Member 2035 Thumbs Up

Mara - the MR Committee was disbanded, not the MR TAGLEED Technical Advisory Group (TAG): Subcommittees that consist of industry experts who assist in developing credit interpretations and technical improvements to the LEED system.. Last fall myself and several others met with the staff working on the MR Credits and the chair of the MR TAG at GreenBuild. My question was "who's writing this stuff?" and the reply was that staff was writing the MR Credits with "some input" from the TAG, and then the Credits were reviewed by other staff folks at USGBC. Staff also mentioned that they had met with some folks from the wood industry and they then expressed some sympathy for the non-FSCIndependent, third-party verification that forest products are produced and sold based on a set of criteria for forest management and chain-of-custody controls developed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an international nonprofit organization. FSC criteria for certifying forests around the world address forest management, legal issues, indigenous rights, labor rights, multiple benefits, and environmental impacts. position.

My concerns are: 1. The exclusion of the general membership from the conversation during development. 2. The lack of experience and expertise of staff, however well intentioned and smart they may be. 3. The cumulative effect of the influence of 2 members of the MR Committee who were on the Board of Green Globes (SFI) and members of the MR Committee simultaneously for YEARS without ever declaring a conflict of interest during discussions of wood issues. 4. One of these Green Globes Board members is also the developer of an LCA database.

So here we are with LEED 2012, with non-FSC wood being backdoored into LEED via the definition of biobasedGenerally, classification of products and materials derived from plant and animal sources as opposed to minerals. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a program to promote the use of emerging biobased products that defines them more narrowly, to exclude products that already have established markets, such as food, animal feed, and lumber. including wood, and the foisting of LCA on us before it is ready for prime time.

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Melissa Vernon Director of Sustainable Strategy, Interface Jun 01 2012 LEEDuser Member 645 Thumbs Up

Peggy - I must differ with your earlier comment regarding MR development resulting in: "Credits that appear to serve industry rather than sustainability."
As a member of industry, I have to say that the new MR section will not be easy for a majority of industry. The credits are making strides toward a more holistic analysis of our building materials, and should be viewed as a stepping stone to future versions of LEED that will be able to evaluate products based on their overall environmental impact.

I feel fortunate that at Interface, we are one of a handful of manufacturers that has a product specific EPD. Meeting the new Material Disclosure and Optimization credit will be a long road for many others as Product Category Rules need to be created and that process takes time on time of the time to complete the EPD. We are fortunate to have in-house LCA expertise and have been tracking internal metrics for 15+ years. Others will have to pay and outsource creation of an LCA and the 3rd party verification required.

We are lucky to have chemists on staff that can navigate the new Material Ingredient Reporting credit and assess our products against Green Screen. Others are likely not to have the expertise. Maximum credit is only offered for 3rd party verified information.

Avoidance of Chemicals of Concern, and the new requirements of meeting REACH, may be brand new to manufacturers that don't export to the EU. 3rd party verification again is required.

Responsible Extraction of Raw Materials - we must get our raw material suppliers for mined and quarried materials to agree to the Framework for Responsible Mining. While they may agree in spirit, there is a 155 page doument describing the Framework. The lawyers are going to go crazy over every line item. Product manufacturers must make publicly available a 3rd party verified corporate sustainability report that includes a long list of commitments and practices. While many manufacturers do publish sustainabilty report, there will be an additional cost for the 3rd party verification.

Overall, the 4th draft of the MR section is a drastic change from LEED 2009's MR credits with simple, single attribute contributions, none of which required 3rd party verification.
We are excited to see USGBC pushing towards greater transparency, as access to the data is required in order to make performance based decisions, and therefore work towards holistic reductions in environmental impacts.
The new credits are going to be incredibly challenging and costly for industry, except for the few of us leaders. Those in the verification industry should staff up for a significant increase in business.

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Mara Baum Healthcare Sustainable Design Leader, LEED Fellow, HOK Jun 01 2012 LEEDuser Expert 8173 Thumbs Up

Great points, Melissa, regarding the EPDs and chemicals of concern. My preliminary sense of the raw materials credit, though, is that it can be easily gamed by manufacturers who are a bit less committed (and perhaps less honest) than Interface - you all are true leaders. Can I expect the same commitment from suppliers in Asia? I'm not convinced. Also, the notion that a product can get credit if it's extracted within 100 miles of the site but meets no environmental criteria is a bit bothersome. Most aggregate, for example, would comply... not exactly an industry known for its environmental stewardship.

Peggy, FSCIndependent, third-party verification that forest products are produced and sold based on a set of criteria for forest management and chain-of-custody controls developed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an international nonprofit organization. FSC criteria for certifying forests around the world address forest management, legal issues, indigenous rights, labor rights, multiple benefits, and environmental impacts. is well supported in the current draft but there are definitely loopholes and other issues that could make FSC a less appealing option.

One big concern with the MR section for BD+C is that most of the credits would initially be perceived as either too hard, too much work or (in some cases) simply not possible to implement and/or document - so projects will just revert to standard practice. This is one reason why the beta and long overlap with 2009 are so important.

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Tom Lent Policy Director Healthy Building Network
May 24 2012
Guest
1285 Thumbs Up

Chemicals of Concern

Here's my take on what the credits are doing and some reactions from the HBN POV:
The USGBC is taking very significant important steps forward with the Chemicals of Concern credits in LEED 2012. We laud them and urge support for this effort while noting some significant fixes still to be made to insure effectiveness.

The Material Ingredient Reporting credit requires disclosure of content or health hazard at minimum for any content meeting the criteria of the Green Screen Benchmark One, including residuals to 100ppm. One point is provided for meeting this requirement for 20% of interior materials.

While we would prefer a simple full disclosure requirement, this requirement to encourage disclosure of highest concern Benchmark One contents is significant and we think will support the movement toward even more complete disclosure of the complete range of significant hazards. We share concerns raise by others that

The Avoidance of Chemicals of Concern credit takes a modest forward on actual avoidance and a potentially larger step forward on the gathering of chemical safety information. This credit has been reworked in this version to parallel chemical legislation that is already in force in Europe, rewarding avoidance of chemicals on the REACH Substances of Very High Concern list and REACH or equivalent registration for all ingredients. The credit is optional and gives projects one point for demonstrating compliance with both the SVHC avoidance and reporting requirements for 20% of all products in the building and a second point if they can reach 30%.

The SVHC avoidance requirement is more modest than we would like as it only includes 14 substances, just a few of which regularly appear in building materials. Those few are, however, a set of phthalates and flame retardants which have been part of the credits initiated in health care and are a good first step forward.

The registration requirement is quite interesting, requiring that companies demonstrate that all ingredients have either had chemical safety reports submitted into the European REACH process or an equivalent third party system outside of Europe. Stimulating registration and reporting on chemical safety is an important step forward and can act to reinforce and amplify the data gathering that is happening in Europe under REACH here, align with and build on OSHA’s effort to institute Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for Safety Data Sheets (SDS) reporting in the US over the next few years and accelerate the industry’s ability to more fully report as required by the Health Product Declaration (HPD).

The credit has some significant bugs still to work out to be effective – most notably that exempt products may be able to fulfill the 20 & 30% requirements without stimulating any additional registration or avoidance, providing a path to essentially bypass the intent of the credit. Additionally, getting the mechanisms in place for third party REACH equivalence and engaging enough of the supply chain in the US could take some time and leave many manufacturers with no pathway to participate for many years.

We support what the USGBC is attempting to do with this credit and encourage them to continue to move forward in this direction. Many of the concerns will only be able to be sorted out through implementation in credits. That said we strongly encourage the USGBC to implement some critical fixes to make this credit work
- Require certain product categories with known health hazards to be included within the minimum 20%, OR eliminate certain typically benign product categories from being included in the 20%. The USGBC should also be prepared to ratchet the threshold up as the level of usage of inherently benign materials is identified to insure this is a leadership standard.
- Provide an alternative avoidance only pathway – such as avoidance of the SVHC Candidate list to facilitate immediate implementation of the credit while the larger registration system is being developed .

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Tom Lent Policy Director, Healthy Building Network May 26 2012 Guest 1285 Thumbs Up

Here's my take on the avoidance credit as I submitted:
Comment
The concept of avoidance of chemicals of concern in building materials is very important and we strongly support the retention of this credit while noting some serious concerns with specific language in this version. The current V4 language based solely on REACH regulatory language does not meet the intent of the USGBC to avoid the substances that the REACH process has identified as of highest concern. In the previous public comment version, LEED correctly identified the REACH Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) Candidate List as the operative REACH list. Referring simply to REACH regulation adds a later of European interpretation of which of those chemicals is covered by other European regulations and European sunset dates that are not relevant to projects in the US and elsewhere. In fact you will find that leadership European manufacturers are avoiding the entire Candidate list. Leadership companies are also well along the path of avoiding the other chemicals identified in previous LEED drafts derived from the work of LEED for Healthcare. The net result of the credit as currently written will not be any actual avoidance as only a very small number of chemicals are avoided which are not relevant to far more than the 20-30% required. Furthermore, benign materials that are exempted from REACH will likely provide a pathway for projects to avoid even the registration part of the credit requirements.

Recommendations
- Restore earlier LEED language requiring avoidance of the entire REACH SVHC Candidate List for attainment of this credit.
- Restore earlier LEED language for chemicals to avoid based upon LEED Healthcare credit development.
- Require certain product categories with known health hazards to be included within the minimum 20%, OR eliminate certain typically benign product categories from being included in

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Rob Watson CEO ECON Group
May 24 2012
LEEDuser Member
2125 Thumbs Up

A call to hit the 'pause' button on LEEDV4..formerly 2012 ;-)

Friends--
I'd like to start a bit of a straw polling process here predicated on the idea that delaying the ballot significantly (6 months or more) is in the best interests of USGBC, LEED and the environment. To do this, could folks who agree hit 'thumbs up' & feel free to comment. If folks disagree, a simple reply with "Disagree" would server the straw poll purposes. Any substantive reasons pro and con would be welcome. If we can show some DATA that V4 is a non-starter at the present time, then we have a good chance of avoiding the likely donnybrook that I see emerging from the fogs of the future.

Although the LEED2012 (henceforth V4) process has been going on for quite awhile, If you look at each of the drafts, it is clear that we really haven't been discussing the same document: each one is hugely different from the other, as well as very different from LEED 2009.

Tom Lent has suggested that we call the 4th draft a beta, which is a similar concept, but the most important thing here is to delay the ballot, which would hem USGBC--and us--into something that we all could regret down the line. I will be trying to get my matrix together, but it's a big lift...thanks for folks' patience.

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Bill Swanson PE, LEED AP, Integrated Architecture May 24 2012 LEEDuser Expert 15988 Thumbs Up

I think I've been clear in my opinion. Keep the stringency but revamp the whole system to simplify the paperwork.

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Mara Baum Healthcare Sustainable Design Leader, LEED Fellow, HOK May 24 2012 LEEDuser Expert 8173 Thumbs Up

This has my full support! A few of us have started analyzing the details of how projects might achieve some of the credits in the MR section, and it appears that based on current language there may be some unintended consequences (aka loopholes) that would allow projects to very easily achieve points based on standard practice, depending on the construction type and the project location. I don't think USGBC intends these things, but they won't figure it out without a lot of up front analysis with real projects. Making these things formal via early ballot could become a big black eye, and make them more of a target then they already are (e.g. by the chemical industry).

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Mara Baum Healthcare Sustainable Design Leader, LEED Fellow, HOK May 24 2012 LEEDuser Expert 8173 Thumbs Up

I also agree with Bill, though there may be a few areas where "stringency" has gone a little overboard, just IMHO.

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Barry Giles Founder & CEO, LEED Fellow, BuildingWise LLC May 24 2012 LEEDuser Expert 4613 Thumbs Up

Disagree.
If a ballot passes then the start date for V4 could be set for Jan 1st 2014 (V3 terminated on that date). For BD&C that 'could' posse a problem with trying to pilot V4 within that time period, but for EB it's very achievable (We've managed 91 days operations plus 90 days GBCI review...and in this case GBCI would need to fast track pilots so that the results could be in the marketplace)
With a Jan 1st 2014 start date all those of you wanting to 'hold back' could do...just register in V3..then you have 5 years to hold V3 while the pilots and early contracts run the process and produce the results.
Really how many credits are actually causing major headaches? Rob, we need that matrix!

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Melissa Wrolstad Senior Project Manager, CodeGreen Solutions May 24 2012 LEEDuser Member 1960 Thumbs Up

I vote that V4 (version 4) is postponed until all significant issues in v2.2, v2009 and LEED Online are resolved. The exercise of working out the kinks in those systems will help the USGBC perfect V4 before launching it.

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Christopher Schaffner Principal & Founder, The Green Engineer, LLP May 29 2012 LEEDuser Expert 7674 Thumbs Up

Disagree. It will never be perfect but it raises the bar. Time to start using it.

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Mara Baum Healthcare Sustainable Design Leader, LEED Fellow, HOK May 29 2012 LEEDuser Expert 8173 Thumbs Up

I think we need to start using it - absolutely - but be prepared for the inevitable glitches, loopholes, etc. Many credits are totally solid - especially (IMHO) in the EA section, thanks in part to you Chris, no doubt - but many contain pretty big unknowns, with potential loopholes and unintended consequences. This is a good thing, but it means that we need a little wiggle room if things really don't go as intended. Other than with Pilots and to a lesser extent Addenda, the LEED system hasn't been well set up to address this in past versions.

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Rob Watson CEO, ECON Group May 29 2012 LEEDuser Member 2125 Thumbs Up

Mara, if by "we" you mean the Early Adopters, ideally all 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 LEED Committee members, then by all means absolutely start using it.

If you mean that we should foist another half-baked experiment on a weary marketplace and force them to waste hundreds of thousands of dollars of professional time wrestling with poorly functioning tools and inconsistent interpretations, then I'll wait until it's really ready.

The time is long past where we can afford to rest on the good graces of the market while USGBC and GBCI work things out. 'Working things out' needs to happen with the credits BEFORE they hit the membership for comment and review and the tools BEFORE the system is launched, unless it's a controlled beta.

We now have billions, with a 'B', of dollars every year riding on LEED working and working well. We owe it to the owners and vast majority of practitioners to not be satisfied with 'good enough' because, truth be told, at this point 'good enough' ain't.

If it were up to me, no new prerequisite, or prerequisite element, could be introduced without at least one cycle as a credit. In addition, credits with wholesale changes in the compliance path (e.g. materials) should leave the current pathway available at roughly half the credit for at least one cycle. Credits totaling no more than 25 points should be identified and prioritized for major changes--and only if necessary.

The flopping around of the various ballot versions should have never happened the way it did. A more orderly product development pathway is absolutely essential.

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Barry Giles Founder & CEO, LEED Fellow, BuildingWise LLC May 29 2012 LEEDuser Expert 4613 Thumbs Up

If plan 'A' is to roll out V4 in November with a start date of 1-1-13 (just guessing here)....what's plan 'B'?

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Rob Watson CEO, ECON Group May 29 2012 LEEDuser Member 2125 Thumbs Up

Seems to me that 'Plan A' should be to ensure that the Law of Unintended Consequences has been eliminated to the extent possible.

If this can happen and the standard be balloted before November, then we should all have a great party. Then USGBC/GBCI can hang out some incentives out for a 6-month minimum final, but controlled Samsonite Luggage Test of the V4 tools before opening the gates to the roller coaster.

The minute the doors are "open," the ride damn well better work.

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Mara Baum Healthcare Sustainable Design Leader, LEED Fellow, HOK May 29 2012 LEEDuser Expert 8173 Thumbs Up

Rob, I definitely meant the early adopter "we": those of us who have piloted LEED before and would love to do it again. That's why I would like to see a "real" beta - one that is used to inform the full rollout at a later date. I think that most of the credits will be fine, but those that aren't will cause serious headaches.

I agree about the prerequisites; I have concerns that some will be unnecessary barriers to entry. I also agree about the "flopping" -- a whole new MR section with every draft? Really? With an MR TAGLEED Technical Advisory Group (TAG): Subcommittees that consist of industry experts who assist in developing credit interpretations and technical improvements to the LEED system. that has only one BD+C practitioner? I expect the Reference Guide development to be a mammoth, thankless task.

That said, I also think that it's been too long without substantive change to most LEED sections and credits - it's time. However, this lack of change previously is part of the reason that this change hurts so badly.

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Rob Watson CEO, ECON Group May 29 2012 LEEDuser Member 2125 Thumbs Up

I'm glad to see that we violently agree, Mara.

Having a maximum of 25% major change is hardly keeping the standard static, particularly if the changes happen every 3 years. Some are quite passionate about 5 years being the minimum time between version changes, but i think 3 years is doable if managed properly.

Also, I think the market would be much more receptive to regular changes if they had confidence in the tools and delivery infrastructure.

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group May 31 2012 LEEDuser Expert 46347 Thumbs Up

Great point Mara. What has finally come out in 2012 is a very well intentioned attempt to fix known issues and update know deficiencies that have been identified as far back as 2005 following the release of v2.2. A big part of the problem perhaps is that we did not do what Rob has suggested and implemented a somewhat greater degree of incremental change into LEED 2009. In hindsight the changes we are considering now appear to be a far bigger leap than they would have been otherwise. Unfortunately LEED 2009 changes were most structural and not technical in nature but we are where we are.

As one very small part of the massive team already working on the next Reference Guide can I take your comment as a "thank you"? I am thankful to work with some amazing, dedicated people to help raise Rob's baby.

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Mara Baum Healthcare Sustainable Design Leader, LEED Fellow, HOK May 31 2012 LEEDuser Expert 8173 Thumbs Up

I totally agree about the rate of change issue. (I discussed that a lot in the 2nd and 3rd draft forums.) On one hand, it's catch up time - better late than never. On the other hand, the industry is now accustomed to relatively slow change in LEED requirements - it's a shock to the system. A very long overlap between V3 and V4 would help.

Yes, thanks :)

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Rob Watson CEO, ECON Group May 31 2012 LEEDuser Member 2125 Thumbs Up

Well, Marcus, we all know it takes a village...and like you I'm humbled to have been (and in a small way continue to be) part of the evolution of this, what would we call it now, 'unruly teenager'??

Anyway, there is still time to 'nail' this release where we have an important raising of the bar, which I DO favor, but also one where all 'unintended consequences' are eliminated. If we are doing our jobs, there will be no unintended consequences.

There needs to be sufficient comfort and familiarity in the market to make the uptake smooth and adequate.

We need to think of this like running up stairs: we know what happens when one step is a lot higher than the previous one...

If we look at the pre-1990 ASHRAE experience which is the status quo rate of change, we saw a new version every decade roughly and with single-digit changes in performance. The contrast with LEED is stunning and we can't forget the changes that LEED has driven in that very important standard and the ripple to IECCInternational Energy Conservation Code, etc. So, I don't think that LEED has at all been 'relatively slow' to incorporate changes. Given what a departure it is from business as usual, it's a miracle how far its gone in a relatively short period of time.

In terms of 'making up lost ground' I would favor making it up a little later and spending the intervening time making the delivery channels and supporting tools air-tight.

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Scott Bowman LEED Fellow, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Jun 01 2012 LEEDuser Expert 6496 Thumbs Up

There is one change in v2012 that is significantly raising the bar, and it was the simplest to implement…changing to ASHRAE 90.1-2010. We have an engineer in our firm on the 90.1 committee, and we get regular briefings on what is going on, and this is a huge step from 2004, and a big step from 2007. This alone will take time to integrate and see the reaction to the points projects can get. I agree, that we have many projects reaching Gold, and while not the total story, energy has generally been a big factor. Also, we still have very little final results from v2009 in our firm, while we have some 70 projects seeking v2009, only 3 have been fully certified to date (of the 66 certified so far). We have maybe another 40 v2.2 projects working their way through the system. For that reason, 3 years is feeling a little tight on taking steps.

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Rob Watson CEO, ECON Group Jun 01 2012 LEEDuser Member 2125 Thumbs Up

Thanks for sharing your field experience, Scott.

This gets me thinking that for BD&C (and probably ND), the cycle maybe should be 5 years, while for EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems. and ID&C where the project cycle times are about half of BD&C we could do 3. ID&C could end up being a piloting option for many of the BD&C standards & it would allow EBOM to lead LEED which, as the core (IMO) standard, it should.

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Barry Giles Founder & CEO, LEED Fellow, BuildingWise LLC Jun 01 2012 LEEDuser Expert 4613 Thumbs Up

Rob, totally agree with you...EB should lead LEED. Rob states very well the huge lag time that BD&C etc have...it continues to worry me that many of the current construction going up in San Francisco, because it has been delayed so long due to the recession, is being built to very old standards. I'm sure that's true everywhere, but don't have an answer of how to make them current.

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Lorne Mlotek LEED AP BD+C, LeadingGREEN Jun 04 2012 Guest 921 Thumbs Up

I agree Rob, it is simply to soon to implement a new version of LEED in my eyes. While I agree with the initiative of the USGBC as well as many of the proposed credits, I believe trying to push this through too quickly would only cause difficulties for this ever-growing industry.

1. From a consulting/designing perspective:
Many of the on-going projects at our firm are currently still in the midst of submitting LEED NC ~1.0 documentation of certification. Our LEED 2009 projects are still just getting off the ground and realistically, I can see many of them continuing into the latter part of this decade. Many employees just get confused at times between the subtle differences in credits. If we were to introduce another version of LEED to the workplace, juggling 3 would be a little more inconvenient, to say the least. I also wanted to note that the clients/developers we work with are just becoming familiar with LEED 2009 and can comfortably hold their own during in-depth credit discussion with the LEED consultant. These guys don't work with LEED everyday as some of us do, a new version of LEED would make other stakeholders less comfortable in sustainable talks.

2. On the site, I also teach courses for LEED GA/AP BD+C exam prep. When the switch is made from 2009 to 2012, all those writing the 2012 exam will likely be studying credits that are not currently used in the real world, but will be used in the future instead, making their new-found credential achievement less applicable to the present time, a hindrance to the employer+ employee.

With that said, while I understand that a new version of LEED is needed to progress sustainability in the built environment, I do not believe that it is imperative to implement LEEDV4 immediately, agreeing with Rob.

Feel Free to refute any points, I am always up to discuss!

Commenting from Canada,
Lorne Mlotek

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Jun 04 2012 LEEDuser Expert 46347 Thumbs Up

Change is hard and difficult but that is not a valid reason to avoid it.

For me the imperative for change is to maintain LEED as an actual leadership standard. Right now, in my opinion, it has become a give-a-plaque to the status quo standard. I have jokingly referred to this situation as SQEED - Staus Quo in Energy and Environmental Design. When LEED becomes SQEED it looses its meaning.

Too far, too fast - maybe a valid argument but with 50% of BD+C projects getting LEED Gold I think the imperative for some change is pretty clear.

I also agree that EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems. should be leading the way but it never will if we exclude over 50% of the market out of the gate.

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Lorne Mlotek LEED AP BD+C, LeadingGREEN Jun 04 2012 Guest 921 Thumbs Up

Hi Marcus,

Very valid comment. I agree change is difficult, but in this industry entirely necessary. The 50% BD+C Buildings is a statistic I was unaware of. I am not sure if I should be impressed with the stat or rather if it is as you say, just an indicator of needed change.

A little off-topic: I was curious if these 50% of BD+C LEED GOLD projects are concentrated in a specific which has the same building code (IE. SOCAL etc..). Do you think that the next version of LEED should make more credits available for projects that do not fit into a 'mainstream' LEED project (IE. Very low density or Climate extreme variances) ? Or rather, that LEED is set-up in such a way to deter any remotely low-density construction and in special circumstance, enough points are up for grabs through RPc and ID credits?

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Eric Johnson Principal Sustainability Project and Cost Manager, Green Future Now Jun 04 2012 LEEDuser Member 4148 Thumbs Up

Marcus,
Starting the minimum energy points at 24% savings in 2009 would probably stop the growth of SQEED without an upgrade to the system. :)

I think 2012 will/would be harder to achieve on the projects we've worked on, but using it probably wouldn't be an absolute deal breaker. The surge in registrations for 2009 before the deadline however might crash the GBCI server permanently.

The goal at the end of the day should be about getting a lot of buildings to improve rather than just a few to improve a lot. LBC is great, but it’s a long way from 12,000 buildings certified. I guess at the end of the day the decision to hit the "pause" button should be determined by which path (delay 2012 or implement it) improves the most buildings. I don’t know the answer, in my market I would probably rather try and certify projects for another year or two under 2009 with the option to go for 2012 with clients who really want to be green.

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Eric Johnson Principal Sustainability Project and Cost Manager, Green Future Now Jun 04 2012 LEEDuser Member 4148 Thumbs Up

Lorne,
Download the GBCI certified project directory and you can filter your way to the answer. According to Rob's last Green Building Market report the percentage of certified Gold projects is 39%.

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Dylan Connelly Mechanical Engineer, Integral Group Jun 04 2012 LEEDuser Expert 7192 Thumbs Up

Map of LEED Certified Projects in the US by Certification Level:
http://energy-models.com/tools/leed-certified-buildings-state
California, has the most LEED Gold, Platinum Building total, however, adjusting by population reveals that Maryland is the most certified state state and Oregon has the most LEED Golds and Platinum:
http://energy-models.com/blog/8-15-11/true-greenest-leedest-state-usa

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Eric Johnson Principal Sustainability Project and Cost Manager, Green Future Now Jun 04 2012 LEEDuser Member 4148 Thumbs Up

Dylan,

Awesome link! Could you do a map for international projects? Maybe one comparing the number of projects pursuing LEED, BREEAMBuilding Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method, the first widely used green building rating system, developed in the U.K. in the early 1990s, currently used primarily in the U.K. and in Hong Kong., DGNB, HQE?

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Jun 04 2012 LEEDuser Expert 46347 Thumbs Up

Not sure what the 39% is based on. The stats I am referencing come from USGBC staff and are annual values over the past three years or so.

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Dylan Connelly Mechanical Engineer, Integral Group Jun 04 2012 LEEDuser Expert 7192 Thumbs Up

Eric,
I wish I could. I can't take credit for creating the map. Only researching to find it. Perhaps you could emails the blog creator Bob.

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Jun 04 2012 LEEDuser Expert 46347 Thumbs Up

Lorne,

I think LEED rightly rewards projects that do not encourage sprawl.

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Rob Watson CEO, ECON Group Jun 04 2012 LEEDuser Member 2125 Thumbs Up

Hi Marcus--the 39% is based on certified floor area through the end of 2011. Project counts--in terms of almost everything that matters in LEED: market penetration, environmental impact, economic impact--is largely irrelevant. The only thing that matters in this case is floor area.

The percentage is historical from the release of LEED in 2000. The numbers for Gold certification under LEED 2009 are slightly higher than the historical averages, also addressed in the GBMIR report.

Most of this unbalance would vaporize if we tightened the certification bands as I have suggested (Certified 50-59%; Silver 60-69%; Gold 70-79%; Platinum 80% plus.

We STILL have not cracked 10% certification percentages for Platinum which means to me that the overall bar is not too bad, but that the distribution of points needs tightening.

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Eric Johnson Principal Sustainability Project and Cost Manager, Green Future Now Jun 04 2012 LEEDuser Member 4148 Thumbs Up

Marcus,
I excel magiced the 4/19/2012 Public LEED project directory and for all certified projects (all systems) the certified percentage is 39.83% (4,992 out of 12,553) Gold with about 4,516 of them in the US.

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Eric Johnson Principal Sustainability Project and Cost Manager, Green Future Now Jun 04 2012 LEEDuser Member 4148 Thumbs Up

All Projects - All Systems ~
Certified - 21%
Silver - 33%
Gold-40%
Platinum-6%

If we go by the floor area metric then ~:
Certified - Area-21%
Silver - Area-27%
Gold-Area45%
Platinum-Area-6%

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Jun 04 2012 LEEDuser Expert 46347 Thumbs Up

My point is that the rate of gold projects has been steadily increasing as a percentage of the total each year to the point where we are now around 50%. Percentages since the beginning of LEED time are going to be different.

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Pat Thomas Principal, Sustainability Services Jun 04 2012 LEEDuser Member 414 Thumbs Up

I saw a discussion on the difference in project timelines for EB vs. NC, which to me is a significant factor in version frequencies. I would also include CI in the EB category.
Within v2009 total projects, there are twice the number of EB (and CI projects) as there are NC. Only 483 NC projects(USA=405) have been certified under 2009 compared to 901 CI & 717 EB. Especially with the recent economic impact on NC starts, it certainly feels like we are just beginning to use/understand NC2009 much more than EB or CI.

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Jun 04 2012 LEEDuser Expert 46347 Thumbs Up

The stats above even show the imbalance in the system. If it were perfectly balanced against the market one would expect to see a decreasing percentage of achievement as we move up the certification levels. Rob's idea of restructuring the points would potentially help even things a bit but probably not all the way. I think most of us believe that the bar should be raised so we are back to how far, how fast.

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Mara Baum Healthcare Sustainable Design Leader, LEED Fellow, HOK Jun 04 2012 LEEDuser Expert 8173 Thumbs Up

I love "SQEED" - I will definitely borrow that one!

The fact that we're increasingly moving toward Gold means that LEED is working. It also means that it's time to raise the bar. One of the challenges I see is that we're still trying to drag some sectors of the market along... while LEED Gold on an office building in San Francisco probably represents the status quo, a LEED Silver hospital in Indiana may actually be groundbreaking. The latter project type will still want to hang on to 2009 for a while, whereas the former will hopefully push into 2012.

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Eric Johnson Principal Sustainability Project and Cost Manager, Green Future Now Jun 04 2012 LEEDuser Member 4148 Thumbs Up

I have never heard anyone say in a design/project meeting "Let's go for SILVER!”. Larger floor area projects have an incentive to certify at the highest level possible, as quickly as they can, and to actually earn that rating, perhaps that is why there is such a high percentage of Gold certified projects? Many of the early projects were "prestigious and landmark" projects / corporate headquarters, not exactly Silver targeters... Maybe it says something that projects want to earn a higher level certification, even if it's "harder".

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Jun 04 2012 LEEDuser Expert 46347 Thumbs Up

We did a LEED Silver hospital in Indiana in 2006! :)

Heck of a coincidence you selected that example but I think that they have even caught up. How many project announcement have you seen lately where the target was Silver and the team "really came together" and delivered Gold? This is the sound of the market having caught up.

I do get your point about differences in markets and that certainly exists.

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Mara Baum Healthcare Sustainable Design Leader, LEED Fellow, HOK Jun 04 2012 LEEDuser Expert 8173 Thumbs Up

That's really funny! What's the project? I’m not familiar with many other inpatient/D&T facilities with LEED ratings in that area, so I must have missed it. The project I'm thinking about is targeting Silver by contract but will likely deliver Gold. In this case LEED of any kind is a definitely a big stretch for many of the parties involved, who shall remain unnamed. Believe me, they haven't all caught up! (This is also a seven building campus under one certification, which poses its own challenges.)

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Susan Walter Sr Project Architect, Wilmot/Sanz Jun 04 2012 LEEDuser Expert 15729 Thumbs Up

What is interesting to me is that while the HC sector itself has lagged behind other sectors (office, schools), the HC reference guide actually anticipates LEED 2012. LEED Silver and Gold Hospitals are still noteworthy and celebratory anywhere in the US from my point of view.

The other interesting statistics on LEED Hospitals is the costs ($/SF) are less for LEED Gold than for LEED Certified (Guenther/Vittori). As I recall, this has been attributed to integrative planning and early adoption of HVAC efficient designs. What 'Natural Capitalism' called "tunneling through the cost-barrier."

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Mara Baum Healthcare Sustainable Design Leader, LEED Fellow, HOK Jun 04 2012 LEEDuser Expert 8173 Thumbs Up

You're right, Susan, about costs - there's incentive to reduce HVAC system sizes by reducing peak loads (up to a point).

I think that LEED HC is a good example of an appropriate level of change for market penetration.

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Jun 04 2012 LEEDuser Expert 46347 Thumbs Up

It was actually a hospital that is part of the prison system so not your typical hospital and it was a LEED v2.0/v2.1 project.

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Scott Bowman LEED Fellow, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Jun 04 2012 LEEDuser Expert 6496 Thumbs Up

We have two hospitals that are certified under NC v2.2, one Certified, and one Silver. Hospitals are quite difficult to certify, and clearly benefit by strong and early participation of all design and construction team members.

I can understand some of your point Marcus on descending percentages if we have a universal or random selection process, but by definition, only motivated teams and owners (mostly) are going to pursue, so I feel the levels achieved will be skewed to the Gold. Platinum is still hard, at least they have been for our firm…hard fought and well worth the effort.

What worries me is the step. Right now I feel that with only the change to ASHRAE 90.1-2010, projects are moving down a step…in other words, what is a Gold today, is a Silver tomorrow. With proper market penetration, that feels about right. While mostly concerned with energy as a consulting engineering firm, from the conversations I have been hearing and having with colleagues in architectural firms, v2012 might be two steps? A Gold project today is a Certified project tomorrow?

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Jun 04 2012 LEEDuser Expert 46347 Thumbs Up

Yea Scott I could see some of the data skewing due to familiarity coupled with motivation. The last time we were in balance with the market was 2005. That year Certified 37.3%, Silver 33.8%, Gold 25.4% as one would expect. In 2007 Silver passed certified and in 2009 gold passed silver. Evening up the point scale so gold does not have the bigger band-width would help too.

Outside data I see undeserving Gold and Platinum projects earning those levels everyday.

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Melissa Wrolstad Senior Project Manager CodeGreen Solutions
May 24 2012
LEEDuser Member
1960 Thumbs Up

Has Anyone Read ID&C?

Has anyone read ID&C? In all four drafts of LEED v2012, it seems like ID&C is the little brother that the family forgot at the grocery store. There are still a great deal of issues with the draft where BD&C credits have been pasted into the ID&C draft without making necessary adjustments (e.g. page 26 where it says "Schools, Retail, and Healthcare projects can earn a second point for meeting the requirements of two tables.... Schools and Healthcare are not in the ID&C system!).

I am also wondering what everyone is thinking about the big changes to the ID&C EA prerequisite: Minimum Energy Performance and the EA credit: Optimize Energy Performance. From speaking to a couple of mechanical engineers, it appears that there will be a great deal of additional work required, but I am curious to see what other people think.

Thanks-
Melissa

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Melissa Vernon Director of Sustainable Strategy, Interface May 24 2012 LEEDuser Member 645 Thumbs Up

There is also at least one instance where ID&C didn't get the same changes as BD&C, e.g. MR Material Disclosure and Optimization, BD&C split up recycled content and closed loop recycling into separate options, whereas ID&C kept the 3rd draft wording where only recycled content from a manufacturer with a closed loop recycling program may contribute. It is very tough with the same BD&C and ID&C credits aren't aligned. The titles for the options in this credit are also different.
The redlined version of MR doesn't show this, I had to review the full BD&C and ID&C documents.

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group May 31 2012 LEEDuser Expert 46347 Thumbs Up

The EA section in ID+C changed very little. The biggest change is that projects will have the option of earning points and meeting the prerequisite through a modeling option. This is not required and projects can still earn the prerequisite and points through a very similar prescriptive compliance path as before. It certain respects it is easier as you do not have to figure out X% better than ASHRAE 90.1 but rather just comply with the prescriptive requirements. A bit harder to meet perhaps but more work, not necessarily.

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Dylan Connelly Mechanical Engineer, Integral Group May 31 2012 LEEDuser Expert 7192 Thumbs Up

Melissa, I have been looking into this, I disagree with Marcus' assessment.

The prescriptive path for ID&C - EAc: Optimize Energy Performance (Formerly EAc1.3) has been rearranged in a way that is very limiting and will IMO hurt or even dissuade TI projects from perusing LEED. In addition to most of the credits not being realistic to achieve, you can only get a maximum of 16 points going the prescriptive approach vs 25 points via the energy modeling method.

Detailed Break Down:
Building Envelope (2–4 points) - Not possible for most TI projects that are not changing the envelope (someone correct me if I am wrong, but this seems more difficult then adding window film).

HVAC Systems (2 points) - Each of the two options have been reduced from 5 points to 2 points and further it looks like you have to chose one or the other now! A reduction from 10 possible points to 2!

HVAC Zoning and Controls (2 points) - This credit has been a point of contention on ALL of our TI projects, it can be expense for most projects to add as many zones as are required (way more than industry standard). In addition, the LEED reviewers have taken very drastic stances on what it means to "sense" occupancy. This further increases the cost of the credit adding little to no benefit in energy savings (we've done some LCA studies).

HVAC Equipment Efficiency (2 points) - On a typical one or two floor TI project we aren't changing the base building systems so we aren't eligible.

Lighting Power Density (1–4 points) - 3 or 4 points is doable under the ASHRAE 2007 code but likely we won't get as many points under ASHRAE 2010.

Daylighting controls are typically too pricey to justify (1 point).

Occupancy Sensor Lighting Controls (1 point) is doable - practically status quo.

ENERGY STAR Equipment and Appliances (1–2 points) - doable in most cases.

Say we get 3-4 for lighting, 1 for occupancy sensors and 2 for energy star that is 6-7 out of 25 possible points. This will hurt most project's chances of getting a good score or even certifying. Even springing for the expensive zoning and daylighting you'd get 8-9 points out of 25. There is a problem here IMO.

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Jun 01 2012 LEEDuser Expert 46347 Thumbs Up

Dylan - Beside stating that you disagree with my assessment, when reading yours we don't disagree at all. My point was in response to the issue Mellisa raised of it being more work. I do not see anything in your response to indicate it is more work. As I said it is harder but not more work.

Regarding stringency many of the difficult issues you raise are exactly the same issues that are in the system now.

The point allocation issue is an interesting one and was not something I was paying attention to in my (non-detailed) assessment above. One could certainly make a case for greater point allocation in the prescriptive path. The point distribution is supposed to be allocated based on the weighting criteria. So it appears someone thinks the performance path (modeling) provides more value than the prescriptive path. I can see that this will be a potentially major issue for smaller projects and project with very limited energy-related scope who are less likely to be able to afford a modeling effort. I'll make sure to bring this up during the committee review of the 4th public comments. Thanks for "pointing" it out Dylan.

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Dylan Connelly Mechanical Engineer, Integral Group Jun 01 2012 LEEDuser Expert 7192 Thumbs Up

Marcus - Changing the point allocations will change the way teams approach ID&C EA in v4. Depending on the project type that could very well mean more work.

"The EA section in ID+C changed very little." - I was worried some of the statements in your "non-detailed" assessment would mislead others.

The stringency I talked about regarding existing credits (that have been brought back exactly the same) will be exasperated by the fact that less points will not be worth fighting for.

I'd like to hear from the "Someone"/USGBC regarding their thought process of reducing the point allocations to the prescriptive path. The weighting process all together for the ID&C EA credits.

The Green Power Credit is down to 2 points from 5 points as well (correctly IMO) - but that further means teams will need to look elsewhere to find 3 points.

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Jun 01 2012 LEEDuser Expert 46347 Thumbs Up

Well it did change very little relative to the MR section as it generally includes the same compliance paths. But the devil is in the details as they say.

I have already forwarded your assessment and our conversation here to the USGBC staff and 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. chair so they can potentially consider the issues you raise.

In certain respects Melissa is right that ID+C is often the little brother who does not get enough attention.

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Amy Boyce Manager, LEED, USGBC Jun 05 2012 LEEDuser Member 348 Thumbs Up

In both BD+C and ID+C, the maximum points allowed differs between the performance and prescriptive options. This is for the most part based on the relative levels of achievements between the two options than simply trying to promote modeling and a performance-based approach (though USGBC generally does try to encourage that method). With BD+C, it’s more straightforward, as the prescriptive option is based solely on the 50% AEDGs. The AEDGs are designed so that when followed in their entirety, the results are a roughly 50% increase in performance over ASHRAE 90.1-2004. The max points in the BD+C prescriptive approach then relates about how much better a project would have to be over 90.1-2010 in the performance option, and assigns that amount as the max in Option 2. With ID+C, it is basically the same thing, but is more complicated since there are additional paths that do not directly relate to the AEDGs. These numbers may require some refining as we learn more about 90.1-2010 and how certain aspects of buildings have been addressed within it, but the idea will remain roughly the same.

Chrissy Macken will be providing some additional context on point changes for other credits between 2009 and v4.

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Russell Perry Vice President SmithGroupJJR
May 23 2012
LEEDuser Member
162 Thumbs Up

Mandatory Re-Certification - Really?

I have heard from several people that the recent USGBC Webinar included that startling statement that projects certified under LEED would be required to undertake re-certification on some unspecified schedule. I cannot find that anywhere in the draft - did I miss it? Can anyone point me there? If this is, as it seems, showing up at the last minute, wouldn't it be better if this were a topic for discussion and debate, resulting in inclusion in the balloted version?

I believe that mandatory re-certification will have ramifications in the marketplace and that we should vote on it.

Rus

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Rob Watson CEO, ECON Group May 23 2012 LEEDuser Member 2125 Thumbs Up

Hi Rus--I too heard that statement in Monday's webinar. I have yet to get the details. As you may remember from the early steering committee days, I felt that there should be a 5-year 'use-by' date before a LEED certification becomes 'stale'. I understand that there are also reasons not to do so for a design-oriented standards, but I think the pros outweigh the cons. Perhaps a separate forum for that... Anyway WRT your point about this being a ballotable issue, it seems to me that this would fall under a program administration issue, rather than a substantive technical issue, which is where the line is typically drawn for what gets balloted or not.

You are 100% correct that this is a huge issue affecting the market. I think that USGBC would be well advised to undertake a parallel discussion--not tied up with the V4 ballot--of the implications of this step.

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Mara Baum Healthcare Sustainable Design Leader, LEED Fellow, HOK May 23 2012 LEEDuser Expert 8173 Thumbs Up

I couldn't agree more. There's been talk of recertification since forever (as Rob points out) so it's no surprise - but this raises the issue that the MPRs can have a far more reaching impact than many of the technical issues. "Program administrative issue" or not, determination of these in a black box can be problematic. I wouldn't mind the recertification issue so much if they were open about it from the beginning. It feels a bit backhanded.

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Rob Watson CEO, ECON Group May 23 2012 LEEDuser Member 2125 Thumbs Up

I seriously doubt that this would be done retroactively. That WOULD be 'backhanded,' but the idea that makes the most sense substantively and politically is that it would apply to V4 and beyond.

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Mara Baum Healthcare Sustainable Design Leader, LEED Fellow, HOK May 23 2012 LEEDuser Expert 8173 Thumbs Up

I didn't mean that recertification would back-apply to prior versions of LEED - more that they did not seem to be open about this (or I missed it?) during the 2+ years we've spent developing "V4".

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Rob Watson CEO, ECON Group May 24 2012 LEEDuser Member 2125 Thumbs Up

Thanks, Mara. Generally, the 'product development' process for LEED could use some improvement so that the TAGs are at least aware of important administrative issues.

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Peggy White White + GreenSpec May 25 2012 LEEDuser Member 2035 Thumbs Up

This just landed in my in-box (5/25):

"Dear LEED 2012 Consensus Body Members:

Recently, several of you participated in the first of our LEED 2012 Consensus Body webinar updates. During the webinar, the comment we made about recertification caused confusion and was not accurate. Recertification is a component of LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance. Developing a performance-based recertification program for all LEED project types is a concept at this time and is not connected to LEED 2012. LEED 2012 contains new prerequisites for energy and water metering. Metering is fundamental to building performance, and we believe these metering requirements will help LEED projects maintain excellence in operations over the long term. As USGBC begins its work on a performance-based recertification program we will keep you informed of our developments.

Thanks to those of you who participated in our recent webinar; we look forward to continuing our dialog with you in the coming weeks.

Sincerely,

The LEED 2012 Team @ USGBC"

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Judy Landwehr Product Compliance & Training Manager Masonite Architectural
May 23 2012
Guest
761 Thumbs Up

Certified Wood In LEED 2012 Does Not Align with FSC Standard

The FSCIndependent, third-party verification that forest products are produced and sold based on a set of criteria for forest management and chain-of-custody controls developed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an international nonprofit organization. FSC criteria for certifying forests around the world address forest management, legal issues, indigenous rights, labor rights, multiple benefits, and environmental impacts. Standard that certificate holders are certified to and follow, allow FSC claims to be based on either weight or volume. LEED 2012 appears to restrict the calculation to weight only. Why doesn't LEED align with the FSC Standard and allow calculations to be based on either weight or volume? Restricting the calculations to weight only will cause confusion in the documentation of FSC products through the supply chain, as many manufacturers have chosen the volume option in lieu of weight to qualify their claims. Companies that take ownership of the manufactured goods that are certified to the FSC Standard under the Transfer System are required by FSC to "transfer" the exact same claim from their vendor’s invoice to their invoice and shipping papers. Manufacturers and distributors of certified goods must be consistent in their claims and cannot base a given FSC claim on both weight and volume. I can only guess that the documentation of the certified woodWood from a source that has been determined, through a certification process, to meet stated ecological and other criteria. There are numerous forest certification programs in general use based on several standards, but only the Forest Stewardship Council's standards, which include requirements that the wood be tracked through its chain-of-custody, can be used to qualify wood for a point in the LEED Rating System. content will not be accurate if LEED needs does not align with the FSC Standard and allow calculations to be based on weight or volume.

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Mara Baum Healthcare Sustainable Design Leader, LEED Fellow HOK
May 22 2012
LEEDuser Expert
8173 Thumbs Up

"Material Type" definition in the raw materials credit

I have a vocab question regarding the raw materials credit. It says under option 2: "Calculate compliant building products and materials for 50% of one material type (1 point) or two material types (2 points)." What is a material type? Is it concrete vs steel vs wood, or biobasedGenerally, classification of products and materials derived from plant and animal sources as opposed to minerals. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a program to promote the use of emerging biobased products that defines them more narrowly, to exclude products that already have established markets, such as food, animal feed, and lumber. vs. non-biobased, or something different? Am I missing an explanation somewhere? That differentiation is really important.

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Bill Swanson PE, LEED AP Integrated Architecture
May 18 2012
LEEDuser Expert
15988 Thumbs Up

fly ash concrete in HC

The 2nd draft had a fine print note prohibiting the use of fly ash in the concrete on HC projects. The 3rd draft removed this note.

Comment #3488 from the 3rd draft still asked to remove this fly ash restriction. Then the response from USGBC was that the fly ash restriction on HC projects will remain. I don't see this in the 4th draft.

Was this just an 'oops' or will this fly ash restriction show up in the Reference Guide?

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Mara Baum Healthcare Sustainable Design Leader, LEED Fellow, HOK May 22 2012 LEEDuser Expert 8173 Thumbs Up

I hadn't noticed this fine print - thanks for raising the issue. Having done a fair bit of research into the flyash and health question I find it a little odd that USGBC take an inconsistent stand between rating systems. I understand the health logic, but why forbid a product in one rating system but award it in another. With other substances of concern addressed in LEED HC (e.g. heavy metals), it's not as though LEED NC actively gives you points for using them.

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Bill Swanson PE, LEED AP, Integrated Architecture May 23 2012 LEEDuser Expert 15988 Thumbs Up

I actually commented in the 2nd Draft to have this note removed. From my own 10 minute search on Google I found a study showing that after 2 months of curing there is no difference in emission from portland cement vs fly ash cement.

My concern was that this was being used as a foot hold into LEED and that the next version would "align" the systems and ban the use of fly ash completely.

Just want to make sure this ban doesn't slip in thru the back door via the Reference Guide.

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Susan Walter Sr Project Architect, Wilmot/Sanz May 23 2012 LEEDuser Expert 15729 Thumbs Up

I have commented to have this removed as well. I understand the need to not use products with certain chemicals. But I see the fly ash as a by-product and in Maryland/West Virginia/Virginia we aren't going to stop burning coal for a long time. Wish that wasn't the case but it is reality. I would much rather use that by-product to replace a manufactured product.

In HC the issue is that there is a MR pre-requisite to eliminate mercury and the fly ash from coal plants does contain mercury. Until the MR pre-req migrates to other LEED programs, the fly ash restriction will likely stay with HC.

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Jackie Evans VP Sales
May 16 2012
Guest
32 Thumbs Up

LEED 2012 Ballot

Speaking as a manufacturer and someone who has been involved with LEED since its original version of NC, I commend the USGBC for trying to move things forward, but in my own experience, true life cycle assesments are done by very few manufacturers, partly because almost nothing is built with one single component and so you have to rely on many suppliers to be able to give you information that they may not even have. Materials are what make buildings.....until the majority of manufacturers are able to complete acurate LCA's this version will be very difficult to validate. Even when LCA's are done they are not conclusive and you can read them a variety of ways. There is rarely a definative answer. Very few manufacturers have the means to complete an expensive LCA, especially, in this economy. The elite 1% will win out over smaller start-ups which is what the country needs at the moment. I believe in the idea, but timing is bad and accessment tools for material selection ( LCA's) are not quite as far along as everyone would believe them to be.

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Nadav Malin USGBC LEED Faculty, President BuildingGreen, Inc.
May 15 2012
LEEDuser Moderator

Beta-testing LEED 2012

Anyone planning on taking USGBC up on the offer to be a beta tester? Why or why not? 

Here's the note from USGBC with the call for testers:

  1. Beta testing: Once LEED 2012 has successfully passed ballot, applications will be accepted allowing a limited number of project teams to "test drive" the new rating system prior to the launch at Greenbuild.

    We're looking for projects across a variety of rating systems and market sectors to engage with USGBC for this beta test. Project teams will be armed with a finalized rating system, documentation requirements and limited reference material in draft form. In addition, you'll have USGBC staff working alongside you every step of the way. Your leadership engagement with this effort will help us fine tune the system and will pave the way for successful use of LEED 2012 in the years to come.

To apply, email LEED2012@usgbc.org with the information below. Interested project teams will be contacted with further details after the successful ballot of LEED 2012.

  • Applicant name and contact information
  • Project team members
  • Owner contact information
  • Project description
  • Desired certification level (platinum, gold, silver or certified)
  • Also, please include why your project is especially suited to this opportunity, and why you want to be part of this effort.
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William Wong May 15 2012 Guest 769 Thumbs Up

Could projects that is undergoing LEED 2009 application now join the Beta Test ? Can they be granted with a certificate if they are qualified for certain certification level after the pilot assessment ? Any fees for such a test ?

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Susan Walter Sr Project Architect, Wilmot/Sanz May 16 2012 LEEDuser Expert 15729 Thumbs Up

My owners are going to be fearful about signing up for LEED 2012 before someone else cuts them a pathway.

I'm not going to push them because I simply do not have the time to work through the new forms between now and Greenbuild. Plus, I think a few of our engineering consultants would shoot me for suggesting yet another LEED program for them to work in.

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Nadav Malin USGBC LEED Faculty, President, BuildingGreen, Inc. May 16 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

My understanding is that projects now pursuing LEED 2009 certification are exactly what they're looking for to participate in the Beta test. I doubt that they would charge you participate--I certainly haven't heard anything about a fee. And yes, I believe that if they achieve certification via this beta program that would be no different from any other certification. But I'm just making informed guesses here--you should confirm these answers with USGBC before committing.

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Karen Joslin principal, Joslin Consulting May 31 2012 LEEDuser Member 1808 Thumbs Up

Cannot under any circumstance even think I would discuss piloting any part of LEED 2012 to any of my 20+ LEED clients. Each time a rating system has opened it has already been a BETA with really harsh consequences for all of my teams - until the system, forms, resources, and LEED Online all actually work (it would be the first time in history) - I will oppose any rollout and so will the several large institutions and private corporations I serve.

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Rob Watson CEO ECON Group
May 15 2012
LEEDuser Member
2125 Thumbs Up

LEED 2012 must be approved by a quorum of the Consensus body

Some folks have expressed concerns that the release of LEED 2012 this november is a foregone conclusion.

It isn't.

No doubt there is a great deal of hope/wishful thinking in the statement 'when LEED 2012 launches in November' released by USGBC's communications department.

If the proposed LEED 2012 standard does not pass membership ballot LEED 2009 will remain the active standard until such time as a new standard can be successfully balloted.

However, you must register today (15th) if your vote is to be counted!
http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CMSPageID=2602 is the URL to join the consensus body. Any individual who is belongs to a member company can sign up.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. May 15 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

There doesn't seem to be a confirmation screen acknowledging a successful opt-in. There should be a virtual "I registered to vote" sticker, followed next month by an "I voted" pin!

Wait.. okay, I did get a confirmation email, complete with the lovely quote from Scot.

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Nadav Malin USGBC LEED Faculty, President, BuildingGreen, Inc. May 15 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

Hi Rob,

Are you still concerned that the changes are too great? They have backed out changes with each new draft, so it's not nearly as extreme as it was originally. I agree that the changes will be a lot for teams to take on, but I think that the benefit of retiring some of those old requirements outweighs the downsides.

I think that we've gotten so used to rapidly renewableTerm describing a natural material that is grown and harvested on a relatively short-rotation cycle (defined by the LEED rating system to be ten years or less). and recycled content and photochemical VOC content as metrics in LEED that we've forgotten just how bad those things are at measuring the things we really care about. 

And I think that an extended phase-in period is a great move to ease the transition. I like that 6 months is a minimum, but they have left the door open to extending it longer if necessary. It will be interesting to see how the decision gets made about whether or not to extend it.

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Rob Watson CEO, ECON Group May 15 2012 LEEDuser Member 2125 Thumbs Up

Hi Nadav--
I am still concerned, but somewhat less so than before. I'm going to be doing a matrix of changes and my perception of what they add in terms of green benefit, clarity, cost, complexity and see how things balance out. I agree that that the materials credits are overdue for a change, but I'm pretty sure that 'cold turkey' is not the way to go in terms of a transition. I could see pulling off much of what V4 wants to do in Europe, but here in the US a LOT of people are going to be hanging. Manufacturers (and I think all but the most elite users) will need longer than 6 months to make the adjustment & my guess is that it will be easier to not play than to adjust. Frankly they are STILL trying to get V3/2009 work and V4 (trying to get off the date label) is WAY more complex. Maybe we'll be saved by a bunch of 'killer apps' being developed in the USGBC 'AppLab' that I'm not familiar with, but that's placing a pretty big bet on something USGBC has no control over.

I continue to be concerned that V4 makes a pretty big divergence from BD&C and EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems., right at the time they should be moving much closer, with EBOM driving BD&C, NOT the other way around. Anyway, more later.

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Al Wei Senior Associate Principal, Planning & Sustainability, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates PC May 17 2012 Guest 201 Thumbs Up

I'm wondering if there isn't anyway to comment on credits for which there were no changes following the last public comment.

I'm still very concerned about the LEED ND NPD Prereq 3 on Open and Accessible Communities. The 2012 addition requires that no more than 10% of a ND site be in gated communities. This requirement seems to me to be double-dipping with the number of intersections required outside of gated communities (which is a perfectly fair prerequisite requirement). If I can pass the intersections prerequisite for an open and accessible community, then why is there now proposed to be a catch-all and arbitrary 10% cap on top of it? That requirement will disqualify many international projects, especially in cities where significant and real security issues exist, where single family homes, townhomes and rowhouses cannot afford private unit-level manned security.

Many neighborhoods developed under such conditions in fast-growing countries like Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa, etc, in cities with high crime rates, are done with combinations of single family and multi-unit residential buildings. Larger apartment buildings can potentially still pass the minimum intersections test, because multi-unit buildings - which have sufficient scale for manned-building-level security - don't need to be behind a neighborhood or block/cluster-level gate, but single family homes with separate street entrances (such as row-houses and town-houses) don't have that option. Effectively, the 2012 change will bias development toward multi-unit buildings and away from equivalently dense town-house/row-house configurations, in those locations. That cannot be the USGBC's intention.

I am hoping there is still some scope for consideration of this issue between LEED ND 2012 is finalized. Despite previous comments entered on this issue (my understanding), I do not feel that all of the relevant issues have been fully addressed, and, as it is, I believe that enacting 2012 as-is, with this changed prerequisite, will disqualify quite a few otherwise sustainable projects from considering LEED ND.

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Bill Swanson PE, LEED AP, Integrated Architecture May 18 2012 LEEDuser Expert 15988 Thumbs Up

This public comment phase ends just a couple days before the voting begins. What you see in this 4th draft is what we are voting on.

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Paul Deppe Project Manager, Bone/Levine Architects May 22 2012 Guest 31 Thumbs Up

Recently attended a seminar on changes and I can assure you adding prerequisites will prohibit participation. The greater the complexity - the greater the cost and the lesser value in using LEED. Most attendees agreed that they would utilize Best Practices and forego the LEED convolution. I'm all for raising the standards - but the goal should be challenging upward from a base rather than being exclusionary.

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Pat Thomas Principal, Sustainability Services May 22 2012 LEEDuser Member 414 Thumbs Up

Response to Bill Swanson's comment above:
That means this isn't a comment period....just an FYI for review before voting ?? So we really cannot affect any more change....just vote YES or NO ??

I agree with comments above that it looks much improved from 3rd comment period info, however there is still huge, substantive change which is expected with a new full version. With the slow-down from the economy & therefore construction starts, we're all still trying to get 2009 interpreted & LOv3 to work. So the concept of a new version, V4 implemented 6 months after Greenbuild is not one which will be easily embraced by the decision-makers, i.e. developers nor easily sold by us, the LEED professionals. I agree it will setup more projects following Best Practices or LEED-certifiable, unless LEED is required by local jurisdiction mandate.

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Bill Swanson PE, LEED AP, Integrated Architecture May 22 2012 LEEDuser Expert 15988 Thumbs Up

Per USGBC website:
"The LEED 2012 fourth public comment period is open from May 11 - May 28 (11:59 pm 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.). Fourth public comment is an opportunity for stakeholders to review what we consider to be a final version of the rating system that will move forward to ballot. A number of key changes have been made to address the technical and market issues voiced throughout the course of previous comment periods. This version is intended to show the technical requirements up for ballot, short of any clarifications or non-substantive changes that come up during fourth public comment."

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Mara Baum Healthcare Sustainable Design Leader, LEED Fellow, HOK May 22 2012 LEEDuser Expert 8173 Thumbs Up

Bill and Pat, my (admittedly limited) understanding is that USGBC must have a public comment for any "significant" change to the rating system in advance of ballot as per ANSI (?) rules. Apparently there is no requirement that they listen to the comments. Given that there are still some goofs I certainly hope that minor changes still may be feasible.

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Tom Lent Policy Director, Healthy Building Network May 24 2012 Guest 1285 Thumbs Up

I have it on pretty good staff authority that the opening vote date listed on the website is likely to change soon and that there WILL be a reasonable period for USGBC review of comments and adjustment of credit language before the final goes out to ballot. Phew. Of course there is also high pressure to get this to ballot so I'm sure they are going to be looking for how to tweak the language and stay under the "significant" change rule. Stay tuned for a revised notice.

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Peggy White White + GreenSpec May 24 2012 LEEDuser Member 2035 Thumbs Up

A delay might be advisable, as long as it is used to consider some of the issues and member concerns more intelligently and carefully. Forcing it to a vote because of the PR timetable will likely result in compromising the integrity of LEED and our consensus process for decision making.

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Mara Baum Healthcare Sustainable Design Leader, LEED Fellow, HOK May 24 2012 LEEDuser Expert 8173 Thumbs Up

I heard the same as Tom - hopefully we'll hear more soon. Although USGBC will be required to respond to comments, we still are still not likely to see significant change unless there's enough uproar to cause a 5th draft - but I haven't hear a push for this (yet).

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Barry Giles Founder & CEO, LEED Fellow, BuildingWise LLC May 24 2012 LEEDuser Expert 4613 Thumbs Up

Great string of comments.
While I have always considered like Rob that the changes are radical the latest comment period documents for EB do NOT cause me great concern (perhaps I've just been beaten down)...but we've carefully gone through each of the credits and for EB don't believe that V4 is unworkable in the marketplace. Do I absolutely LOVE it...no, but we can live with it and make it work. I've got three buildings sentup into the 'call for pilots' as detailed above..and hope that we get this thing underway.
In answer to the comments in 'MPR's'...we've always had mid version changes that have helped to clarify certain operations of the MPR's...having a mandatory re-cert would get my vote.

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Tom Lent Policy Director, Healthy Building Network May 24 2012 Guest 1285 Thumbs Up

Forget the vote. Let's just call V4 a beta and make it really clear that the next year is shakedown.

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Peggy White White + GreenSpec May 24 2012 LEEDuser Member 2035 Thumbs Up

Yea, as it stands now, v4 IS a bit a 'shakedown' by certain segments of the construction industry, who are trying to shake it down even further. ;o)

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Russell Perry Vice President, SmithGroupJJR May 24 2012 LEEDuser Member 162 Thumbs Up

Tom,

I sincerely hope that the beta period PRECEDES the ballot, as you suggest. What we will find is that some of what has been posited doesn't work, some of what looks scarey is pretty easy and some of the market transformations will fall into place. Unfortunately, if we have already balloted, we are stuck with the stuff that doesn't work for three years unless we want to undertake single attribute balloting on fixes. That sounds like a nightmare.

Rus

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Russell Perry Vice President, SmithGroupJJR May 24 2012 LEEDuser Member 162 Thumbs Up

Rob,

Some number of days ago, your post suggested that you were planning to do the killer analytical matrix that would make this all clear. I've been checking every day to see what you came up with. Did you have time? Can you share your conclusions?

Eagerly,

Rus

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Rob Watson CEO, ECON Group May 24 2012 LEEDuser Member 2125 Thumbs Up

Hi Rus--
See my new thread above. Right now, for technical, market and political reasons, I'm a 'no-with comments' and unlikely to change.

but don't worry you'll get your matrix...

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Al Wei Senior Associate Principal, Planning & Sustainability, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates PC May 24 2012 Guest 201 Thumbs Up

Any prospect that they'll reopen registration for the Consensus, now that they've postponed the balloting?

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Karen Joslin principal, Joslin Consulting May 31 2012 LEEDuser Member 1808 Thumbs Up

Rob - I don't always agree with you regularly, but have to say I'm THRILLED to hear your view on hitting pause and making the darn thing work right before bringing it to market. Your voice is much better respected (and heard) than some of ours, regardless of the success and longevity of our practices, so thank you for stating the obvious - and sticking to your guns.

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Rob Watson CEO, ECON Group May 31 2012 LEEDuser Member 2125 Thumbs Up

Thanks Karen. Sometimes, to go forward you have to stop what you're doing.

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