November 21, 2013
So far in our LEED EBOM Recertification series we’ve covered:
- The difference between initial LEED EBOM certification vs. LEED Recertification
- What you can do now for smooth LEED recertification
The 101 California St. in San Francisco, which went from the basic level of certification to obtaining one of the highest EB Platinum certification scores in the world.
Setting the standard for constant improvement, recertification requires that policies be updated to meet the current EBOM rating system requirements. With three iterations of LEED for Existing Buildings over the years and a fourth around the corner, let’s look at the most pressing changes between LEED EBOM v2009 and the upcoming LEED v4 Rating Systems.
You can also reference this full list of differences between LEED EBOM v2.0 and v2009 starting on page 19, and stay tuned for EBS’ upcoming LEED v4 educational series for the full breakdown of LEED EBOM v4.
Sustainable Sites (SS)
- The SS credit category will be split in two, adding a Location & Transportation category (LT). The former SSc4 Alternative Commuting Transportation credit will now be the only EBOM credit for this category, LTc1, and will carry the same credit requirements.
- A new site management prerequisite will combine the requirements of SSc2 (Hardscape Maintenance), and SSc3 (Landscape and Erosion Control Plan ONLY).
SSc6 is now worth 3 points, and requires the project to capture and treat 25% of the water that falls on the site’s impervious surfaces
A new site improvement plan credit was created worth 1 point (new SSc6), which requires a 5-year site improvement plan to address and improve hydrology, vegetation, and soil health
- This means that buildings will now have to address hardscape and landscape maintenance
- This prerequisite focuses on the policy only portion of the old SSc2 and SSc3, while a credit, SSc5, has been created to capture the performance requirements
- Integrated Pest Management (IPM) has been moved fully to the IEQ credit category
Water Efficiency (WE)
- New prerequisite for whole building water metering (WEp2), which increases the number of subsystems that must be submetered
- Increased performance based and testing requirements for the Cooling Tower Chemical Management (WEc4.1), now worth 3 points
Energy & Atmosphere (EA)
- Increases the minimum ENERGY STAR score to 75 from 69 (EAp2)
- Now requires building level energy metering (EAp3)
- A new submetering credit worth 2 points (EAc5) will require that the building meter end uses that represent 20% or more of the total annual building consumption
- A new Demand Response credit (EAc6) requires participation in a demand response program for the full 3 points; other options available for less points
Materials & Resources (MR)
- New prerequisite for facility maintenance and renovation (MRp2), which covers the prescriptive requirements related to facility alterations and additions from the old MRp1 (green purchasing plan), MRp2 (solid waste management plan) and IEQc1.5
- Merged the old purchasing and solid waste management plans into one prerequisite (MRp1)
- Merged durable goods and ongoing consumables into one waste and one purchasing credit both worth 1 point (MRc1, MRc2, MRc7 & MRc8)
Environmental Quality (EQ)
- IEQp1 must now follow new 2010 ASHRAE Standards
- The no smoking policy now requires signs within 10 feet of every building entrance (IEQp2)
- Increased the IEQc3.3 green materials purchasing threshold to 75% from 30%
- Increased the IEQc3.4 green cleaning equipment threshold to 40% from 20%
- More stringent prescriptive requirements for lighting quality and controls (IEQc2.2) which is now worth 2 points
- The old IEQc1.4, IEQc3.5 and the CO2 requirement of IEQc1.2 are all combined into one Best Management Practices credit worth up to 2 points (EQc2)
- The previous Daylight and Views credit has additional options with new prescriptive requirements, worth 4 total points (EQc5)
- The exterior and interior components of integrated pest management (IPM) have been combined into one credit worth 2 points (EQc9)
- Cleaning service providers can now be certified under Green Seal’s Environmental Standard for Commercial Cleaning Services (GS-42) or the International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA) Cleaning Industry Management Standard for Green Buildings (CIMS-GB). (IEQp3 &IEQc3.1)
Innovation in Design (ID)
- Changed the number of possible exemplary points from 3 to 2
We have now covered who is subject to LEED Recertification, what recertification entails, when recertification must be pursued, how to meet recertification requirements and why recertification is important for maintaining and improving your building performance and value.
If you have any additional questions about LEED Recertification or want guidance on making it a smooth process, please get in touch with us!
November 21, 2013
Green buildings have experienced rapid growth in recent years, fueled by a combination of increasingly stringent building codes and the validation that higher performing buildings can in fact yield financial returns.
Additional market drivers such as third-party certifications have emerged to further boost and legitimize the industry. And evidenced by the tens of thousands of LEED Certified buildings and the tens of thousands attendees at this week’s Greenbuild, the USGBC’s LEED Certification is unarguably the prevailing rating system that’s changed the market and policy all together.
Like any industry leader, however, LEED is not without fault. Anyone who has completed LEED documentation would agree that LEED is notorious for its labor-intensive documentation process.
This year at Greenbuild, Autodesk and EBS previewed Autodesk’s emerging software solution that aims to change that. By streamlining the LEED process, Autodesk’s new software could be the key to help LEED retain its edge in the real estate industry.
Autodesk’s new LEED automation app, based on Autodesk PLM 360, will streamline LEED project management by tracking tasks, teams, milestones, documents and action items all in a centralized location (screenshot below). With direct access to LEED Online, the app will also provide insightful and actionable reports, charts and dashboards.
An early pilot customer of Autodesk’s software, EBS has been integral to the testing and QA of the Existing Building Operations and Maintenance (EBOM) component of the software. Having overseen more than 70 LEED for EBOM projects at EBS, EBS Partner Jake Arlein applies the tool to his day-to-day LEED tasks, assisting Autodesk with fine-tuning the product to make it highly effective at facilitating and achieving LEED certification. See a video demo of the LEED automation tool here.
Alongside Ani Deodhar, Program Lead, Sustainable Buildings Solution at Autodesk, Jake co-presented the product at Greenbuild. Together they discussed multiple scenarios in which Autodesk’s LEED software will help simplify the everyday LEED documentation and project management processes, changing the LEED process for the better.
Learn more about Autodesk’s sustainability solutions and about Autodesk’s news at Greenbuild 2013.
LEED project management tool:
Questions about Autodesk’s LEED project management tool? Get in touch with us!
October 31, 2013
For building projects aiming to improve energy efficiency, achieve LEED certification or push their sustainability and high performance standards all the way to net zero energy, roofs are an underutilized resource for achieving green building goals.
With the same footprint as the rest of the building, rooftop strategies such as cool roofs, passive design, renewable technologies and green roofs can help building projects meet and exceed even the most difficult environmental standards.
Last week EBS’ Michael Hummel presented at the CitiesAlive Green Roof & Wall Conference in San Francisco, where he spoke about the various opportunities to utilize roof space in achieving higher performing buildings for the triple bottom line – people, planet and profit.
Depicted in the green roof cost and benefits infographic below, the presentation focused specifically on the potential for green roofs to provide a working model for sustainable development and living, with strategies and systems that reduce environmental impact, improve community development and positively impact the building’s financial performance.
Check out EBS’ green roof costs and benefits infographic and read on to learn about the environmental, financial and community benefits of green and sustainably utilized rooftop space. You can share the infographic using the code at the bottom of this post. Big thanks to Simatai PHC for their help in designing the infographic!
Did you know that by simply installing a lighter colored roof, buildings can lower rooftop temperatures up to 90°F, saving up to 15% in annual HVAC energy use? Referred to as “cool roofs”, these lighter colored surfaces absorb less and reflect more sunlight than a traditional dark-colored roof, keeping the rooftop and building significantly cooler. Cool roofs are an easy and highly effective technique for reducing energy consumption, energy bills and improving occupant comfort within the building.
Passive rooftops incorporate design strategies into the roof that can lower energy consumption and improve occupant comfort in the building. Cool roofs are a type of passive design, as once they’re installed they contribute to higher performing buildings without requiring any additional technology. Another passive rooftop strategy is the installation of operable skylights, also called rooftop monitors. These monitors passively lower energy bills and heighten occupant comfort and health by increasing natural ventilation, daylighting and thermal heat/cooling.
Active roofs contain technology such as solar photovoltaic or solar thermal panels that actively lower energy bills by producing energy and therefore decreasing reliance on external energy sources.
The Zero Net Energy Center (pictured) combines passive and active rooftop strategies with energy efficient HVAC and building equipment to completely eliminate its reliance on third-party power consumption. Passive/Active roofs are an incredible opportunity for reducing environmental impact and improving the value and financial performance of a building.
Green roofs push sustainable rooftop opportunities to new heights and can range from the installation of simple native grasses and plants to full food-producing surfaces. Green roofs have immensely positive effects on the environmental and financial performance of buildings including:
- 25% improvement in insulation for heating and cooling (source)
- 2-3 times the lifespan as a traditional asphalt roof, with lower lifecycle costs (source)
- 50% to 75% reduction in cooling load (Mugdha Mokashi, Nivedita P. Reddy)
- Removes airborne particulates & absorbs CO2
- Reduces storm water runoff
- Food producing roofs reduce food miles and create revenue opportunities
In addition to reducing environmental impact and energy costs, green roofs provide a forum for local community development by providing a single, central location for community members to live, work and eat. Green roofs help improve community health through air quality and local food production, provide opportunities for learning and improved lifestyle for those who care for and procure food from the roof, as well as create local commerce opportunities through the distribution of produce/seeds/etc.
Financial Opportunity for Green Roofs
Not only can green roofs save money through reduced energy bills and increased rooftop longevity, food producing roofs present a significant financial opportunity for building owners and operators.
From research conducted for EBS’ proposed rooftop farm for Garden Village, a multi-family residential development in Berkeley, CA, we calculated and compared the life cycle costs and earnings of a food producing roof vs. a traditional roof. Our considerations included rooftop installation and farm construction costs, maintenance, energy costs/savings and projected income from produce and seed sales over a 40 year period.
Our findings concluded that a 10K sq. ft. rooftop farm in the Bay Area could see a simple payback of less than 10 years with revenue opportunities in the millions, whereas a traditional 10K sq. ft. roof would only cost the owner millions of dollars over its lifespan.
Given the environmental, social and economic benefits of sustainable rooftop utilization, roofs present an immense opportunity for building owners and developers. Further evidenced by the robust attendance and enthusiasm at the CitiesAlive conference, sustainable rooftops are the next frontier in green building design and construction. What rooftop strategy might be the best for your project?
Questions? Comments? Please get in touch with us!
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October 23, 2013
2013 marks the five year anniversary of Environmental Building Strategies. We’ve come a long way in 5 years, from our co-founders and principals Matt Macko and Ryan Potvin doubling up on a 50cc scooter to attend client meetings, to being ranked the 25th Fastest-Growing Company in the Bay Area by the San Francisco Business Times. In 5 years we’ve advanced from providing LEED consulting for one-off tenant improvement (TI) green building projects to being integral design team members on some of the most iconic and progressive buildings in the west coast. We’ve also multiplied to a staff of 15, rounding out EBS’ high performance building and engineering/commissioning service lines with talented professionals who embody EBS’ genuine passion for the environment, as well as our genuine passion for having fun.
All of this growth (317% over 3 years!) is a result of EBS’ ingrained dedication to sustainability. With our approach and processes around deriving profitability through sustainable buildings, we’ve developed valuable relationships with clients that call us first for high performance building projects. And of course, our mission wouldn’t be possible without our inspired team, all individually and synergistically compelled to further sustainable achievements in the built environment.
To celebrate, we combined our love for nature with our love of spending quality time together on a weekend retreat to a forested cabin near the American River. Complete with families, children, one pregnant wife and four dogs, we decided on an activity that seemed to suit us all: a 2.5 mile hike to the river from our cabin. We knew the hike would entail an elevation drop into the river valley. What we didn’t realize was that it would drop almost 1,700 feet. With only a 2.5 mile hike as the crow flies, we basically found ourselves clambering down a cliff.
In the face of adversity and perhaps slight insanity we figured it out, schlepping kids on our shoulders and sometimes even inching down backwards to relieve the pressure on our knees. Here at EBS we love a good challenge. If we could transform a 1980’s building into one of the U.S.’ first and largest net zero retrofits for the same price as constructing a traditional building, we could scale this mountain. With this in mind, every tiny step down gave us more determination to make it to the river. And once we did, it was worth it—cool teal-blue water dotted with smooth granite boulders, and we had it all to ourselves. We figured no one else would be crazy enough to hike down that cliff! We swam, ate lunch and boasted about how we conquered the mountain, each of us silently anticipating the hike back up…
To say the least, we earned our BBQ feast that night. Gathered together on the porch under the stars we popped champagne and shared in the sentiment of achieving 5 successful years together. For a team that considers ourselves like a family we felt more united than ever. In addition to our mutual sense of accomplishment for contributing towards 5 years of EBS success, we had banned together to complete that treacherous hike. With a mix of humor and earnestness, we knew that neither of these feats would have gone so smoothly without the help of each other.
The rest of the night we continued coasting on an adrenaline wave, playing horseshoes and ping pong, and extending the celebration to Matt’s birthday with a cake and piñata. We were having so much fun that, after maxing out our late check-out from the cabin the next day, we spent the rest of the day together on the river. This time we found a spot that we could drive to!
EBS’ success is not only a factor of our leaders and our team, but a factor of our clients and partners who believe in us and our sustainable mission. We’re thrilled about the advancements in high performing building and look forward to continuing to push the limits. Here’s to the next 5…10…100 years!
If you thought this post was funny, check out our photos on Facebook and have yourself a good laugh!