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Which LEED Rating System to Pursue?
August 9, 2010

Which LEED Rating System to Pursue?

Each LEED certification effort requires a project analysis to determine which LEED rating system is most appropriate.  For example, LEED for New Construction (LEED NC) would be the appropriate LEED rating system early on in a design and construction project.  This is because LEED certification may be achieved more efficiently, and at a lower cost, if we Replica Cartier Watches can integrate sustainability concepts in the design phase replica bags.  

At a certain point in every construction project there will be a greater economic advantage in waiting twelve months after construction is complete to pursue LEED for Existing Buildings (LEED EB).  For example,replica rolex a recent client had built campus buildings that had innovative sustainability measures incorporated into their design and construction, however the decision to attempt LEED certification was not reached until well into the construction phase.  We are currently developing a plan to attempt LEED certification under the Existing Building rating system. However, the sooner we are brought on to a project team the better because at every stage of construction, there are opportunities to close the gap and make LEED certification a more achievable and economically advantageous goal.puretime

LEED Certification for Facility Alterations

Our approach towards implementing the LEED Rating Systems on Facility Alterations would depend on whether the alteration would be considered a major renovation.   A major renovation involves major HVAC renovation, significant envelope modifications, and major interior rehabilitation. For a major renovation of an existing building, LEED NC is the appropriate rating system. If the project scope does not involve significant design and construction activities and focuses more on operations and maintenance activities, LEED EB is more appropriate because it addresses operational and maintenance issues of working buildings.  Audemars Piguet classique replica for our approach to LEED EB. 

For Facility Alterations that qualify as major renovations, we have the experience to guide projects through the LEED certification process under LEED NC.  Our team of experts consists of professional engineers and registered architects that have decades of experience managing major construction projects. The depth in services, experience and professional team offers important choices to your organization in administering LEED projects.  We can (i) manage a third party design and construction team and assist in taking advantage of the latest sustainability techniques and technology, (ii) augment your team with industry experts to meet specialized needs, or (iii) supply an entire team of design and construction professionals to your project from the schematic design phase straight though to completion.  This flexibility gives you options to tailor the right solution to each project.

Commissioning for Certification and Beyond

     Commissioning is a Minimum Program Requirement for LEED for New Construction and an important suite of credits under LEED for Existing Buildings.  In both LEED rating systems, continued commissioning is important to ensure ongoing energy efficiency optimization. We have the ability to maximize the effectiveness of your commissioning program.  Understanding our approach is necessary to appreciate our expertise and distinguish us from the competition.

          Commissioning is  the verification and documentation of the performance of facilities, systems, and assemblies against defined objectives and criteria.  However, the Commissioning Process differs depending on the LEED rating system our client wishes to pursue. This is because the intent of the commissioning credits under LEED NC and LEED EB are different as are their requirements.  Where as LEED NC commissioning seeks to ensure that energy systems are installed according to owner project requirements, basis of design and construction documents, LEED EB commissioning seeks to ensure measurement, verification and maintenance policies are implemented.  


         Commissioning under LEED for New Construction assumes that owners, designer professionals, contractors, vendors and operations and maintenance entities are accountable for the quality of their work and/or product.  The Commissioning Team uses methods and tools to verify that the project is achieving the Owner�s Project Requirements (OPR) throughout the delivery of the project. For example,rolex replica the contractor is responsible for fully constructing, testing, and ensuring that its employees� work has provided the level of quality expected. The Commissioning Authority (CxA) then samples the contractor�s work to verify that it is achieving the Owner�s Project Requirements. If systemic issues are identified, then the contractor is expected to recheck all of his/her work and correct any deficiencies. 

          The Commissioning Process begins at project inception (during the Pre-Design Phase) and continues for the life of the facility (through the Occupancy and Operations Phase).  The Commissioning Process includes specific tasks to be conducted during each phase in order to verify that design, construction, and training meet the Owner�s Project Requirements.  When properly applied, commissioning provides a uniform, integrated, and consistent approach for delivering and operating facilities that meet an owner�s ongoing requirements.

          Commissioning under LEED for Existing Buildings is a substantially lighter undertaking as it involves investigation, planning, implementing minor improvements and  maintaining/updating building operating plans. However, it is a crucial part of any serious effort to improve and maintain energy efficiency.  With a proper commissioning program, a facility can achieve up to 3 credits (Energy & Atmosphere credits 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3) for a total of 6 points, and an additional Regional Priority Point in most areas.  Additionally, the energy efficiency that can be achieved with a commissioning program will provide a major contribution in maximizing the points earned under the Optimize Energy Efficiency Performance credit (Energy & Atmosphere credit 1).  The basics for satisfying EA Credit 2.1 involves the following steps:

1.     Site assessment: this enables us to understand how the building systems and equipment are currently operating and identify significant problems.

2.     Energy use breakdowns: understanding the energy used by individual systems and processes (including heating, cooling, lighting, plug loads and process loads) helps identify areas of emphasis for further investigation

3.     Diagnostic monitoring and functional testing: identifies deficiencies in equipment operating as designed and deficiencies in equipment procedures, performance and outcomes.

4.     Master List of findings: forms the basis for a list of potential operational changes, technical upgrades and capital improvements fake rolex explorer and provides a cost/benefit analysis.


Once the operational improvements are identified, the remaining commissioning credits (EA 2.2 and 2.3) require their  implementation (which requires updating operating procedures and training facility maintenance crews) and then the ongoing measurement and verification.

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