LEED Energy Efficiency Credit Basics


Studying for LEEDv4? Here are Some Key Points to Remember About Energy and Efficiency

LEED Energy and Efficiency

LEED Energy and Efficiency

Owners Project Requirements (OPR) – This is the document that the owner creates that outlines their project’s scope and requirements. You need to know your client’s expectations in order to build the building that suits their needs and guidelines.

Basis of Design (BOD) – Outlines the basics of the design and what you are going to need to commission the project, such as daylighting controls, onsite renewable energy resources such as wind and solar, any energy system, process equipment, mechanical system, etc.

Commissioning of a building envelope is new to LEED v4. Include interior requirements in the OPR and Basis of Design, commissioning requirements is in the prerequisite and document the requirements.

Standards Used: ASHRAE Guideline 0-2005 and ASHRAE Guideline 1.1-2007 for HVAC and R systems as they pertain to energy, water and indoor air quality.

Commissioning Authority (CxA) for building envelope must do the following tasks:

  • Review OPR, BOD and design
  • Develop Cx Plan
  • Incorporate into Construction Documents (CD)
  • Construction Checklists
  • System Test Procedures
  • Verify System Test Execution
  • Issue and Benefits Log
  • Prepare a Final Commissioning Process Cx Report
  • Document all requirements and send to owner throughout the process – through the report to owner

Who can be a Commissioning Authority (CxA)? The Commissioning Authority must have experience in at least two building products, they must be independent of the project design and construction team, any reports they do must be sent directly to the owner. If the project is less than 20K sq ft (1,860 sq meters) the commissioning authority may be on the design or construction team. LEED is trying to set it up so there can be no industry conflicts. Read the guidelines on who can (or can’t be) your commissioning authority. You must have objective authority. LEED wants CxA’s to be contracted directly by the owner. The commissioning authority must be unbiased and will not have a conflict of interest. There is some separation needed.

Also new to LEED v4 is the ongoing Operations and Maintenance Plan. Part of that includes preparing current facilities requirements and an efficiency plan that facilities managers will use.

The Operations and Maintenance Plan needs to include:

  • Sequence of operations for the building
  • Building occupancy schedule
  • Equipment run time schedule
  • Set points for HVAC
  • Set lighting levels
  • Minimum outside air requirements
  • Any changes for season, day of the week and times of day
  • Systems narrative describing HVAC
  • A preventative maintenance plan for building equipment
  • Commission program that requires ongoing commission tasks and continuous tasks
  • Should be developed by the contractor and reviewed by the commissioning authority

OPR Development and Systems Design – The commissioner and project team needs to create an owner’s project requirements. They would decide scope based on owner project requirements (OPR). The OPR must be written in layperson’s terms. TIP: If your project is going to attempt the integrative process credit, the OPR would be created at the start of the project. This OPR should include all the requirements.

During the schematic design or design development phase of the project the OPR should be consulted by the design team. The design team should create the Basis of Design document. This document will include information in the OPR. include overview of systems criteria, system descriptions, codes and standards the design was based off of, owner’s directives on how the building will be used, info regarding ambient conditions, calculations, specific design methods, climatic, structural, etc. used during the design, specific manufacturer makes and models for drawing and specifications, info on ambient design, revision history of document. The team needs to decide that the OPR can be met. Before the team gets too far down the line, the commissioning team should do a review of the OPR to make sure all long-term OPR goals gets met. Prior to the 50% construction document phase, a commissioning authority should perform an analysis to ensure that the strategy meets the BOD and OPR documents. Provide a step in the process to ask questions about owner long-term questions.

Starting the commissioning process at the beginning of the project will benefit the project and coincides with the nature of a project.

Want to learn more? Check out the GBES Course LEED v4 BD+C Rating System Review — Energy and Atmosphere.

Click on this LEED CE link and click on “Browse Individual Courses” to find the LEED v4 BD+C Rating System Review — Energy and Atmosphere course. 

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.

Wordpress SEO Plugin by SEOPressor