November 3, 2011 (Rome News-Tribune) Darlington unveils LEED Gold Certification plaque at Thatcher Hall
CxGBS Recognized for Role in Commissioning Middle School Building
One of the biggest problems I have with the LEEDv2.2 and LEEDv3.0 MR credits is with MR Credit 5: Regional Materials. This credit currently defines regional materials as materials that are both harvested and manufactured within 500 miles of the project. The INTENT of the credit is to support the use of indigenous resources and reduce the environmental impacts resulting from transportation.
The following is an example to illustrate my concern:
Product A is harvested 500 miles east of the project and manufactured 500 miles west of the project. Therefore, the total traveling distance of the product from cradle to grave (from the harvest location, to the manufacturing location, and then finally to the project) is 1,500 miles. Product B is harvested 700 miles east of the project and manufactured 300 miles east of the project. Therefore, the total traveling distance of the product from cradle to grave is 1,000 miles.
This is the flaw within MR credit 5. Product A is transported 500 miles more than product B, yet product A contributes towards the credit because it was both harvested and manufactured within 500 miles of the project, and product B does not. This contradicts the credit intent: To reduce environmental impacts resulting from transportation.
It is unfortunate that this flaw was overlooked in both LEEDv2.2 and LEEDv3.0; however, it looks like LEED 2012 will eliminate this flaw by eliminating the harvesting requirements all together, and making more stringent requirements for manufacturing and purchasing locations. The proposed modifications to the reference guide will be addressed in two new MR credits, which address both structural and non-structural building materials. The intent of these credits is (in part) to reduce environmental harm from materials manufacturing and transport. The portion of these credits titled “Support Local Economy,” requires that project teams use building materials and products that are manufactured and purchased within the Core Based Statistical Area (CBSA) as defined by the US Office of Management and Budget statistical area that the project is located in. For projects located outside a prescribed CBSA, materials and products shall be purchased within the projects county.
While the proposed LEED 2012 requirements do eliminate local harvesting requirements, it is generally in the best interest of the product/material vendor to harvest/extract materials locally anyway. I believe the new MR credits address the more important issue of buying local materials (both manufactured and purchased locally), which will accurately address the intent of the credit by reducing transportation between purchasing & manufacturing locations and the project.
H. Jay Enck to Moderate Course on Energy Efficiency for Regional Green Schools Summit — November 3, 2011
USGBC-GA is hosting the first High Performance, Healthy Schools Summit for K-12 Education Leaders, Higher Education Leaders, Facility & Construction Managers, Teachers, Parents, Industry Professionals, Non-Profit Leaders and Invited Guests on November 3-4 at the Georgia World Congress Center.
On Thursday, November 3, Enck joins other industry experts delivering courses at the Understanding Level (introductory) and Implementation Level (advanced). Courses scheduled include Energy Efficiency (moderated by Enck), Water Efficiency, Indoor Air Quality, Recycling/Waste Management, and Environmental Curriculum. Registration Available HERE.
Duluth, Georgia – August 26, 2011 – CxGBS® announced today that they have completed commissioning of the Pi Beta Phi Sorority House on the Mississippi State University Campus in Starkville, MS. The newly constructed house is owned and operated by Pi Beta Phi and Fraternity Housing Corporation (FHC) and is home to the Mississippi Gamma Chapter of Pi Beta Phi.
“Our objective in designing this house was to build a sustainable sorority house that could serve as an example of the leadership values which Pi Beta Phi instills in its members. This is the first of its kind and sets a precedent for other sororities across the country,” said Leah FitzGerald of Fraternity Housing Corporation. “However, with the owner a thousand miles away, we felt it was important to have third party eyes and ears on the project.”
Pi Phi and FHC hired CxGBS to be that objective third-party and help ensure construction of the house met their specifications and requirements for achieving LEED certification.
”CxGBS has an incredible reputation for other work they have done on the Mississippi State University campus and were vital to our process,” continues FitzGerald.
The newly constructed Pi Phi House is almost 20,000 square feet with 20 bedrooms, including rooms for the chapter president and the house director. The façade and architectural style of the house was designed in keeping with the surrounding buildings on the campus. The house has a painted brick exterior with porches on the exterior. Inside are dining and study halls, as well as a formal living room, library, study rooms and TV lounges.
Pi Phi recently gained special recognition when the house became the first sorority house in the country to be recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council with a LEED Silver certification for new construction.
”Today’s students are making not only their housing decisions but their university decisions based on how “green” or environmentally sensitive they find the campus,” said Jay Enck, CEO, CxGBS. “In order to remain relevant, Universities and Greek letter organizations are responding with a higher level of design, construction and sustainability in university buildings and campus housing.”
About Pi Beta Phi
Founded at Monmouth College in Illinois in 1867, Pi Beta Phi has 134 active chapters and more than 330 alumnae groups in the United States and Canada. The partnership with First Book, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to giving children from low-income homes the opportunity to read and own books, solidifies Pi Beta Phi’s commitment to literacy.
Pi Beta Fraternity for women founded its Fraternity Housing Corporation (FHC) in April 2008. The mission of the Fraternity Housing Corporation is to strengthen, support and service Chapter House Corporations (CHC) and FHC managed chapters within Pi Beta Phi Fraternity. The FHC serves as a CHC resource in many areas including volunteer development, finance, safety issues and training. FHC staff assist CHC members in need of third party services which include a variety of disciplines such as property management, fundraising, interior design, furnishings and employment searches.
The FHC currently provides the day-to-day facility management services for 10 chapters including all newly chartered chapters.
Commissioning & Green Building Solutions, Inc. (CxGBS®) is a nationally recognized green building consulting firm that helps clients build environmentally friendly, top performing buildings. The firm’s professionals work with project teams to reduce risk and apply sustainable development principles that lower the total cost of ownership and create healthy conditions for occupants. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, with a satellite office in Jackson, Mississippi, CxGBS® offers a comprehensive suite of services to provide high value solutions for better performing buildings including Sustainable Design Consulting, Holistic Commissioning®, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Certification and Forensic Investigation.
A LEED project can achieve up to 19 points through the energy efficiency credit of EAc1. With this in mind, designers are typically instructed by the owner to design a building that will meet an agreed upon energy savings level. After the energy model is completed and the LEED online template is completed, the results show an energy savings enough to reach the point level requested by the owner. But the template shows that the project will earn fewer points than what they were expecting. Why might this be? The answer is simple, the savings referenced by LEED are for energy cost savings and not actual energy savings. You may design a building that saves 30% more energy than the baseline model but your cost savings could be substantially less. This can happen if using an energy source that has a high cost to unit of energy ratio. When all of your energy savings is in the lower cost energy source and not in your high cost energy source, you can run into this issue. It is important, when designing a project to meet a specified EAc1 point amount that everyone on the LEED project team is clear that the savings for this credit is based upon cost savings and not energy savings. Understanding this early in the process will save a lot of potential headaches and surprises when these credits are reviewed.
My father told me once, “There are two ways of doing things… Right, and Again.” I have found that statement to be true in so many aspects of life. As I work with LEED project teams to complete construction credits, I have found that the same way of thinking goes with contractor training. Either offer thorough training to the entire team in the beginning of construction, or you’ll most likely encounter hiccups along a very tedious construction documentation path, and be forced to repeat the training.
Contractor materials and construction waste training involves training the general contractor, and all subcontractors, to meet the requirements for several construction credits. Training is especially important for those who have never been involved with a LEED project – as much of the documentation they will be required to record and submit is unfamiliar.
This training should involve an overview of the requirements for the following credits:
• MRc2 – Construction Waste Management
• MRc3 – Materials Reuse
• MRc4 – Recycled Content
• MRc5 – Regional Materials
• MRc6 – Rapidly Renewable Materials
• MRc7 – Certified Wood
• IEQc4 – Low Emitting Materials
The Construction Waste Management Credit (MRc2) will require that the general contractor implement a construction waste plan (we’ll skip the details on creation of the plan), and collect waste pull tickets and hauler delivery tickets. It is important to inform the team that they must collect these tickets regularly, and ensure that required information is indicated on the tickets. As a LEED Consultant, it is important to review and verify that tickets with necessary information are being collected regularly, and keep the project team informed about the percentage of waste diverted as well as how far away they are from goal.
The Materials Credits (MRc3-7, IEQc4) will require that the general contractor, and all subcontractors, purchase materials and products that will help contribute to achievement of these credits whenever possible. Educating the team about how to look for and ask for local materials, materials with recycled content, rapidly renewable materials, and materials with certified wood, should be part of this training.
Correctly documenting the materials used on the project is one of the most important aspects of the training. To make it easier for everyone, providing the contractors with a Required LEED Material Data Sheet (RLMDS) will help make the documentation process smoother. Showing the contractor how to find this information on product information sheets (PIS) and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) will help them to find it for other materials. Indicating that this information can be written in a manufacturer letter (on manufacturer letterhead) if it cannot be found on the MSDS or PIS should be explained as well.
As a LEED consultant, regularly reviewing material submittals and RLMDSs throughout the project is in important part of the training as well. This will help to identify any mistakes or misunderstandings and if needed, repeat the training. Hopefully, if the training is implemented well and it the contractors understand what is required, this should be a painless process. It’s much easier to do it right the first time, than to have to repeat it again.
Tags: certified wood, Construction Waste Management, Danna Lopez, IEQc4, LEED, linkedin, low emitting materials, materials, materials reuse, MRc2, MRc3, MRc4, MRc5, MRc6, mrc7, rapidly renewable materials, recycled content, regional materials, RLMD, RLMDS, training, USGBC
Jun 16, 2011 Editorials
LEED boundary, site boundary, project boundary, property boundary. While each of these terms can refer to different types of boundaries, they are commonly used interchangeably and incorrectly among team members of a LEED project. This can obviously cause a lot of confusion and miscommunication, and ultimately lead to time consuming and expensive mistakes in a LEED project. For this reason, it is critical that the different types of boundaries are differentiated for project team members, and that the LEED boundary is clearly defined and established in the beginning of the project.
Organizing a meeting to discuss the LEED boundary and the credits it can affect is an important step in the LEED process. Having all team members present at the meeting is very important, as depending on any one team member or company to inform other project team members of the established LEED boundary is often not a good idea. Team members involved can include the architect, contractor, landscape architect, plumbing engineer, owner, and civil engineer. Several entities are involved because several LEED credits, each demanding the expertise of a different professional, are affected by the LEED boundary. These credits include (but are not limited to) the following:
• SSc2 – development density and community connectivity
• SSc5.1 – site development – protect or restore habitat
• SSc5.2 – site development – maximize open space
• SSc6.1 – stormwater design: quantity control
• SSc6.2 – stormwater design: quality control
• SSc7.1 – heat island effect: non roof
• SSc8 – light pollution reduction
• WEc1 – water efficient landscaping
During the meeting, CLEARLY define the LEED boundary on a project drawing. This could consist of something as simple as drawing a big bold red line on the drawing. Luckily, USGBC has made it easier to use a consistent boundary for all LEED credits in LEED version 3 with the introduction of PI forms. The PI forms require the assignee to upload a drawing with LEED boundary clearly defined, indicate the site area within the boundary (in square feet), and indicate the area of the footprint of the building (square feet). This information is then automatically exported to the affected credits. This helps to avoid having different LEED boundaries and/or site area values for different credits. It’s important to know your boundaries, know the difference between them will save money and time on your project.
Ambiguous, Inconsistent, or Conflicting Project Plans and Specifications – How to Get What You Don’t Want – By Josh Orr
Jun 2, 2011 Editorials
Recently, we provided a price quote for fundamental commissioning for LEED (construction phase only commissioning) on a project based on specifications that were inconsistent and ambiguous. This is definitely not the foundation for a successful project.
Getting what you don’t want in a construction project is easy: just provide plans and specifications that fail to be clear, consistent, correct, concise, or complete. What will you get as a result? At best, you’ll have RFIs and ASIs leading to costly change orders and construction delays. That’s only “best” because the alternative is the contractor following a flawed design which can lead to problems that are even more serious than going over budget and outside of the schedule.
The owner of the building for which we provided the quote would have been well served by engaging in our Holistic Commissioning® approach. The initial step in our Holistic approach involves defining and documenting the goals of the project and the owner. This would have given the specification writer the direction necessary to make clear and consistent documentation. Additionally, our approach includes review of the design documents (including project plans and specifications) and the ambiguities, inconsistencies, and conflicts would have been identified and resolved prior to the project going to bid.
We don’t know what other issues there are in the project’s plans and specifications or how much those issues will ultimately cost this owner. In order to meet the requirements of the RFP/specifications, our price quote was 30% higher than what it would be to meet the requirements that were given verbally, and you can be confident that’s not what the owner wants.
Feb 21, 2011 Press Release
H.Jay Enck presents The LEED® Enhanced Commissioning Credit at The Commissioning Process for Existing Buildings, University of Wisconsin, May 9-14.
Feb 21, 2011 Press Release
H.Jay Enck presents The LEED® Enhanced Commissioning Credit at The Commissioning Process for Existing Buildings for the University of Wisconsin at the Riveria Hotel in Las Vegas, NV, on February 21-26.
Enck also presents Commissioning the Building Exterior Enclosure, Developing the OPR for Exterior Envelopes, Building Science Applications, and Commissioning Exterior Wall Systems at The Commissioning Exterior Enclosure Assemblies and Systems for the University of Wisconsin at the Riveria Hotel in Las Vegas, NV, on February 28-March 2.