Foreword

In the year 2000 when I first began working to introduce green building at Harvard, the most common perception I encountered was that green building was too expensive and that LEED was a costly point-chasing exercise with no value. Things reached their lowest point in 2001 when at one design team meeting, a faculty member acting as the project's client representative likened the belief that green building design could be cost effective to believing that there were elephants in the hallway. To...

Leed Project Management Issues

Now is the time to begin preparing our LEED design phase submittal, and there are a number of questions that arise at this stage. 1 Are we fully prepared to submit our LEED design credits for certification review prior to beginning construction 2 Have we determined which LEED innovation credits we are going to pursue, whether for exemplary performance or for achievements not presently covered by the LEED rating system 3 Do we have systems in place to secure those innovation credits 4 Have we...

The Christman Building Lansing Michigan

Lansing Christman

The Christman building is the first building to be certified at both LEED-CS Platinum and LEED-CI Platinum levels. A renovated 1928 landmark, the Christman Building is located on a former brownfield. Over 90 percent of the former walls, roof, floors and office furnishings were reused. The 12 million project is expected to save 40,000 a year in energy costs. The Christman Company, who provided construction management, historic preservation, LEED coordination and real estate development services...

Materials Issues

The construction documents phase is our last chance to look once more at environmentally preferable purchasing policies for all the materials used in the building. 1 Is there an interest in making the building vinyl-free by specifying resilient flooring from other materials and finding alternatives to PVC pipe and conduit Is this an important consideration for any of our stakeholders 2 Have we specifically requested the use of salvaged or reclaimed building materials wherever possible Do these...

Water Efficiency

Considering the growing importance of water conservation in buildings, at this time we need to check that the project has taken all possible steps in specifying components that will help us meet stringent water efficiency goals. 1 Have we specified water-conserving fixtures and sensors sufficient to achieve our water conservation goals for the project Can we save 40 percent of water use against a baseline building, and qualify for a LEED Innovation point Are all proposed systems and fixtures...

The Willow School Art Barn Gladstone New Jersey

The Barn houses the school's middle grades, a cafeteria, the performing arts center and science center. The 13,000-square-feet facility cost 3.2 million. The building utilizes a wastewater management system where plants are grown hydro-ponically in sewage, which is treated and cleaned before it's returned to the ground. Harvested rainwater is used for toilet flushing, contributing to a 58 percent reduction in water use compared to a building built to code. A photovoltaic system provides 37...

Indoor Environmental Quality

1 Does the HVAC design clearly separate areas of major chemical mixing or printing from other users in the building Can we use green cleaning measures to get rid of chemical mixing entirely or avoid the need for separate ventilation systems 2 Does the HVAC design provide for real-time monitoring of temperature and humidity in the building, with feedback to operational controls 3 Have we clearly specified external shading systems or high-performance glazing components to support our daylighting...

General Construction Issues

During the CD phase, we have to write all the project specifications and get all the details on the drawings, so that the general contractor and various subcontractors can actually bid the project. These considerations naturally give rise to a number of important questions. 1 How will the project be bid, and how will this impact the inclusion of sustainability criteria in construction documents Will it be a negotiated bid or a competitive bid 2 Is there a CM GC process (or CM at risk) in place,...

Info

During the construction documents phase, it's time to provide the final details of design at a level that enables contractors to bid and build the project. During this phase, product and design specifications become locked in and are not easily altered. Therefore, decisions during this phase are important in determining whether we can reach the project's sustainability goals, especially if we're committed to using new methods or systems with which a local code official or contractor may not be...

Platinum Project Profile

Sweetwater Creek State Park Visitor Center, Lithia Springs, Georgia Designed by the Gerding Collaborative, the 8700-square-feet Sweetwater Creek State Park Visitor Center provides exhibit space, offices, retail area, learning laboratory, classrooms, and restrooms. The project was completed in 2006 and cost 175 per square foot. Thirty-eight percent (nearly 4000 square feet) of the building's roof area is used for rainwater collection, to supply an estimated 44 percent Courtesy of the Gerding...

Indoor Environmental Quality Questions

Earlier, I pointed out how productivity and health concerns were tied up with employee satisfaction with the working environment. Studies reveal that indoor air quality and daylighting are two of the vital elements to introduce into any high-performance building project. Incorporating key indoor environmental quality features should be carefully considered during the design development phase. 1 How much could our staff productivity increase with better daylighting With natural ventilation or 30...

Materials and Resources Questions

Each sustainable design program has to place some emphasis on appropriate selection of materials. As with lighting design, we might leave some of the details until the next phase, but some basic choices need to be made at this time. 1 Does our design provide adequate space for recycling bins on each floor Are we prepared to recycle, at a minimum, paper, cardboard, metal, glass, plastic, and batteries 2 How will the building recycling system be integrated with areas for storage and collection of...

Lighting Design Questions

Lighting design is so central to the aesthetics of building design and to energy use that each project must get it right during design development. Fixture and lamp selection may be delayed into the construction documents phase, but the core lighting design must be completed in an integrated fashion during design development. 1 Have we reduced our design fc levels to 30 fc for most common spaces Do we need to make special accommodations for visual comfort and for Boomers and older workers, such...

Renewable Energy Systems

Now is the time to get serious about including renewable energy systems in the project. These questions focus our attention on the technical, economic, and financial feasibility of solar and wind power especially, as strong project components. 1 How might the use of photovoltaic systems impact daily energy supply patterns and potential economics of various energy use systems 2 Have we considered the use of building-integrated photovoltaics in the project Because we can integrate the PV systems...

Water Efficiency Questions

As we pointed out in the previous chapter, water conservation in buildings will undoubtedly assume even greater importance in the years ahead. As a result, during design development, we need to plan for a detailed systems approach to water efficiency. 1 Will ultra-water-conserving plumbing fixtures be acceptable to local officials (and possibly local plumbing unions) Can we reuse gray water or other nonpotable water generated in the building 2 Are there still other ways to reduce the water...

Site Design Questions

During design development, we need to complete our site design and to ensure that we are maximizing opportunities for installing sustainability features through the project site. 1 Does the internal circulation of the project site support pedestrian and bike access Have we designed separate entrances for bicycles, with power-assisted doors 2 Are there adequate places for bicycle storage in the building What about a location for an air compressor 3 Are there showers located for easy access to...

Materials and Resource Questions

Efficient use of materials can be a consideration even in the early design stages. Building designers are increasingly asking for information on the life-cycle embodied energy and other environmental effects of structural materials choices. 1 Have we considered life-cycle assessment tools for analyzing key choices in terms of materials and energy water systems for this building Is anyone on the design team experienced in using these assessments, such as Athena or BEES 2 If there is an existing...

Merry Lea ELCReith Village Wolf Lake Indiana

The Reith Village is an ecological field station for undergraduate environmental study for the Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College located south of Wolf Lake, Indiana. The Village includes two buildings for student housing and a third structure that serves as a learning center and environmental Interview with Paul Stoller, Atelier Ten, March 2008. field station. Photovoltaic panels and a wind turbine generate more than 20 percent of the buildings' electrical needs. A solar...

Water Related Questions

Many people think that water will be the oil of the twenty-first century, the defining resource for civilization in many locations, energy use for water supply, and treatment accounts for more than 10 percent of building energy use. Therefore, questions about water are quite important to integrated building design. 1 Have we considered how to reduce, reuse, or recharge rainwater falling on the building Do we have the budget for dual-plumbing systems, so that rainwater can be reused in the...

Green Roofs And Light Pollution Questions

The subject of green roofs and light pollution reduction involves the architect, electrical engineer, and landscape architect and provides a forum for integrated design considerations. 1 Will rooftop mechanical equipment placement still allow for a green roof What about smoke exhaust fans above an atrium Can they be downsized to allow for more green-roof space 2 Is a green roof feasible Can the budget handle the additional cost Will the stakeholders appreciate the amenity and practical values...

Site Water Management Questions

Water is emerging as a crucial design concern in many high-performance projects. An integrated design team will look at water in a much more holistic way, considering the entire water balance of the site. Some important questions include the following *Architectural Energy Corporation online , accessed April 2008. 1 How can stormwater be managed in the site design to reduce the impact of added impervious areas on storm sewers and waterways Are we considering the use of bioswales and other...

Donald Bren School of Environment University of California Santa Barbara

The second LEED Platinum building ever certified, the Donald Bren School of Environment is an academic laboratory and classroom facility located near the Pacific Ocean in Goleta, California. The construction cost earlier in this decade for this 84,672-square-feet building was 26 million. Twenty-five percent of the building's energy needs are met by a combination of grid power from landfill methane gas and roof-mounted photovoltaic panels (which supply 7 percent of the building's energy). Energy...

Site Questions

Now it's time to answer specific site use questions in a more detailed manner. Often, a more detailed exploration of site opportunities and constraints can help inform the building design, in terms of choice of materials, building location on the site, and similar uses. 1 Are there materials onsite that can be used or reused (Rocks trees clay for adobe bricks, soil for soil-crete, rammed earth, soil screened for reuse, existing paving or concrete for fill or retaining walls.) 2 In what ways can...

Predesign Work

One of the frequently overlooked aspects of LEED Platinum projects is that most of them had the contractor on board from the beginning, carrying out various aspects of predesign and preconstruction work. John Pfeifer is senior vice president at McGough Construction, Minneapolis his team had just finished (spring 2008) a high-rise office project in that city which expects to get 58 points on the LEED scale and to receive the LEED Platinum rating. He speaks about the importance of the pre-design...

Center for Neighborhood Technology CNT Chicago Illinois

LEED-certified in December 2005, the 13,800-square-feet building houses the Center for Neighborhood Technology, a Chicago-based nonprofit. With a cost of 82 per square-foot, this renovation cost considerably less than conventional rehabilitations in Chicago, which ranged at the time from 90 to 130 per square foot. The building was designed to use 50 percent less energy than a conventional building. A thermal storage tank serves as the building's primary cooling system and shifts peak electrical...

Site Selection and Site Evaluation

Otto Haas Director of Morris Arboretum at the University of Pennsylvania, describes the sensitive issues of site selection and site design for a highperformance project 1' *U.S. Green Building Council online , accessed April 2008. Interview with Paul Meyer, Morris Arboretum, March 2008. The Morris Arboretum is in a stream valley known as the Wissahickon. This valley has a remarkable sense of place. We've been blessed with a lot of preserved open space thus far. Also nearby,...

Sustainable Design

The LEED green building rating system was introduced in March of 2000, so this book is being written after the system has been in place for 8 years.* Still, most architects and building owners are embarking on their first LEED project, while others have completed only a few. Having accessible expertise can often mean the difference between success and failure. This section addresses these issues with the following questions. 1 Have we made a firm decision to follow an integrated design process,...

Integrated Value Assessment

We interviewed Michaella Wittmann, sustainable design director at HDR, a large architecture-engineering firm with nearly 7000 employees. Her firm has developed a tool called Integrated Value Assessment that is used to guide high-performance projects.' As this industry is moving forward in sophistication, we strongly feel that it's critically important to work with building owners at the beginning of projects and help them Interview with Ted van der Linden, DPR Construction, February 2008....

Analysis Of A Complete Project

When the team analyzes credits or solutions, there are many synergies that should be reviewed. Many credits and solutions on LEED projects are directly related to other elements within the project. These opportunities provide the team to really accelerate the benefit curves for projects and reduce the life-cycle paybacks of many items. Cumulative cash flow EQ Credit 8.1 daylight and views Cumulative cash flow EQ Credit 8.1 daylight and views TABLE 8.9 INDOOR ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY CREDIT 8...

Indoor Environmental Quality Credit Construction Iaq Management

Let's look at a less obvious situation, maintaining indoor air quality (IAQ) during construction. The choices are between basic and advanced IAQ management plans (Table 8.8). In this case, the advanced IAQ plan has a much stronger payoff during the 10-year life cycle, by reducing maintenance and insurance costs (Fig. 8.7). This case illustrates that it's worthwhile to search for both primary and secondary benefits, Figure 8.7 Cumulative cash flow EQ Credit 3 construction IAQ management. Figure...

Energy And Atmosphere Credit Onsite Renewable Energy

Now let's take a look at installing renewable energy measures for our hypothetical project. In this case, we are almost always faced with considerably higher capital costs, relative to annual savings. However, an important mitigating factor may be the incentives available. Many states and utilities, along with the federal government, offer tax credits, and direct payments that can reduce the effective capital cost of such measures by 50 percent or more. Table 8.7 shows the EVA analysis for two...

Energy And Atmosphere Credit Optimize Energy Performance

What about energy, which is typically the larger concern in most green building projects How do energy conservation and renewable energy options stack up in the EVA analysis Let's look at the first LEED credit for energy conservation and efficiency measures, worth from two to ten points. In the current LEED-NC 2.2 system, each new construction project must save at least 14 percent against the ASHRAE 90.1-2004 standard, to meet a prerequisite. Each building renovation must save at least 7...

Water Efficiency Credit Water Use Reduction

Let's look at another water-related situation. In this case, we want to reduce water consumption in the building, a key issue identified in our visioning session, not only to save operating costs but also to create environmental benefit and to reduce the impact of development on urban infrastructure. Our options include specifying WATER EFFICIENCY CREDIT 1 WATER-EFFICIENT LANDSCAPING TABLE 8.5 WATER EFFICIENCY CREDIT 3 WATER USE REDUCTION TABLE 8.5 WATER EFFICIENCY CREDIT 3 WATER USE REDUCTION...

Water Efficiency Credit Waterefficient Landscaping

Let's look at a very different example, addressing the concern for reducing potable water use for landscape irrigation. Two alternatives are to plant only native drought-tolerant species or to collect rainwater and use it for irrigation. In the second option, we add 80,000 to costs for collecting, treating, and distributing collected rainwater and gray-water to our irrigation system (Table 8.4). For the first option, we also save 15,000 per year in purchased water costs and 5000 in irrigation...

Sustainable Sites Credit Stormwater Design

In this analysis, we see immediately that the solution of bioswales has dramatically higher payoffs than using pervious paving and that the payoff is positive from the beginning (Fig. 8.1, Table 8.2). BIOSWALES PERVIOUS PAVING Cumulative cash flow SS Credit 6.2 Stormwater Management TABLE 8.2 SUSTAINABLE SITES CREDIT 6 STORMWATER DESIGN TABLE 8.2 SUSTAINABLE SITES CREDIT 6 STORMWATER DESIGN LEED CREDIT SOLUTION 2 PERVIOUS PAVING Landscape architect and civil engineer collaboration Reduced land...

Introduction to the Environmental Value Added Method

Traditional project delivery methods do not provide a very easy path toward the goal of successfully delivering a green building project. As you've learned from various examples presented earlier in this book, when evaluating the cost benefit components of a green building, the starting point on all projects needs to be a visioning session among project stakeholders. This session should be a focused meeting that allows the project owner or developer to develop a set of goals, that the project...

Payback Versus Return On Investment

Engineers (and to some extent, architects) are often unable to present economic information to higher-level decision-makers who prefer to speak the language of business, not design. A good example occurs in the world of energy savings. For example, suppose it cost 300,000 extra to secure annual energy savings of 100,000. This is a typical circumstance. An engineer might say that this measure has a 3-year payback ( 300,000 100,000), in terms of how long it takes to recover the initial investment...

Gross Costs and Net Costs

Because architects and engineers tend to think like design professionals and not owners, they often overlook the difference between gross costs and net costs in determining whether to accept or reject sustainable design measures, to the detriment of the project. For example, underfloor air distribution systems cost more, typically 4 to 7 per square foot, on a gross basis. However, by bringing power and data cabling directly to each work station, they eliminate the need for systems furniture...

Integrated Design Can Reduce Costs

Often, the traditional design-bid-build process of project delivery works against the development of green buildings. In this process, there is often a sequential handoff from the architect to the building engineers to the contractor, so that there is a limited feedback loop arising from the engineering aspects of building operating costs and comfort considerations back to basic building design features. In a standard design process, for example, the mechanical engineer is often left out of the...

Costs Of Greening Research Labs

Davis Langdon also studied the impact of climate on the costs of a research lab. Costs ranged from 2.7 to 6.3 percent premium for a LEED Gold project, and 1.0 to 3.7 percent for a LEED Silver project (the study assumes the same design was constructed in various cities at the same time). The key cost message to owners and developers (and design and construction teams) is that sustainability needs to be a program issue, that is, it needs to be embedded in the goals of the project and not treated...

Greening Americas Schools

In 2006, Gregory Kats released a study of the costs and benefits of greening K-12 schools. The report, Greening America's Schools became one of the most important documents to justify green buildings for a very large market segment, K-12 schools.* In Chap. 6, we profiled the benefits of green schools outlined in that report. The report studied 30 green school projects in 10 states, completed from 2001 through 2006, and concluded that the average green cost premium was 1.7 percent, or about 3...

The Gsa Cost Study

A 2004 study for the General Services Administration of the costs of achieving various levels of LEED certification for government buildings looked at both new construction and remodeling projects. It supports somewhat similar conclusions to the work for the State of California. For example, in the California analysis, a 40 million public building seeking a LEED Gold level might expect to budget about 2 percent, or 800,000, extra to achieve this certification. The 2004 study carefully detailed...

Summary of Cost Influences

Chapter 6 discussed the many business case benefits of green buildings, and made the points that costs are real, occur first, and must be justified to various stakeholders. Benefits are generally long-term, and costs are immediate, so many people tend to shy away from anything that will add costs, no matter what the potential benefits. Table 7.2 shows some of the elements of green building design and construction decisions that may influence project cost. From this table of cost influencers,...

Controlling Costs in LEED Projects

Architect Peter Busby, leader of the sustainable design practice at Perkins+Will internationally, has designed a number of LEED-certified projects. His approach to controlling costs involves several key elements * *Canada Green Building Council online , accessed April 2008. Personal communication, Peter Busby, April 2008. Have a clear green design goal from the outset. Make sure the design team is completely integrated. Incorporate green elements in the design from the beginning. Have...

Design Process And Credit Synergies

Certain sustainability measures exhibit synergies that generate multiple LEED credits from one action. Take green roofs, for example. Green roofs not only reduce the urban heat island effect, but also mitigate stormwater runoff, create habitat and urban open space, conserve water use in landscaping, reduce building energy use, and may even qualify for an innovation credit in the LEED system. The same measure could provide for up to 8 LEED points, serving to offset the higher costs of green...

Feasibility Of Leed Measures

Another cost factor is the feasibility of LEED actions. For example, in most urban areas, recycling 75 percent of construction waste is virtually a no-cost item for the project. However, for projects in rural areas, there may be no construction waste recycling opportunities. To get the lost two points from some other LEED measures, for example, might add cost to an identical project, everything else held equal, if it wanted to qualify for the same certification level. The same would hold true...

Project Size

You would expect smaller projects to have a higher cost premium for LEED certification, because certain of the costs of LEED (e.g., documentation assistance, energy modeling, and building commissioning) have fixed-cost elements independent of project size that will add to the cost per square foot. Above a certain size, perhaps 50,000 square feet for new projects or major renovations, this size cost premium starts to disappear. Let's say such a project has a budget of 5 million and let's say...

Design Standards

Certain public and private institutions require higher levels of design than just a code building. Certain campus settings already provide parking central steam power, chilled water, and or electricity open space multiple transportation options and other services that result in anywhere from 5 to 15 embedded LEED points toward certification for any project. Similarly, a shopping center developer with higher standards for site development could embed 6 to 12 LEED points for every retail store...

Climate

Since many of the high-performance LEED projects have aggressive energy-savings goals, climate can be an issue in determining costs. For example, many projects on the West Coast, where humidity is not a significant design factor and temperatures are mild much of the year, can rely on 100 percent dedicated outside air systems (using economizer cycles) for much of their cooling during the year. Such systems are not really possible in the hot humid Southeast, and so cooling options may not be as...

Timing Of The Project

A significant determinant of cost is when the project is bid in 2006 and 2007, for example, I've been told that some projects in major cities had trouble even getting subcontractor bids, because everyone was just flat-out too busy. As the commercial building sector slows down in 2008 and 2009, as seems likely, contractors will likely be more eager for work, and prices should come down a little. Continuing inflation of construction materials is also a factor in adding cost to project budgets.

The Initial Budget

Low budget projects, such as design build retail store or tilt-up construction suburban offices are going to be harder to LEED-certify without adding costs, because so many of the costs have already been optimized for that project type, particularly to reduce capital cost by not exceeding any code requirements. In looking at small retail stores, for example, I have found a 5 percent cost increase for the first certification. However, the USGBC's volume build program can be used to keep costs...

Additional Cost Considerations

There are other potentially significant factors that determine what a LEED project will cost, on a dollars per square foot basis. When estimating a LEED project, these factors often determine the final project budget. Some of them are quite significant but may have nothing to do with the level of LEED certification or energy performance sought. *See the work of Matthias Sch ler of Transsolar at www.transsolar.com, accessed April 2008. Personal communication, Patrick Bellew, CEO of Atelier Ten,...

Leed Documentation Costs

The requirement for LEED documentation could cost between 25,000 and 50,000 for team coordination and LEED project management services. Whether it's performed in-house at an architecture firm or done with outside consultants, there is a higher level of effort required to coordinate all the design team members and to keep the LEED aspects of the project on track. As LEED becomes fully integrated into design practice over the next half-decade, you can expect the costs for LEED project...

Design Process And Scope

You can expect that a serious commitment to integrated design will add to design costs, because of additional meetings, design charrettes, and further studies and analyses during the design period. A typical all-day meeting is going to cost 20,000, if it involves many consultants, each billing 1200 to 2000 for the day. The least costly approach is to get everyone together just once, but not to leave the project venue until most key design decisions or directions are made. This approach is...

Team Experience

Team experience with LEED and high-performance projects is obviously a critical factor, for two reasons. First, teams with little or no experience will naturally assign a risk premium to their fees, hoping to get paid for their learning curve by the first client. Second, teams with experience have developed shortcuts, written standard specifications, researched alternative materials, and generally have learned to pick team members with similar experience. Therefore, they don't need to assign a...

Who Benefits

One of the biggest issues in green buildings is that the benefits are unequally distributed between those who pay for the project and those who benefit. For example, the benefits of green schools accrue most directly to the students, but it's the school district (and the taxpayers) who incur the cost. One can argue that the school district should look favorably toward green buildings that benefit students and teachers primarily, but that's not always the case districts are just as concerned...

Political

Political benefits might be seen as a subset of marketing and public relations benefits, but I'd like green builders to consider them as separate, both for a local political body, as well as for developers relying on public approval for acquiring development entitlements and even design approval and building permits for specific projects. On Earth Day 2008, I saw a spate of political announcements taking place at green buildings, where mayors and various public officials took advantage of the...

Genzyme Center Cambridge Massachusetts

Designed in the early 2000s by Behnisch Architekten of Stuttgart, Germany and finished in 2004, the 12-story, 344,000-square-feet Genzyme Center serves as office space for more than 900 Genzyme employees. Located in Cambridge's Kendall Square, the building is partially powered by renewable energy sources and controlled by a 2.3 million integrated building automation system (BAS). An open-air atrium serves a return air duct as well as light shaft and provides natural light to 75 percent of the...

Recruitment and Retention

One often overlooked aspect of green buildings is their effect on people's willingness to join or stay with an organization. It typically costs 50,000 to 150,000 to lose a good employee, and most organizations experience 10 to 20 percent turnover per year, some of it from people they really didn't want to lose. In some cases, people leave because of poor physical environments (as well as the Dilbert-parodied boss from hell). In a workforce of 200 people, turnover at this level implies 20 to 40...

More Competitive Product

Speculative developers are realizing that green buildings can be more competitive in certain markets, if built at or near a conventional budget. This puts the onus on the design and construction team to figure out how to build LEED Silver or better buildings without adding significant costs. Green buildings with lower operating costs and better indoor environmental quality are more attractive to a growing group of corporate, public, and individual buyers. Green-ness will not soon replace known...

Environmental Stewardship

Being a good neighbor is appropriate not just for building users, but for the larger community. Developers, large corporations, universities, schools, local governments, *Zach Mortice, Arboretum Visitor Center Stands Tall Against the Yardstick of a Tree, AIArchitect, Volume 15, February 15, 2008 online , accessed April 2008. and building owners and managers have long recognized the marketing and public relations benefits (including branding) of a demonstrated concern for the environment. Green...

Stakeholder Relations And Occupant Satisfaction

Those who work in buildings as tenants and corporate, public and institutional employees want to see a demonstrated concern for their well-being and for that of the planet. Intelligent owners are beginning to realize how to market these benefits to a discerning and skeptical client and stakeholder base, using the advantages of green building certifications and other forms of documentation, including support from local utility and industry programs. This is more than just greenwashing, it is a...

Public Relations and Marketing

Many developers and building owners, both public sector and private companies, are finding considerable marketing and public relations benefits from creating LEED-certified green buildings. National media in the United States and Canada have effectively bought the proposition that LEED-certified buildings represent better buildings and a stronger commitment to sustainability by building owners and developers. LEED *World Clean Energy Awards online , nominee-detail project 41 , accessed April...

Health Improvements

Of course, a key element of productivity is healthy workers. By focusing on measures to improve indoor environmental quality such as increased ventilation, day lighting, views to the outdoors, and low-toxicity finishes and furniture, people in green buildings show an average reduction in symptoms of 41.5 percent on an annual basis.* Obviously, healthy employees are more productive, since they're at work more and likely to be performing at a higher energy level than those who are sick or not...

Laurence S Rockefeller Preserve Grand Teton National Park Wyoming

Rockefeller Preserve in Grand Teton serves as a visitor center. Located near Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the 7500-square-feet building houses an interpretive center for the National Park Service. The building's design should reduce energy use by 84 percent and save 2000 annually. A ground-source heat pump and photovoltaic system is expected to provide 58 percent of the center's electricity. All of the wood used in construction was certified to FSC standards. The restrooms at the...

Risk Management

Consider the possibility that green building certification could provide some measure of protection against future lawsuits through third-party verification of measures installed to protect indoor air quality, beyond just meeting code-required minimums. *Capital E Consultants online , accessed March 6, 2007. Gregory Kats, Financial Costs and Benefits of Green Buildings, online www.cap-e.com. (This section is not intended to give you legal advice please consult with your own attorney regarding...

Increased Building Value

Increased annual energy savings also create higher building values. Imagine a building that saves 72,000 per year in energy costs versus a comparable building built to code (this savings might result from saving only 0.90 per year per square foot for an 80,000-square-foot building). At capitalization rates of 6 percent, typical today in commercial real estate, green building upgrades would add 1,200,000 ( 15 per square foot) to the value of the building. For a small upfront investment, an owner...

Reduced Maintenance Costs

More than 120 studies have documented that a properly commissioned building shows additional energy cost savings of 10 percent to 15 percent. These buildings also tend to be much easier to operate and maintain.* By conducting comprehensive functional testing of all energy-using systems before occupancy, it's often possible to have a smoother-running building for years because potential problems are fixed in advance. A recent review of these studies by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory...

Reduced Operating Costs

With the real price of oil likely to stay above 80 to 100 per barrel (in today's dollars) for the forseeable future,* natural gas prices at near-record levels, and peak-period (typically summer air-conditioning times) electricity prices rising steadily in many metropolitan areas, energy-efficient buildings make good business sense. Even in commercial triple-net leases (the most common type) in which the tenant pays all operating costs, landlords want to offer tenants the most economical space...

Benefits That Build a Business Case

The business case for green development is based on a framework of benefits economic, financial, productivity, risk management, public relations and marketing, and funding.* Many people also describe these benefits in terms of the Triple Bottom Line, with such names as People, Planet, and Profits. The key issue here is that the benefits will vary by type of ownership, type of use, level of investment and similar drivers. It's very important, in my view, for building team members to become as...

The Armory Portland Center Stage Portland Oregon

Occupied by the Portland Center Stage Theater Company, the Bob and Diana Gerding Theater at the Armory is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Originally built in 1889 for the Oregon National Guard, the building's 55,000-square-feet, 36 million renovation was completed in September 2006. Chilled beams are the primary cooling system (chilled water comes from a nearby district cooling plant), and high-efficiency gas-fired condensing boilers provide the building's heating needs. The...

To Green Buildings

Still, there are barriers to the widespread adoption of green building techniques, technologies, and systems, some of them related to real-life experience and the rest to perception in the building industry that green buildings still add extra cost. This is surprising because senior executives representing architectural engineering firms, consultants, developers, building owners, corporate owner-occupants, and educational institutions have held positive attitudes about the benefits and costs of...

What Needs to Happen

What are the obvious fixes for the situation where most LEED-registered projects don't get certified After all, if the USGBC's mission is to transform the building industry, the first step in completing the assignment is to make sure that those projects which start the journey actually get to the end of the road. To get a better handle on what can be done, we interviewed several experienced LEED project management consultants around the country. Here are some of the fixes they recommended 1...

Leed For Existing Buildings

LEED-EB has been one of the slower programs to get going, because it involves benchmarking facility management and operations practices, often requiring a company to spend 50,000 or more (for internal labor or consultants) for the LEED effort as well as a few hundred thousand dollars for the upgrades required for certification in most cases. To date, less than 10 percent of registered projects (counting both the pilot version and the version 2.0, which has been around since November 2004) have...

Leed For Commercial Interiors

LEED-CI represents a wholly different situation, with an average size of only 50,000 square feet (one or two floors of an office building) and a quick project turnaround time. Most remodeling and tenant improvement projects happen quite fast, so that a decision to pursue LEED-CI must be made at or near the outset of a project. In that case, one expects the client and the design team to be committed to the end results. However, a countervailing factor is that the average project cost is less...

Leed For Core And Shell

First, LEED for Core and Shell is primarily used in the commercial speculative office market,* typically by large and fairly sophisticated developers second, by using a LEED pre-certification for marketing purposes, a developer is pretty much locked in by tenant expectations and lease provisions to producing a project certification at the end of the project, so one would expect the percentages to be higher. Because these projects tend to be quite a bit larger than the typical LEED-NC project...

Fewer Higher Level Certifications

Another indicator of system difficulty is that the percentage of projects receiving basic Gold and Platinum ratings actually decreased from LEED-NC version 2.0 to version 2.1. (There are still too few data on LEED version 2.2 certifications to see if this trend is reversing.) This may mean two things one is that more teams are completing their first project and haven't built the skill level to get to the higher levels of certification however, it may also be that the costs of certification at...

The Charrette Process

Most observers agree that the key to the charrette process first involves listening, then participating creatively. The key to charrette facilitation is to create different avenues for participation, so that the group benefits from everyone's contribution (Fig. 4.1). Dan Heinfeld, president of LPA, Inc., a leading architecture firm, says t Part of the charrette process lies in knowing that a good idea can come from anyplace. You have to be willing to accept that. It doesn't matter where the...

New Trend The Integrated Office

It appears that some architects have decided that the best way to deliver integrated design is to have an integrated design team within the same office. While there are a large number of A E (architect engineer) and E A (engineer architect) offices among larger companies,* there appears to be a trend among a few firms to bring the key building designers all under one roof architects and interior designers, structural and mechanical engineers, and landscape architects. California's LPA, Inc. is...

In Integrated Design

No discussion of integrated design would be complete without examining the contractor's role in the process, especially since many high-performance projects are design build or design assist projects in which the contractor is engaged right from the beginning, at the very least to provide pricing and constructability reviews as the design is evolving. It's hard to overstate the importance of the contractor's role in an integrated design process. After all, in most projects, they coordinate the...

Integrated Design in Practice An Architects Experience

Now that we've heard from the engineers, let's take a look at how some leading architectural practitioners of integrated design approach this task. Stephen Kieran is a principal at Kieran Timberlake Associates in Philadelphia. His firm worked on the new *Geoff McDonnell, personal communication, April 26, 2008. 'Canada Green Building Council online , accessed April 2008. Sculpture Building and Gallery at Yale University. Kieran describes how they went about creating an integrated design...

Integrated Design from the Engineers Perspective

Geoff McDonnell is a mechanical engineer in British Columbia. Here's how he describes the integrated design process, from an engineer's viewpoint.* You can see that the integrated design process can get fairly intricate in a hurry. The real key is that everyone is engaged early as a team, goes off and does their specialized work of analysis and design, then gets back together and tests their ideas against the larger *Sally Wilson, CBRE, Interview, February 2008. Personal communication, Geoff...

Leed Certification Level

Level of LEED certification sought is clearly an issue. As you move to higher levels of LEED certification, even with an integrated design process, you are likely to add higher cost elements such as green roofs, photovoltaics, and certified wood products. You are also likely to want a larger number of studies in the design phase, including natural ventilation analyses, computational fluid dynamic studies, more frequent energy modeling, and the like. In some cases, nonetheless, we have examples...

High Performance on a Budget

A large developer-driven, build-to-suit project in Portland, Oregon, the Oregon Health & Science University's Center for Health and Healing, occupied in the fourth quarter of 2006, exposed flaws in the notion that dramatically higher levels of performance must always lead to significantly higher capital costs. The 412,000-square-feet, 16-story, 145 million project received a LEED Platinum rating early in 2007, the largest project in the world thus far to achieve this rating. The developer...

Tax Benefits And Incentives

More than 600 incentive programs for renewable energy and energy efficiency are offered by all levels of government.* Some states offer tax benefits for green buildings. Oregon and New York offer state tax credits. New York's tax credit allows builders who meet energy goals and use environmentally preferable materials to claim credits *Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, The Cost-Effectiveness of Commercial-Buildings Commissioning, 2004 online , accessed April 2008. This research reviewed...

Occupancy and Operations

Too often overlooked in the daunting task of getting a project built is how it will be operated over its lifetime. Recent USGBC studies demonstrate that LEED-certified buildings are in fact getting about 30 percent average energy savings as predicted by computer models. However, the studies also found a wide variation in individual outcomes, suggesting that individual buildings operations are critical in achieving desired results.* Here are a few key questions you need to ask that will optimize...

Team Structure

One would expect that the more consultants there are on a team, the higher the design costs, since coordination will be an issue, as will the need to pay for expertise. Large numbers of consultants are typical on more complex projects such as performing arts centers, laboratories, and similarly complex buildings. Where an architect has an engineering function in house or where there are fewer consultants, there's an opportunity to save on design costs. However, a key element in team structure...

High Performance Building Characteristics

Let's get more specific about what we actually mean by the term green building or high-performance building. A green building is one that considers and then reduces its impact on the environment and human health. A green building uses considerably less energy and water than a conventional building, has fewer site impacts and generally higher levels of indoor air quality. It also accounts for some measure of the life-cycle impact of building materials, furniture and furnishings. These benefits...

The Davis Langdon Cost Studies

We gave an example earlier in this chapter of the Davis Langdon project cost study. In 2004, the firm's first LEED cost study offered strong evidence, based on 94 different building projects of vastly different types, that the most important determinant of project cost is not the level of LEED certification sought, but rather other more conventional issues such as the building program goals, type of construction, and the local construction economy. In this study, the authors concluded that...

The LEED Rating Systems

LEED rates all buildings across five major categories of concern, using key environmental attributes in each category. LEED collects and incorporates a wide variety of best practices across many disciplines including architecture, engineering, interior design, landscape architecture, and construction. It is a mixture of performance standards (e.g., save 20 percent of the energy use of a typical building) and prescriptive standards (e.g., use paints with less than 50 grams per liter of volatile...

Overcoming Barriers To Green Buildings

Some of the barriers to green building performance have little to do with cost and a lot to do with how engineers and architects have become accustomed to working with each other, much like brothers and sisters in the same family who want nothing to do with each other during adolescence, but who become good friends later in life. Dan Nall is senior vice president of Flack Kurtz, one of the leading building engineering firms in the United States. Here's his take on the situation. Engineers don't...

Inland Empire Utilities Agency Chino California

The Inland Empire Utilities Agency headquarters in Chino, California was a two building project with a total of 66,000 square feet. Total project cost was 7.5 million. The construction cost for the two buildings at 154 per square foot, was far below the industry standard of 180 to 294 for comparable buildings at that time. The agency expects to save 800,000 in energy savings annually. A roof-mounted photovoltaic system is expected to produce more than 100,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per...

Sustainable Sites Credit Heat Island Effect Roof

In mitigating the urban heat island effect, two obvious solutions are to design a LEED-compliant, high-emissive reflective roof or to install a green roof. Both alternatives have an up-front design and installation cost Table 8.3 , but the reflective roof achieves payback in the fifth year, while we have to wait until the ninth year to get a return on the green roof investment Fig. 8.2 . But, we may not want Cumulative cash flow SS Credit 8.2 Heat Island Effect. Paul Shahriari, Cumulative cash...

Added Design Fees

Of course, building owners and developers don't want to pay higher design fees than they need to, but a standard approach is to select an architect for a high-performance project, then negotiate fees. This puts the owner at a disadvantage in fee negotiations, unless there are strong team-building activities and other methods early in design to reduce perceived risk by the architect. When selecting a starchitect star architect , the owner is committing to higher design fees to get a high-design...

High Performance Laboratory Project

Let's look at another challenging LEED Platinum project, a high-altitude 6300 feet 1910 meters laboratory, a joint venture project between Sierra Nevada College, the University of California, Davis, the Desert Research Institute, and the University of Nevada, Reno. The Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences is a 45,000-square-feet lab and classroom building. Todd Lankenau was the principal in charge and project architect for the architectural firm, Collaborative Design Studio and Peter Rumsey...

The Recipe For Success In Highperformance Projects

Throughout this book, I'll be showing you examples of high-performance projects, generally LEED Platinum level achievements and telling you how the participants worked together to achieve these outcomes. In this chapter, I'll show examples from several projects and draw some general conclusions from the experiences of architects, owners, engineers, and contractors. The bottom line it's very difficult to achieve high-level outcomes without some form of integrated design process. A leading...

Preface

I started this book with one important question in mind how can building teams design, build, and operate commercial and institutional projects that are truly green In particular, how can we deliver buildings that will save at least 50 percent of energy use against standard buildings, that is, those built just to meet local building code and energy code requirements In my experience, the building design and construction industry is not sufficiently equipped to achieve these goals in most...

Bidding and Negotiation

Bidding and negotiation is an overlooked aspect of sustainable design projects during this phase, building owners, developers and design teams have to work with contractors to achieve overall sustainable objectives, within the context of the project budget and the ease of construction. Often, in a public bid situation more than a third of all LEED-NC projects are for public agencies , it's a good idea to devote a specific amount of time at pre-bid conferences to the LEED project requirements,...

Programming

In the programming phase, the amount of space and various uses for the individual users of the building are specified in enough detail for the designers to begin to place them within the physical structure. At this time, it's useful to pay attention to the energy and demand natural ventilation implications of space utilization in the building. Programming also specifies adjacencies, uses that need to be put close together. These decisions are often dictated by a client's organizational...

Construction

I have found it useful on LEED projects to make sure that the construction process starts with a full explanation of the LEED goals and specifically which LEED credits the construction team is charged with achieving. If the construction documents were prepared properly, all of these requirements should have been in the General Conditions, Division 1 specifications. However, it's not generally the case that everyone reads all the specifications. That's why actively managing the construction...