All posts by Daniel Overbey

When Will LEED v2.2 and 2009 Expire?

Green Building

When Will LEED v2.2 and 2009 Expire?

This column was updated on November 19, 2014 (it was first published on October 13th, 2013). Out with the old, in with the new. With the rollout of LEED v4 currently underway, LEED project teams should be mindful of the LEED-NC v2.2 and 2009 sunset dates. As every new version of LEED launches, USGBC initiates a process to phase out the previous version of the rating system. This process begins by establishing a date for closing registration. After the registration closure date,….

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Every Energy Model Is Wrong – And Here Is Why They Are Indispensable

Green Building

Every Energy Model Is Wrong – And Here Is Why They Are Indispensable

LEED has taken some heat for buildings that do not perform as they were modeled, yet energy modeling is an essential tool for any high-performance building project. Originally published in the August 2014 issue of Environmental Design + Construction (EDC) magazine. Recently, LEED has come under fire for accounts of certified buildings not performing as well as their energy models predicted. Frequently mentioned amongst the antagonistic “gotcha” coverage is an out-of-context 2007 quote by the USGBC Research Committee acknowledging: “Buildings….

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Community Connection

Green Building

Community Connection

Photograph property of Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf Architects Case Study: Lincoln Heritage Public Library Chrisney Branch Originally published in the Summer 2014 issue of High Performance Buildings (HPB) magazine, a publication of ASHRAE. By Daniel J. Overbey, AIA; and William M. Brown, AIA For the people of Chrisney, Ind., opportunity for social and economic investment has not been knocking. This community of fewer than 500 has been in a gradual economic decline over the past several decades. Having already lost….

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Using Renewable Energy in LEED v4

Green Building

Using Renewable Energy in LEED v4

Energy efficiency is the starting point for any high-performance building. After reducing overall energy needs through building-related energy conservation measures, the next step is to invest in passive systems and high-efficiency HVAC systems. Smart controls can help a building operate even more efficiently. But in the end, there will always be a need to purchase or create energy for the building. On-site generation of renewable energy or the purchase of green power allows buildings to source the remaining energy needs without….

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Visualizing “Seasonal Lag” Effect

Green Building

Visualizing “Seasonal Lag” Effect

  I recently completed teaching a unit on the topic of solar geometry. Among the various facets of the subject matter, I talked to the class at length about the Earth’s orbit around the Sun (which, evidently, is a revelation to 1/4 of American population), the northern hemisphere’s 23.5° tilt toward and away from the Sun during the summer and winter, respectively, and how the distribution of radiant flux is affected by the relative tilt of the Earth’s surface at a….

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Efficiency: Toward Net-Zero Energy (VoiceThread Presentation)

Green Building

Efficiency: Toward Net-Zero Energy (VoiceThread Presentation)

  Four years ago, I co-authored a white paper with my colleague Nick Worden at Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf (BDMD) Architects and William Brown, currently the Director of Sustainability at Indiana University. The white paper was published at 2010 International High Performance Buildings Conference at Purdue University and it presented a full-year of energy consumption and on-site renewable energy production data for the Chrisney Library (a branch of the Lincoln Heritage Public Library), verifying the project as the first non-residential net-zero (site) energy facility in Indiana….

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Creating U.S. Climate Data

Green Building

Creating U.S. Climate Data

  A cornerstone of design performance and energy modeling is access to relevant climate data. Climate data is the basis for the climatological conditions a structure will be subjected to during a computational analysis. Intuitively, we understand the broadly generalized differences between locations like Phoenix versus Minneapolis. However, a computer program needs more than intuition, it needs data.   Climate data defined In the most simple terms, the climate data files accessed by energy modeling programs contain annual, monthly, daily, and even….

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Technically, Heat Does Not Rise

Green Building

Technically, Heat Does Not Rise

© Kumiko Murakami Campos   Heat rises. The adage is one of the cornerstones of passive environmental systems in buildings. The typical anecdote is the hot-air balloon. By using a burner to thrust heated air into the (typically) nylon envelope, the balloon fills with less buoyant gas that lifts the it and its passenger(s) into the air. But what if I told you that this oversimplified statement actually misrepresents the characteristics of heat? The truth is – technically, heat does not rise…..

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Localizing LEED

Green Building

Localizing LEED

In search of greater responsiveness to local priorities, the process for identifying Regional Priority Credits is recalibrated for LEED v4. Originally published in the November 2013 issue of Environmental Design + Construction (EDC) magazine. One common criticism of LEED has always been the notion of taking a “one-size-fits-all” rating system and applying it to the entire building sector. If all sustainability is local, then surely LEED needed to respond to geographically distinct regional priority issues. LEED 2009 addressed this criticism….

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Is acoustical comfort a green building issue?

Green Building

Is acoustical comfort a green building issue?

Originally published on September 12, 2013 by IDO Incorporated. The term indoor environmental quality (IEQ) is very broad in scope. The design and construction profession commonly lumps four key topics under this umbrella terms: 1. Indoor air quality: To ensure that occupiable indoor air volumes are relatively free of contaminants and do not threaten human health or building damage functions. 2. Thermal comfort: To ensure that indoor environments can be properly managed to achieve and maintain rates of ambient air temperature,….

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