All posts by Daniel Overbey

LEED 2012 Third Public Comment Now Open

Green Building

LEED 2012 Third Public Comment Now Open

Last week, USGBC announced the opening of the third public comment period for LEED 2012 via usgbc.org/leed2012. The comment period is open until March 20, 2012, and officially marks the beginning of the LEED 2012 program delivery process. This third draft of LEED 2012 – for which there are five seperate versions of the rating system – is focused on providing users with a globally applicable, simple-to-use, technically advanced system. The public can provide comments on any substantive changes made since the….

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Dawn of the Product Transparency Movement

Green Building

Dawn of the Product Transparency Movement

My passion for green building dates back 10 years. It was in 2002 when I first read Cradle-to-Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by architect William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart. As a young, impressionable architecture student at Ball State University, I found this book to be a major eye-opener. It was truly my “aha” moment. The ideological concepts defined by this book – such as eliminating the concept of waste (e.g., “waste equals food”) – were deeply moving….

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BIM Proving Instrumental for International Orangutan Center

Green Building

BIM Proving Instrumental for International Orangutan Center

Today, the Indianapolis Zoo officially unveiled the International Orangutan Center (IOC). There are plenty of great write-ups from the Indy media that describes the generalities of the project. For instance, here is an article from the Indianapolis Business Journal. There are various noteworthy “green” aspects to this project. Foremost of which is the core mission of the IOC – to provide a global center for orangutan awareness. In the past 100 years, the orangutan population has decreased by approximately 92% due to deforestation….

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Why Autodesk Killed Ecotect

Green Building

Why Autodesk Killed Ecotect

A large part of my job has always been energy modeling for new construction projects – especially LEED projects. I use the term “energy model” loosely because it encompasses so many different types of analysis (e.g. daylighting, electric lighting, thermal loads, energy performance, acoustical performance, water consumption, wind flow analysis). Specific inquiries will dictate what tools I may use for analysis (e.g. Radiance for daylighting, eQuest for energy performance). The project’s level of design development will also influence the depth….

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Rise of the Living Building Challenge

Green Building

Rise of the Living Building Challenge

It is the eve of this year’s Greenbuild Expo and one of the hot topics already making waves is the handful of recent projects that have been certified under the Living Building Challenge (LBC). The Living Building Challenge was authored by Toronto-native Jason F. McLennan, CEO of the Cascadia Green Building Council and founder of the Seattle-based International Living Future Institute (ILFI). For those who criticize the LEED rating system for not going far enough with building performance metrics, consider the increased stringency required by the….

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USGBC Leveraging GIS Overlays for LEED 2012 Regional Priority Credits

Green Building

USGBC Leveraging GIS Overlays for LEED 2012 Regional Priority Credits

It has been over 40 years since Ian McHarg first published his seminal publication on the effectiveness of using overlay maps to evaluate of the social and environmental costs of land use change. Yet, the influence of Design With Nature seems to be as evident now as ever. . The next iteration of LEED, scheduled to launch late next year, will introduce a completely reorganized system of identifying RPCs for projects seeking LEED certification. . In the current system, RPCs….

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LEED AP Legacy Status to be Inactive with Launch of LEED 2012

Green Building

LEED AP Legacy Status to be Inactive with Launch of LEED 2012

The second public comment period for LEED 2012 is officially open. As I am involved with the LEED 2012 Regionalization Indiana Chapter Task Force, I have attempted familiarized myself with the various drafts (18 variations of LEED in 5 basic categories by my latest count). There are plenty of great summaries of the significant changes coming to the LEED rating system in the 2012 edition. No need to rehash such issues here. One interesting issue I have taken note of,….

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Putting Energy Subsidies in Context

Green Building

Putting Energy Subsidies in Context

Recently, I came across an editorial for an online magazine in which the author took umbrage with the disparity in the amount of federal subsidies provided for renewable energy compared to fossil fuels. The author cited this recent study by the Environmental Law Institute, a nonpartisan research and policy organization. The ELI study concluded that between 2002 and 2008 federal subsidies provided for renewable energy topped off at $29.0 billion; while those provided for fossil fuels amounted to $72.5 billion….

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Toward Net-Zero Energy

Green Building

Toward Net-Zero Energy

While ongoing development of codes, legislation. and green building rating systems continue to raise the ante on the market’s expectations for high-performance building projects, net-zero energy buildings still remain elusive – especially in the private sector. There are several reasons for this, but the primary hurdle is the economic viability of systems for on-site renewable energy production (e.g. solar panels, on-site wind turbines, and so on). To explain the current economics of solar panels in terms that I feel are….

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How to Properly Discard Compact Fluorescent Lamps and Other Items

Green Building

How to Properly Discard Compact Fluorescent Lamps and Other Items

I just came across an interesting piece on Grist that points out that only about 2% of Americans recycle compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). Replacing incandescents with CFLs is a common trend in the world of household energy-efficiency. But all florescent lights contain mercury – which is a very harmful neurotoxin. If CFLs are tossed in the trash, they end up in the landfill and mercury will eventually work its way into the environment. In fact, as a result of discarded….

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