Tag Archives: LEED

Benchmarking Emerges

Green Building

Benchmarking Emerges

As energy and water performance mandates are adopted in cities, concerned suburban and rural communities can progress benchmarking at the grassroots level. Originally published in the March 2013 issue of Environmental Design + Construction (EDC) magazine. On September 4, 2012, New York City publicly posted the 2011 energy and water benchmarking results for more than 2,000 nonresidential properties covered under the benchmarking ordinance (Local Law 84), making it the first major city in the U.S. to release this kind of information. Closely….

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Retracing the Steps of an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)

Green Building

Retracing the Steps of an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)

Interface Modular® Carpet Tile with GlasBac® Backing & Solution Dyed Type 6 Nylon. Source: Interface Environmental Product Declarations (or EPDs) are a hot topic right now in the green building industry. The issue of building product transparency is reaching critical mass, and thanks to LEED v4 there is no reason to believe interest will wane any time soon. Explanation of an EPD (in 60 words or less): An EPD is a standardized way of quantifying the environmental impact of a product. They….

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Methodologies for Glare Analysis

Green Building

Methodologies for Glare Analysis

Any complete analysis of a daylit interior environment should include both the amount of light arriving to specified surfaces (such as work planes) as well as an assessment of the visual comfort of the space. Both of these factors are dynamic. Thus, they will change throughout any given time period (e.g., hour, day, week, month, season). The former can be quantified in a rather straightforward sense because it’s just physics. There is a specific amount of lumens entering a space and the characteristics of….

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In Order to Become Leaders in Energy Modeling, Architects Need to be Building Science Experts

Green Building

In Order to Become Leaders in Energy Modeling, Architects Need to be Building Science Experts

In a marketplace increasingly attuned to high-performance strategies, design teams and clients alike are becoming ever savvier with regard to building science. Consequently, there is a growing expectation that architects exhibit the tools and technical knowledge to go beyond design rules-of-thumb and actually test conceptual notions, compare the performance design options, and refine chosen strategies. This can be accomplished through schematic-level energy modeling. This kind of energy modeling is simplified through basic forms, generalizations, and gross approximations, which makes it….

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Navigating the “Red Lists”

Green Building

Navigating the “Red Lists”

It has been 50 years since Rachel Carson published Silent Spring. I recently took the time to read Carson’s seminal work (available through iTunes here), which outlines the environmental and human health costs of using pesticides, insecticides, and other chemical applications, and was struck by the relevance of the message. The green building movement is approaching a crossroads with the building product industry. A vast range of materials ranging from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) based products, to mercury thermometers, lead solders and roofing materials, and certain….

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LEED 2009 vs LEED v4 Credit Comparison Flowcharts

Green Building

LEED 2009 vs LEED v4 Credit Comparison Flowcharts

When the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo convenes in San Francisco later this month, much of the focus of the educational sessions will be on the concepts and strategies embodied by the upcoming LEED v4. While there has certainly not been a shortage of outstanding LEED-related resources, technical revisions, exaggerated speculations, gross misconceptions, and mainstream media hoopla deployed in recent months, I have found it difficult to locate a distilled, clarified explanation of how the current version of of the rating system – LEED 2009 –….

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Using Plants to Naturally Improve Indoor Environmental Quality

Green Building

Using Plants to Naturally Improve Indoor Environmental Quality

Indoor environmental quality is typically the beginning and end of any holistic discussion about “green” building interiors. Human health is paramount and, generally speaking, both designers and clients understand that many building materials off-gas toxic compounds. Indeed, that “new building” smell we’ve all become conditioned to associate with a fresh, new facility is actually your body’s sensory response to the intake of toxic microscopic particulates. Common toxins found in building interiors include: Trichloroethylene – typically found in varnishes, paints, and….

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Defining the HERS Index

Green Building

Defining the HERS Index

The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index was established by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET), a California-based nonprofit, in 2006. In simple terms, the HERS Index compares a new home to a “reference home” of identical size that meets the minimum requirements of the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). To calculate a home’s HERS Index, a rater inputs data about the house into one of four RESNET-accredited software programs. The reference home built to the minimum 2006 IECC requirements gets a score of….

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Study: Growing Focus on Energy Efficiency in 2011

Green Building

Study: Growing Focus on Energy Efficiency in 2011

According to a new white paper published by Pike Research, energy efficiency will become a growing focus in the building design and construction industry in 2011. Despite a global recession that has correlated into a lack of new construction projects, energy efficient retrofits continued to grow this past year and a multitude of factors will continue to influence the direction of building efficiency efforts domestically and internationally. Amidst a complex mix of contributing factors, Pike Research cataloged the various influences….

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USGBC Announces “LEED Automation”

Green Building

USGBC Announces “LEED Automation”

Two weeks ago at Greenbuild, USGBC made a very interesting announcement regarding an upcoming development to LEED Online. In collaboration with various leading technology companies, USGBC has developed a new program aimed at streamlining and creating capacity for the LEED building certification process. The program, referred to as “LEED Automation,” was explained as being similar to an app in the way it will serve project teams. According to USGBC, by integrating third-party applications with LEED Online, LEED Automation will serve….

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