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LEED-EB final1

LEED-EB final1

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Published by John Fulmer

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Published by: John Fulmer on Sep 03, 2009
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John Fulmer East Mill Street Studio313 Hardwick PlaceJoppa, Md. 21085410.510.7513814.512.1482 cell814.975.1144 fax
LEED Revisions
After hearing grumblings that the LEED-EB (Existing Buildings) rating system was toocostly and complicated, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) tweaked the guidelines andannounced the revisions in New Orleans on Oct. 25.The USGBC heard more than 650 suggestions from architects, contractors and facilitymanagers, among others, during the first public comment period held from Aug. 2 to Sept. 2. Asecond, two-week comment period ended in October.Doug Gatlin, USGBC’s national accounts director made the announcement. The USGBCwas a big presence at the International Facility Manager Association’s “World Workplace”convention held in New Orleans that week. The USGBC also held its Greenbuild 2007conference soon after in Chicago.Today’s Facilty Manager reported Gatlin said the rating system underwent a number of changes “to streamline documentation and make it even more relevant to building operations.”The revisions to LEED-EB 2.0 will be voted on by USGBC members in a balloting process thatlasts for 30 days after the announcement.Teresa Sweek, an engineering consultant and LEED AP with Paladino, a Seattle contractor,was part of a panel that spoke on LEED-EB at Greenbuild. Though hesitant to endorse therevisions before the vote, Seewk said she was pleased with what she had seen. LEED-EB is still ahard sell and, during the question-and-answer period held after the panel spoke, many attendees
questioned the cost-effectiveness of LEED-EB’s intricate documentation process when they couldaim for simpler, informal sustainability goals.But Sweek said the revisions have completely revamped the process.“One thing you can say is that we had a LEED-EB scorecard that was based on the existing program, and we looked at the pilot that came out and made a scorecard for that. We changedalmost every single line item,” she said. “My personal opinion is that it’s n improvement. It’sreally exciting. If you’ve gone through the current EB process, looking at the new one will be adifferent approach.”LEED-EB v.2008, as it’s now called, is designed to eliminate certain program prerequisitesand intersects with LEED for New Construction (NC), clear up some fuzzy language, and putmore stress on facilities operations, building commissioning, and maintenance. More emphasiswas placed on green cleaning, which was given a single category.The revisions should help cut red tape. For example, to score commuting points in the current process, owners have to log on-site bike racks, car-pool numbers, and the site’s ease of access to public transit. The revisions require only the ratio of one-car commuters to those who use publicor alternate transportation.Energy and water standards were also targeted for updates, including doubling the points for energy efficiency in EA Credit 1. Brand-new credits were introduced for energy best practices.Points for water efficiency were also doubled and credits for water metering and cooling-tower water efficiency were also introduced. LEED-ED v.2008 updated references to the latest versionsof third-party standards, such as ASHRAE 62 and 55, the Uniform Plumbing Code, and GreenSeal.Since existing buildings make up more than 90 percent of the country’s building stock, therevisions are seen as another important step in the greening of America. The USGBC initiatedLEED-EB in 2001 and, after its development phase and first public comment periods, the program was activated in 2004. However, following its revision of LEED-NC standards in 2005,

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