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Team LEED University of South Florida
Professional Writing Dr. Francis Tobienne ENC3250.791B11 August 5th, 2011 Jay Boda - Project Lead Daniela Hartmann - Editor Novia Leverentz - Executive Summary Writer Michelle Nguyen - Interviewer Samya Thangara - Researcher
USF LEEDING the Way
Table of Contents
Executive Summary ------------------------------------------------------------------------3 Introduction: The Path to LEED --------------------------------------------------------- 5 Green AND Gold --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 5 USF LEEDing the Way ------------------------------------------------------------------- 7 Pros & Cons of LEED Certification ---------------------------------------------------- 8 Pros & Cons of Building with LEED Standards (Without Certification) --------- 10 Building Costs Attributed to LEED ---------------------------------------------------- 11 LEED Standards That Raise Building Costs ------------------------------------------ 13 Arguments Against LEED Certification --------------------------------------------- 13 Benefits of LEED Buildings ------------------------------------------------------------ 15 USF and Going Green: An Interview -------------------------------------------------- 16 Conclusion: Should USF LEED? ------------------------------------------------------ 19 Works Cited ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 20 Annotated Bibliography ----------------------------------------------------------------- 22
Going green. Everyone‘s doing it seems. The University of South Florida (USF) is no exception. USF President Genshaft signed the American College and University President‘s Climate Commitment in April 2008 putting USF on the path to a greener, more sustainable future. Beyond changing light bulbs and locking down thermostats, USF has embraced a specific building design ethic: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). But do the costs to be LEED-certified translate into long-term cost savings to the university? USF‘s green initiatives go above and beyond many universities. These initiatives have attracted attention as well as earned the university many awards. The school has institutional programs led by the Office of Sustainability as well as student groups leading the way in creating a more eco-friendly and cost-effective campus. These efforts contributed to USF being one of a handful of universities nationwide bestowed an institutional ―gold‖ rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, the nation‘s leading advocacy group for the green campus movement. ―The gold STARS rating USF received proves that we are truly ‗green‘ and gold,‖ said E. Christian Wells, Director of USF‘s Office of Sustainability. Of course, this commitment to going green includes the decision to build new campus buildings to LEED specifications. The origins of LEED come from the Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization, United States Green Building Council (USGBC). They set internationally recognized green building design and sustainability standards. Building owners can go beyond building these standards and actually be LEED-certified at various levels depending on the amount of LEEDstandards adhered to during the construction phase of the building. These costs typically vary between 3.1 to 11-percent of a building‘s total cost – sometimes even up to 30 percent.
LEED promotes a holistic building approach to sustainability and recognizes performance in several areas: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy & atmosphere, materials & resources, indoor environmental quality, locations & linkages, awareness & education, innovation in design, and regional priority. Becoming certified is that LEED has its pros and cons. A pro is to be recognized with a LEED plaque, which provides an institution an excellent reputation for being environmentally friendly. On the other hand, LEED certification can be looked up as pointless to those who are more concerned about the actual environmental impact that their project makes. There are alternatives to being LEED-certified. Other green building standards exist. Designers can even build to LEED standards and forego the costs to be certified. The energy savings and sustainability effort is the same, however, skipping the certification can save a lot of money. Depending on the building‘s size it can be between $2000 up to $24,000 just by eliminating the accreditation fees. There is no argument whether it‘s appropriate for USF to ―go green.‖ However, it‘s prudent in these days of constrained budgets and cuts in funding to public universities to reconsider whether it‘s wise to spend precious building dollars on certifications that may be in vogue today, but may not be tomorrow.
Introduction: The Path to LEED
Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) is a competitive certification with a given set of standards. Often, there is controversy as to whether it is beneficial to invest in LEED or not. The University of South Florida (USF) is one of the many organizations that is equipped for this debate with some of the new and existing buildings on its various campuses. There are many factors to take into consideration when evaluating the importance of LEED certification. Some of these factors include comparing the potential energy efficiencies and cost savings between LEED and non-LEED buildings, the associated costs to be labeled and remain LEED certified, student involvement at USF campuses related to going green, the rationale for green building initiatives that have and have not chosen to be LEED certified, and the pros and cons of being LEED certified versus simply building to LEED standards. It‘s important to consider these various areas when deciding whether or not to invest in LEED standards and certification.
Green AND Gold
Despite it‘s green programs being relatively young, USF‘s green initiatives go above and beyond many universities. These initiatives have attracted attention as well as earned the university many awards. The school has institutional programs led by the Office of Sustainability as well as student groups leading the way in creating a more eco-friendly and cost-effective campus.
The university is currently working towards building or retrofitting several buildings to be LEED certified across it‘s multi-campus system including: the Dr. Kiran C. Patel Center for Global Solutions, Tampa Campus; Science and Technology Building, St. Petersburg Campus; USF Polytechnic Phase I, Lakeland Campus (in design); and Wellness and Nutrition Center. USF leverages existing building character and cutting-edge smart design to achieve sustainable buildings for its future. Concrete is used for new construction as well as locallyprocured stucco and brick masonry. Older buildings already using exposed concrete frames and brick infill are low maintenance and create a distinct architectural flavor. Interior design elements such as stained concrete floors and unpainted brick, metal, and concrete walls also save dollars in out-year costs (UOS). The university looks high and low for sustainability opportunities. Roofs are being upgraded with higher insulation materials as well as high reflectivity surfaces. At least 15 roofs have been replaced in the past three years. New buildings also utilize dual-plumbing systems to harvest rainwater for use in building toilets and urinals. All buildings are being fit with lowflow and motion-sensing water fixtures to further minimize the impact on the sensitive Florida aquifer (UOS). These efforts contributed to USF being one of a handful of universities nationwide bestowed an institutional ―gold‖ rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, the nation‘s leading advocacy group for the green campus movement. USF only joined the rating program in 2010 and 2011‘s assessment, which was its
“While the Office of Sustainability is only 500 days old, we‟ve managed to address most of the easy targets, like increasing recycling and changing the light bulbs. Now we need to focus on the bigger picture, what a sustainable campus should look like over the longer term.” E. Christian Wells, Director of USF‘s Office of Sustainability
first submission. ―The gold STARS rating USF received proves that we are truly ‗green‘ and gold,‖ said E. Christian Wells, Director of USF‘s Office of Sustainability (Maddux Press). The university also scored high marks in areas of research as well as faculty and student involvement. Of the 54 academic departments on the Tampa campus, 38 have faculty members actively involved in sustainability research. Additionally, USF‘s past shows an upward trend in green activity. USF hosted the 2009 statewide Campus and Community Sustainability Conference; in 2010 launch of the School of Global Sustainability, and in 2011 opening of USF‘s first fully-constructed green building; known as the Patel Center for Global Solutions (Maddux).
USF LEEDing the Way
Beyond low-flow toilets and motion-sensor light switches, the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) takes going green to an entirely new level. LEED is literally becoming the ―platinum‖ standard for green building initiatives. The Washington, D.C.-based USGBC has created an internationally-recognized set of standards for green compliance and certification. They connect 78 local communities, and 16,000 member companies. Each phase of building must be reviewed by one of the 162,000 LEED credentialed professionals. Despite it‘s 501 c3 non-profit status, LEED is not cheap.
According to it‘s website, ―USGBC is the driving force of an industry that is projected to contribute $554 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product from 2009-2013. USGBC leads an unlikely diverse constituency of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofit organizations, elected officials and concerned citizens, and teachers and students‖ (USGBC). LEED promotes a holistic building approach to sustainability and recognizes performance in several areas: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy & atmosphere, materials & resources, indoor environmental quality, locations & linkages, awareness & education, innovation in design, and regional priority (USGBC). All ideas go a long way towards reductions in energy and increasing sustainability of both the building and the natural resources used by the building. However, does it really necessitate the additional costs required for LEED certification to enact these ideas?
Pros & Cons of LEED Certification
LEED certification brings creditability to a green building project. The building is recognized with a LEED plaque, which provides a good reputation of being environmentally friendly. This can be useful if your organization wants a positive public image. Aside from the publicity that LEED certification holds, it also provides measurable
confirmation to the owner that the building is built to certain standards and is not just ―green‖ in the words of the architect. Also reassuring to the owner is that LEED building performance measurements are documented, which helps both the owner and the architect understand the outcomes of their particular design choices. As stated in McGraw-Hill Construction, ―Without LEED requirements for independent review and documentation, there is a tremendous tendency to compromise design intent due to cost or schedule.‖ A higher level of certification is deemed ―Platinum‖ and can be valuable within certain categories of buildings in that it waives certification fees. Given that the fees associated with accreditation are often the biggest drawback, this can be an attractive solution to some. On the contrary, this level of certification can sometimes include more fees and turn out to be an even more costly project. LEED certification can sometimes be an expensive project. It requires accredited professionals that can assist in gaining credits that are essentially free. They also help by generating ideas for saving money in certain areas. These cost-saving methods can pay off by allowing opportunities for greater expenditure in other areas of the environmentally conscious building. In addition to these money saving efforts, a LEED project will have access to additional information to assist with constructing their ―green‖ efforts. This will allow them to make more economically intelligent decisions than those who are not pursuing the certification.
Pros & Cons of Building with LEED Standards (Without Certification)
In the event that an organization chooses not to become LEED certified or is not eligible by the LEED Rating System Checklist, there are also benefits and drawbacks to simply building to LEED standards without the professional accreditation. This can save large amounts of money ranging from $2000 up to $24,000 just by eliminating the accreditation fees. This method is commonly chosen by those who want the environmental benefits of a LEED building, but are not particularly interested in the expenditure that is required for the public image of being LEED certified. The appealing aspect of LEED standards to those who are budgeting is that many of the features of an environmentally friendly building can be paid off immediately by the money that is saved in energy costs. The drawback of this aspect is that it does not take natural human characteristics into consideration. If a building is designed to operate using the sun as a main source of lighting, someone could naturally turn all the lights on, thus eliminating the energy saving method. Another way in which one might rule out LEED certification is through clarification of LEED standards. Despite popular belief of certification producing the most energy efficient buildings, they can actually be accredited as LEED with a simple 14% improvement in energy efficiency. Rather than going through the demanding LEED process, one might simply choose to build to their own ―green‖ standards and achieve higher energy efficiency. An additional disadvantage to LEED is that the credit system can hold too much power. As McGraw-Hill Construction states, ―The design team can become obsessively focused on getting credits, regardless of whether or not they add environmental value‖ (Willson). This implies that the building process can be taken over by the need for the strong public image that
the building process can be taken over by the need for the strong public image that a sizeable amount of credits and a high LEED rating would attain.
Building Costs Attributed to LEED
LEED 2009 certification standards are the most recent version for green building requirements and they consists of a project checklist that has to be satisfied. The percentage of the building‘s construction that will be distributed to LEED certified workers is estimated at 4.5%-11%, and even up to 30% after all steps are completed; this percentage is the extra cost related to LEED certification.
LEED Expenditures: Who Profits and What Are the Benefits?
Cost Elements Soft Costs: Design 0.4% to 0.6% Architect, consulting engineers, LEED consultant or coordinator Commissioning agent, LEED consultant or coordinator Architect, consulting engineers, LEED consultant or coordinator Fees paid to USGBC for administration Energy Modeling 0.1% Consulting engineers, LEED consultant or coordinator None. Demonstrate compliance with certification prerequisite None. Process likely to focus on ―easiest‖ points rather than ―best‖ points from environmental perspective None. Additional level of oversight on design, installation, and operation of building systems None. Paper trail to demonstrate and evaluate compliance with selected criteria Percentage of Construction Costs Paid to: Benefits
0.5% to 1.5%
Documentation and Fees
0.5% to 0.9%
1.5% to 3.1%
Greening Costs: Premium over traditional construction costs to meet selected LEED criteria
3% to 8%
Contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers
Tangible economic benefits through reduced operating and maintenance costs
Non-market benefits from natural resource savings, reduced water and energy consumption, etc.
Theoretical benefits from improved interior environment Total 4.5% to 11%
"LEED: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design." GreenBuildingsolutions.org. American Chemistry Council, 14 Jan. 2011. Web. 27 July 2011.
LEED Standards That Raise Building Costs
LEED does require an enormous amount of standards o be followed, such as: finding a certified LEED builder (not many options available), follow all codes completely, and fulfill the rating system (based upon the amount of green material and energy-efficiency attained). Another aspect that needs to be taken into consideration is the ―soft cost‖, which represents the expenses associated outside of the construction costs. The documentation required for construction tends to be known as the biggest burden throughout the entire process, especially for smaller buildings, because the price varies from $8,000 to $70,000 per project. The price correlates with the LEED team‘s experience in working with green buildings, not the size of the building itself.
Arguments Against LEED Certification
It is dually noted that green conscientious building is of high importance in the modern world, however many individuals are speaking out against LEED and choosing not to become certified. The main reasoning behind their argument is simple: the LEED certification process is expensive and bureaucratic in nature. Many businesses simply cant afford such a steep price tag and instead use the LEED certification process as a mere guide. Others argue against LEED certification because it is not performance based. The point system by which projects obtain their certification does not take into consideration the performance of the equipment over time. Thus, it is contended that the actual energy savings may not pay off. Paul Eldrenkamp, a remodeling contractor who specializes in deep energy retrofitting spoke out against LEED in the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NSEA) forum. Eldrenkamp made the point that the LEED program is understudied for its level of implementation (Prager, 2009). Henry Gifford, co-founder of Architecture and Energy Limited, was a
fellow panelist in the NSEA forum who echoed Eldrenkamp‘s views in his opening statement:
“The first study we heard was in „07, and even before that, it was becoming law. The study came out and said that LEED-rated buildings save 25-30 percent compared to a national database. Well, I did a radical thing. I read the study, and I think there‟s nothing in the study that supports, related to, or even references the conclusion. I think the conclusion was invented and stuck on. They found a 24 percent difference between two numbers; mean energy used by the national database and the median of the LEED buildings. Mean to mean would have shown that LEED did 29 percent higher.” Henry Gifford, co-founder of Architecture and Energy Limited
In his opening statement, Gifford had referred to Newsham et al‘s analysis for the energy consumption data for LEED certified buildings. His argument is supported by John H, Scofield‘s re-analysis of the same data in his paper "Do LEED-certified Buildings save Energy? Not Really…." from the journal Energy and Buildings. In this report, it was found that Newsham et al‘s study did not provide sufficient evidence to support the claim that LEEDcertification lowered energy costs. Furthermore, this article claimed there being no difference in energy savings between LEED certified and noncertified buildings suggesting that the high costs of LEED certification are unnecessary. (Scofield). Without hard data to support claims of energy savings, many individuals have found the LEED certification process to be criminal as demonstrated by the lawsuit Gifford v. USGBC: LEED certification. Henry Gifford and Gifford
Fuel Savings, Inc. filed a class action lawsuit against the USGBC in October of 2010. Using the inaccurate claims of New Buildings Institute study, Gifford alleged that the USBC participated in deceptive trade practices, false advertising, and antitrust activities via the LEED rating system (Stewart). In addition to these claims, Gifford asserts that the USGBC allows for self certification via ―providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings [. . .]‖ To support this, Gifford contended the following facts: LEED certiﬁcation (1) does not require verification of the data submitted in application; (2) does not require actual energy use data at any stage; (3) is not based on actual building performance data, but rather on projected energy use; and (4) the USGBC does not have the staff or experience to evaluate these applications (Stewart). All in all, not becoming LEED certified can be justified. However, the decision to use the certification process is still up to the individual project.
Benefits of LEED Buildings
LEED certified buildings are intended to accomplish the followings:
Energy Cost Savings Emissions Reduction Water & Wastewater Health and learning Indoor air quality
Temperature control High Performance Lighting Lower operating costs Conserve energy and water Reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions
Green buildings use an average of 33% less energy than conventionally designed buildings (KATS). ―Potential energy savings will vary but to meet the LEED prerequisite, the building has to perform better than 10% of ASHRAE 90.1 – 2007 energy standard‖, said Lelia B. Proctor, Director of Facilities Planning & Construction at University of South Florida.
”This important study persuasively demonstrates that it costs little more to build high performance, healthy schools and that there are enormous financial, educational and social benefits to students, schools and society at large.” — Edward J. McElroy, President, American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO
No doubt that Green buildings provide financial benefits that conventional buildings are not able to produce. The financial benefits of LEED certified buildings is $70 more per square foot than conventional buildings. Some green schools are building on the same budget as conventional schools. Some green schools cost no more than conventional design, while several schools cost substantially more. Six out of 30 cost at least 3% more than conventional design while one costs 6.3% more. Typically green schools costs 1% to 2% more, with an average cost premium of 1.7%, or about $3/square foot (KATS). Over time, green building design provides an extraordinarily cost-effective way to enhance student learning, and so much more. The payback to green building is diverse. We can categorize along three fronts: environmental, economic, and social.
USF and Going Green: An Interview
Professional Writing student, Michelle Nguyen interview with Lelia B. Proctor R.A. (Director of Facility Planning and Construction) in July 2011 to discuss USF‘s green and LEED initiatives.
Michelle Nguyen: What is the potential energy efficiencies and cost savings between and LEED and non-LEED USF Buildings? Lelia B Proctor: Potential energy savings will vary but to meet the LEED prerequisite, the building has to perform better than 10% of ASHRAE 90.1 – 2007 energy standard. MN: What are the biggest reasons USF is using LEED standards verses another Federal/State green building standards or initiatives? LBP: President Genshaft signed the American College & University President‘s Climate Commitment which endorses USGBC LEED (http://www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org/) USGBC is a nationally recognized, high performance green building rating system that has been approved and adopted by the Department of Management Services via FL Statue 225.2575. J-TM, 7/25/11: This FS does provide several alternative measurement standards, including LEED. However only LEED certification is approved by Florida Department of Management Services (DMS) which has the authority to select a measurement standard for state facilities. Alternate green building certification programs in FS 225.2575. The Green Building Initiative‘s Green Globes rating system
The Florida Green Building Coalition standards Or a ―high-performance green building rating system as approved by the Department of Management Services.‖
MN: Are there any other green building standards that are sanctioned by the government that do not required certifications? LBP: Not to my knowledge.
MN: Are there any other green building standards that are sanctioned by the government that do not required certifications? LBP: Not to my knowledge. General Services Administration (GSA), the Federal Government facilities planning and construction office: www.gsa.gov . Department of Management Services (DMS), State of Florida‘s facilities planning & construction office: (http://www.dms.myflorida.com/ business_operations/real_estate_development_management) Other green building standards: Voluntary university sustainability self-reporting program (campus wide, not building specific): The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. STARS® was developed by AASHE with broad participation from the higher education community. (https://stars.aashe.org/) US Department of Environmental Protection Agency certifies building system products (and consumer goods), including ―energy management‖; LEED certification program exceeds Energy Star: (http://www.energystar.gov/) Florida Department of Community Affairs (DCA) promulgates the Florida Building Code, including the ―Florida Energy Efficiency Code for Building Construction‖ or Florida Energy Code. LEED certifications program exceeds this minimum standards: (http:// www.dca.state.fl.us/fbc/committees/energy/energy_forms/1_energy_forms.htm) MN: Does USF receive Federal or State grant money to help build to LEED standards? LBP: No
Conclusion: USF and LEED
It‘s clear and reasonable why USF increasingly embraces green initiatives and ecofriendly sustainability programs. LEED is but one option that USF may employ to achieve green standards on its campuses. LEED is internationally recognized as the ―platinum‖standard in the green building movement. However, USF needs to balance the costs of certification with meaningful energy savings for the university and its students. Answers are rarely black and white. Serious analysis and reflection from university leaders is needed so they avail themselves of all the facts about green building materials, standards, certification processes, the associated costs, assessments, and the energy and overall cost savings ratios. Only then should they make decisions about employing LEED in new USF buildings. This paper details the larger points that need to be considered. With education budgets shrinking, every new dollar to be invested needs double or triple value appreciation. It‘s the smart and prudent way to green USF.
Holtry, Matthew. ―USGBC: True Green LEEDereship.‖ TriplePundit. 17 Aug. 2009. Web. 20 July 2011.
Kaplon, Elizabeth. "Student Campus Initiatives." Office of Sustainability. University of South Florida, n.d. Web. 27 July 2011.
Kats, Gregory. ―Greening America‘s Schools Costs and Benefits.‖ A Capital E Report. October 2006. Print.
Kay, Sheryl. ―Patel Center for Global Solutions will be first LEED certified building at USF.‖ St. Petersburg Times. May 29, 2009. Print.
―LEED Certification Information.‖ NRDC: Building Green. n.d. Web. 20 July 2011.
"LEED: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design." GreenBuildingsolutions.org. American Chemistry Council, 14 Jan. 2011. Web. 27 July 2011.
Maddux News Wire. "USF Sustainability Initiatives Earn Coveted ―Gold‘." Tampa Bay's Business News. Maddux News Wire, Feb. 2011. Web.
Martin, Richard. "The LEED Shade of Green: What Makes a Building 'Sustainable?' Good Question." Architect. 12 Feb. 2008. Web. 28 July 2011.
Prager, Michael. "LEED Controversy." Weblog post. Michael Prager. 15 Mar. 2009. Web. 28 July 2011. Sustainable Initiative. Web. 22 July 2011.
Scofield, John H. "Do LEED-certified Buildings save Energy? Not Really…." Energy and Buildings 41.12 (2009): 1386-390. Print.
Stewart, James, and Robbie J. Varg. "Gifford v. USGBC: LEED Certification Challenged." MEALEY’S LITIGATION REPORT: Construction Defects 11.12 (2011): 20-22. Lowenstein Sandler Attorneys at Law. Jan. 11. Web.
USF Office of Sustainability (UOS). "Green Building Campus Initiatives." USF Green Building Sustainable Initiative. Web. 22 July 2011.
"USGBC: About USGBC." U.S. Green Building Council. U.S. Green Building Council. Web.
―What LEED Delivers.‖ U.S. Green Building Council. 2011. Web. 20 July 2011.
Whiteford, Linda. "I. Student Organizations." University of South Florida Sustainability Initiative Report. [Tampa], 2009. 13-14. PDF file.
Willson, Myron. Some Pros and Cons of LEED Certification. McGraw-Hill Construction. Nov. 2008. Web. 26 July 2011.
Holtry, Matthew. ―USGBC: True Green LEEDereship.‖ TriplePundit. 17 Aug. 2009. Web. 20 July 2011. The LEED rating system is broken down into a point scale which is described in detail here. It also differentiates between being LEED certified and LEED platinum status. The article addresses the importance of the rating system and the thinking, questioning, and change that is brought upon by the conversations regarding this scale. This website provides us with the insight that the LEED Rating System provides a consistent system that allows people to think differently about building systems and to share common knowledge when referring to a ―green building‖.
Kaplon, Elizabeth. "Student Campus Initiatives." Office of Sustainability. University of South Florida. n.d. Web. 27 July 2011. There is a list of nine clubs associated with going green on the USF campus. These student clubs are open to all students, and it encourages them to take initiative to become a part of the innovative movement. This website explains each group‘s purpose, and a brief description. The information provided is extremely helpful to those seeking involvement opportunities around campus; in particular, those who choose to take part in ―going green‖. This list of USF clubs will be perfect for describing student involvement related to sustainability. This is a great display of USF‘s effort in taking initiative to adopt new ideas about becoming more environmentally friendly.
Kats, Gregory. ―Greening America‘s Schools Costs and Benefits.‖ A Capital E Report. October 2006. Print. 27 July 2011. A report written by Gregory Kats about the costs and benefits of America‘s schools becoming Green. The report was found on the USGBC website. The author states in his executive summary how many were discourage to build green buildings due to the cost to build and the lack of information regarding the financial benefits of green buildings. Gregory concludes the report with ―Greening school design is extremely cost-effective. Green schools cost on average almost 2% more, or $3 more per ft2, than conventional schools. The financial benefits of greening schools are about $70 per ft2, more than 20 times as high as the cost of going green. Only a portion of these savings accrue directly to an individual school. Lower energy and water costs, improved teacher retention, and lowered health costs save green schools directly about $12/ft2, about four times the additional cost of going green, and enough to hire an additional full-time teacher.Analysis of the costs and benefits of 30 green schools and use of conservative and prudent financial assumptions provides a clear and compelling case that greening schools today is extremely cost-effective, and represents a fiscally far better design choice. Building green schools is more fiscally prudent and lower risk than continuing to build unhealthy, inefficient schools.‖ 22
―LEED Certification Information.‖ NRDC: Building Green. n.d. Web. 20 July 2011. This website provides the information on the benefits of LEED certification, how to achieve LEED certification, and tips on getting LEED certified. It states that LEED certification provides proof to the public that the building has achieved your environmental goals. The breakdown of the LEED qualifications and the tips that are provided give us a good understanding of whether USF is equipped to invest in LEED certification. Since it does not provide the drawbacks of being LEED certified, this article will be used solely to gain insight on the benefits and qualifications, rather than making a decision on whether or not being officially certified is imperative.
―LEED: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.‖ GreenBuildingsolutions.org. American Chemistry Council, 14 Jan. 2011. Web. 27 July 2011. The percentage of the building‘s construction that will go to LEED certified workers is estimated at 4.5%-11%, and even up to 30% after all steps are completed; this percentage is the extra cost for having LEED certification. Another aspect that needs to be taken into consideration is the ―soft costs‖, which represents the expenses associated outside of the construction costs. The different costs of building are stated in a cut and dry style. It clearly confirms the high cost of building green, but also describes the benefits related to the high costs. The information contained in the website allows me to write an outlined description of the costs related to ―LEED certified building‖. This will provide readers with a better understanding of the underlying costs associated with the green building materials and building codes.
Martin, Richard. "The LEED Shade of Green: What Makes a Building 'Sustainable?' Good Question." Architect. 12 Feb. 2008. Web. 28 July 2011. LEED approval is an expensive process that can add 15-20% to upfront construction costs. Most developers do not have the resources to front the initial costs and therefore forgo LEED certification. Furthermore, projects are being developed that are too advanced for the outdated LEED rating system making certification out of the question. These concerns, coupled with the extensive restrictions and bureaucratic red tape have given developers incentive to not apply for LEED certification. In this paper, this information was used to support the argument for not becoming LEED certified. Percio, Stephen Del. "What's Wrong with LEED?" Next American City. 2007. Web. 28 July 2011. LEED certification is a costly process that often lacks in design. Only thirteen percent of LEED applicants actually become certified due to these hindrances. Because of the extreme cost and illogical point system, many clients simply choose to use LEED as a mere guide for their green building projects. This article serves to provide more information about the cons of the LEED rating system, which supports this report‘s section for arguments against LEED certification.
Prager, Michael. "LEED Controversy." Weblog post. Michael Prager. 15 Mar. 2009. Web. 28 July. 2011. This review discussed the NESEA‘s public forum panel discussion concerning the LEED controversy. Paul Eldrenkamp discussed the fact that there is no performance requirement and that the program lacked sufficient study despite its implementation. Architects like Chris Benedict stated the simple desire for LEED to ―go away‖ due to its bureaucratic manipulation. These individuals provide support for the argument against LEED certification.
Scofield, John H. "Do LEED-certified Buildings save Energy? Not Really…." Energy and Buildings 41.12 (2009): 1386-390. Print. In this publication, Newsham et al.‘s analysis for the energy-consumption data for LEED certified buildings was reevaluated to demonstrate that both the site energy and source energy used by the set of 35 LEED office buildings and Newsham et al.‘s matching CBECS office buildings are statistically equivalent. Therefore, it was proven that the original report by Newsham et al. offered no evidence in support of LEED-certification lowering energy for office buildings. Because there was no difference in energy savings between the buildings, it is suggested that the astronomical costs of LEED certification is unnecessary. This provides support for the argument against obtaining LEED certification.
"Special Report: Part 1: LEEDing from Behind: The Rise and Fall of Green Building." Community Solutions. The Arthur Morgan Institute for Community Solution, May 2009. Web. The LEED rating system is not concerned with performance as its main objective tracks issues other than energy and carbon dioxide byproduct. Because this certification program does not lead in measurable ―green‖ areas, it is demonstrated that, as a program, LEED has adopted a weak energy consumption status without accountability and verification. Because of this lack of attention to energy consumption outside of the initial equipment, LEED is considered to be an inferior program in need of an overhaul. This supports the argument against LEED certification held by many builders and clients as discussed in this report.
Stewart, James, and Robbie J. Varg. "Gifford v. USGBC: LEED Certification Challenged." MEALEY’S LITIGATION REPORT: Construction Defects 11.12 (2011): 20-22. Lowenstein Sandler Attorneys at Law. Jan. 11. Web. This commentary discusses the lawsuit Gifford v. USGBC: LEED certification in which Gifford alleged that the USBC participated in deceptive trade practices, false advertising, and antitrust activities via the LEED rating system as it does not meet the boasted energy savings. This was supported by Gifford‘s analysis that LEED-certiﬁed buildings used 29% more energy than
the national average while the NBI claimed that LEED buildings were, on average, 25-30% more efficient. This allegedly fraudulent misrepresentation was the basis for the lawsuit. This lawsuit supports the argument against using LEED certification. Because this rationale was used in various public and private green building initiatives that have and have not chosen to be LEED certified, it was incorporated into this report.
USF Office of Sustainability. "Green Building Campus Initiatives." USF Green Building Sustainable Initiative. n.d. Web. 22 July 2011. This is USF‘s main website with a comprehensive overview of efforts undertaken by the Office of Sustainability located on the main campus in Tampa, Florida. Twelve main initiatives are discussed with the office‘s mission, history, and programs shown. The Green Building area contains information relevant to LEED certification efforts at USF. The website does not contain complete and detailed information for these initiatives. Department contact information is provided to obtain such details.
"USGBC: About USGBC." U.S. Green Building Council. U.S. Green Building Council. n.d. Web. 22 July 2011. The primary source for all LEED standards and certification requirements are contained in this report. This website is extremely comprehensive with details, specifications, standards, and examples to reference for LEED certification. Sample cases are provided to demonstrate the viability and scalability of using LEED standards in various building situations. The source provides a baseline for LEED information without any LEED criticism or alternatives offered.
Willson, Myron. Some Pros and Cons of LEED Certification. McGraw-Hill Construction. Nov. 2008. Web. 26 July 2011. This website contains the reasons for and against the LEED process in order to provide a better understanding of the value of LEED certification. It addresses the common concern that money spent on the LEED process will waste funds that could be used to improve the energy efficiency of the building. Why people ―do‖ LEED, and why people do not ―do‖ LEED are both thoroughly stated within this website. This article will provide a basis for our understanding on whether or not USF should invest in LEED certifications.
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