Friday, January 30, 2009

Integrated Design Question

From "LEED Accredited Professional" group on LinkedIn:

Wondering how to conduct an integrated design for a public project that must be bid out? How does one get contractors involved in the process? Anyone with experience on this? - Heather McGuire

This issue comes up in any traditional design-bid-build job (public or private). How do you have an "integrated" design when one of the key parties is not at the table? Similar issue if you're trying for integrated design in a speculative building when you don't have an operator or a tennant identified. I don't think there is an easy / one-size-fits-all answer, but you need to find a proxy for the missing party. If you don't have a GC on board, you can hire a Construction Manager as advisor during the design process and he or she can represent the contractor. Even if you can't go with a CM, lots of public bid jobs let you hire a Cost Estimator who could serve the purpose (a good Estimator can also talk about constructability). If no CM or Estimator is on board, the Project Manager could wear this hat. As a last resort, the Architect and Engineers can get preliminary costs for the various design options by calling vendors and sub-contractors. You might also invite a number of GC's to the design charettes with no promise of future work, but a definite advantage when it comes time to bid.

On a somewhat related note, it might be helpful to follow a formal Integrated Design process (something like ANSI WSIP - include as a contract requirement of all consultants) and use Life Cycle Costing to evaluate your different design options. For LCC, it is easier if you look at your costs using UniFormat (arranged by system) instead of MasterFormat (arranged by material) to really identify the trade-offs. You might also want to bring in your Commissioning Authority early (conceptual or schematic design) and have him/her participate in the charette process. This way the CxA can help pull together the Owner's Project Requirements early in design so the design team can refer to them in each of their design submittals. - Nathan

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Commissioning 10 Akron St.

This picture shows Kevin Short of Facility Dynamics Engineering verifying the temperature and pressure inside the Harvard Real Estate Services 10 Akron Street dormitory. Tim Scruby is on the other end of the walkie talkie confirming that the building management system is giving the same readings.
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Commissioning Rock Hall

This picture shows commissioning authority Larry Voltin of Facility Dynamics Engineering looking over the shoulder of the Siemens' building controls sub-contractor as part of his final walk-through of Harvard Divinity School's Rockefeller Hall.

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MMA Cadet Housing

The Massachusetts Maritime Academy, the nation’s oldest co-ed maritime college, is a four-year public institution located on the Cape Cod Canal in Bourne, Massachusetts. The new cadet housing is a $13 million, 36,000 square feet, two story build over atop two existing four story structures. Construction was completed in early Summer of 2007. The building is LEED NC version 2.0 Gold certified. 100% of its electricity comes from the 82 kW photovoltaic array on the roof and the nearby 660 kW wind turbine. The building uses 48% less domestic water than a typical building, recycled or salvaged 97% of its C&D waste, and selected a high percentage of materials that were locally manufactured and extracted and contained recycled content. A full case study for the project can be found here.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Energy Audit Scope of Work

As we work with clients to identify energy auditing firms and develop the Scope of Work for these services, we prepared a detailed list of possible project deliverables and a sample Request for Proposal for the services. The simplified summary below attempts to itemize the range of services that might be asked of a consultant and allows the client to clearly indicate which of these items are included as part of the agreed upon Scope of Work. Once the consultant delivers their report(s), the client can review the report against the agreed upon scope and confirm that all portions of the work have been delivered.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Green Campus Loan Fund

Harvard's $12 million revolving loan fund is used to help bridge the gap between capital and operating budgets. Schools and units can borrow money for energy conservation measures and payback the loan as they realize the utility savings, making the project have effectively no impact on the operating budget until the capital is paid for and the savings begin to be realized by the operating budget. More information on the loan fund can be found here. As we look to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, I've plotted the ROI and absolute savings for all GHG reducing loan fund projects (excluded projects with savings from water or increased recycling) . To date, the 144 projects have borrowed $10,517,000 in capital and are saving $3,772,000 (35.9% return on investment) and 22,647 MTCDE annually. Note that occupant behavior requires an annual commitment of capital while the other loan types require capital funding only once (until the end of the item's useful life). Also, this graph only includes full-cost loans. We also have cost delta loans that are part of major capital projects (fund the cost delta between standard efficiency equipment and premium efficiency equipment).

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


According to, the final date to register for the LEED AP exam in its current form (NC or CI) is March 31, 2009. The final date for "exam retirement" has not been set (meaning you can take the exam after that date, as long as you're registered), but is expected to be late May or June 2009.

If you're planning to take the exam before it changes over, register before March 31. A lot of people who currently qualify to become LEED APs by passing the exam will not qualify in the future, because they will need to also demonstrate actual LEED project experience.

See the article here.

You can find my free LEED AP study site here.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Half Moon Outfitters

The Half-Moon Outfitters’ new Distribution Center is a renovated, one-story, 9,600 square foot combined office and warehouse in North Charleston, South Carolina. It was the world's first LEED NC v2.2 Platinum project, completed in December 2006. The building reduces it's energy use by 46% (modeled), domestic water use by 78% and its irrigation water by 100%. Much of the materials were salvaged, fluorescent lights dim according to the presence of daylight, rainwater from the roof is collected to flush toilets, and there are 4.9 kW of photovoltaic panels on the roof. The project cost just over $750,000. Sustainable Design and Construction Solutions was the sustainability consultant. The full case-study can be found here. A link to an article from Plenty Magazine can be found here.

Low VOC Paint Specs

Low-VOC paint is an easy add to any project, with no change to project cost. Make sure you include general directions in Division 1 for all submittals, including what you want on the submittal cover sheet. The architect should reject immediately (as should the GC if getting such submittals from his/her sub-contractors) all submittals that don't have the VOC content indicated in the submittal cover sheet and then highlighted in the manufacturers data. To your normal paint specs, add:



A. LEED Submittals:

Product Data for credit LEED NC v2.2 EQc4.2: For each paint and coating used including a printed statement of VOC content and chemical components.



A. Paints, Coatings, and Primers for Interior Walls and Ceilings for (the appropriate category)

Provide architectural paints, coatings and primers applied to interior walls and ceilings that meet these performance requirements (your non-LEED performance criteria) and meet the following criteria:

1. VOC Content: VOC content cannot exceed the VOC limits established in Green Seal Standard GS-11, Paints, First Edition, May 20, 1993. (Flats: 50 g/L - Non-Flats: 150 g/L) [LOWER THESE NUMBERS IF YOU WANT - ESPECIALLY FOR THE FLAT]

B. Anti-Corrosive and Anti-Rust Paints Applied to Interior Ferrous Metal Substrates:

Provide anti-corrosive and anti-rust paints applied to interior ferrous metal substrates that meet these performance requirements (your non-LEED performance criteria) and meet the following criteria:

1. VOC Content: VOC content can not exceed the VOC limit established in Green Seal Standard GC-03, Anti-Corrosive Paints, Second Edition, January 7, 1997. (250 g/L)

C. Clear Wood Finishes, Floor Coatings, Stains, and Shellacs Applied to Interior Elements:

Provide clear wood finishes, floor coatings, stains, and shellacs applied to interior elements that meet these performance requirements (your non-LEED performance criteria) and meet the following criteria:

1. VOC Content: VOC content can not exceed the VOC limits established in South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Rule 1113, Architectural Coatings, rules in effect on January 1, 2004. (Clear wood finishes: varnish 350 g/L, lacquer 550 g/L - Floor coatings: 100 g/L - Shellacs: Clear 730 g/L, pigmented 550 g/L - Stains: 250 g/L)