LEED Green Associates

This is coming to a head because of the push by BPI and Resnet to control the industry.

Good luck to them.

I suspect that ASHRAE will become the dominant force in all of this. I believe that much of this, including some testing and calculations, may go the way of considering it to be the practice of professional engineering.

And, despite what this so-called “expert” has to say, the LEED Certification is the defacto certification for energy-efficiency for Architects and Engineers.

Thanks Joe, and I agree that LEED is the wave of the future wether some like it or not. LEED works in saving energy in buildings new or old and Architects are very well versed in making it work with their Designs.:slight_smile:

Congratulations! See if InterNACHI will give you credits for your LEED CEs. Have you ever heard of the book Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander and others? It’s one of my favorites. You might find it interesting.

Thanks Janet, and I requested CE hours for this and was never answered. :slight_smile:


Contact Lisa and Nick and tell them that I said it qualifies for CE credit. It’s not ust because I say so, as it actually meets InterNACHI’s criteria.

Send in the info for their files and ask them how to log it on the site. Call them first, though.You already have the credit, and can prove you have taken the course so you have nothing to worry about.

Anything an inspector does to improve his or her knowledge related to our industry gets a green light. Industry trending helps drive the demand for education. Regional or market demands further fuels the desire.

Education does not drive the industry; the Inspector does. InterNACHI has always recognized the autonomy of the individual Inspector, and its education policy supports that philosophy.

Congrats, Marcel.

BTW… LEED Silver cert is already recognized at the Federal and State levels, and was built into many existing energy and conversation construction codes. Between the licensed professionals who already carry the LEED cert, and the fact that a majority of the engineering types that carry it are PEs educated in mechanical engineering, the “fight” for true recognition is far from over. ASHRAE is large and powerful org, which helps to drive building codes as well as life/safety codes. ASHRAE is referenced virtually everywhere.

Thanks for the info Joe, I appreciate it. :slight_smile:

Joe F., I found it here where INACHI approves it for 16 CE hours.

So I will log it accordingly.


Glad to see that you’re getting the INACHI credits.

Thanks Janet, and how are things with you?:slight_smile:

Congrats on your LEED certification, it is very tough, especially the new LEED. The old LEED was much easier, I am glad they tightened it up more and made it more difficult.

As far as it working, it does. I have found most of the critics are people that are struggling in the industry and, just like betting the don’t pass line in craps, they find more attention brought to themselves by taking the negative side. There have been isolated incidents of LEED Platinum buildings having issues, most notably the Greenville site. On the flip side look at the LEED Platinum Bank of American building in NY.

As far as the lighting retrofits go across the country, I actually feel bad for companies that have done it over the past 2 years. Yes it works and their ROI is substantial, but if they just would have stuck with what they had then done LED going forward from here, their ROI over 5 years would have been even better (including the added cost of 2 years of T12 or whatever). Lighting might be the single best savings within the commercial and industrial energy world (and probably residential as well). Often times the ROI is less than 2 years and is much bigger than any other retrofit. Here are some mind boggling stats for lighting. 20% of US electricity is consumed by lighting. If every single structure in the US converted today to LED we would have almost zero concern with existing power grids and would not have to build a new power plant for 20 years (based on expected population growth). We would lower electricity consumption in the US by approx 18% through LEDs and timers (or consumer education and action). 5.5 million standard incandescent light bulbs are sold the US everyday.

What is even more amazing about those numbers is they do not take in account the other actions that can be taken by switching to LED. For example if all recessed lights in a home switched to sealed LED lights and cans, then insulation could be installed more efficiently.

As far as BPI vs Resnet vs LEED vs NAHB vs whatever, don’t expect BPI to go anywhere soon. BPI, in conjunction with some other partners, was instrumental in bringing NYSERDA to NY. NYSERDA is arguably the most successful long term energy program in the country. Here is a case study done on the program: http://www.hprcenter.org/publications/best_practices_case_study_new_york.pdf

Personally I think the NAHB Green Standard will be the new construction (does anyone build homes anymore?) future standard. BPI will become the remodeling/retrofit standard. LEED and Resnet will end up become consultants, added to engineering firms and an added service to industries like home inspections, etc. Out of all of those I think Resnet ends up in the weirdest position. They just recently added on combustion training and a full on certification that clones the BPI BA, it is called a BPA…I believe. Resnet falls in between BPI and LEED due to the fact that Resnet is mainly residential where LEED is more commercial and industrial, plus they are already much closer to a BPI type of standard. I think we will see LEED become the inspection/building standard in commercial and industrial, whereas Resnet will end up battling with the NAHB for the residential inspection/building standard. Resnet, although more established than the NAHB currently is in that market, would end up losing its footing to the NAHB if it played out this way. This is just my 2 cents, we will see how it plays out over the next 3-5 years.


Energy Auditor Talk

Haven’t and don’t have time to read all this but…

Brian, that has to be the most pessimistic, close-minded article I have read.
Time for a new Doctor and/or Architect to feel this way in a World that depends solely on fossil fuels for energy.
The more you can exceed the ASHRAE standards in building, the more energy that will be saved and decrease the carbon footprint in building.

I put this together for all to read which makes more sense in a World that is costing us a fortune because we are dependent on the easy street of Building.

It is pay now or pay later situation.

Green Design

Green architecture, or green design, is an approach to building that minimizes harmful effects on human health and the environment. The “green” architect or designer attempts to safeguard air, water, and earth by choosing eco-friendly building materials and construction practices.

Green architecture is more than a fashion statement. Many architects and clients agree that smart, sustainable buildings are becoming a necessity. Why? Because according to some estimates, buildings account for almost one-half of the world’s material and energy consumption, one-sixth of fresh water use, and a quarter of all wood harvested. As costs for sustainable materials and products drop, building green is really the most cost-effective kind of design and construction. More and more, you can’t afford not to build green.

Even if you read no further, this should convince you: Green buildings save money, starting the very first day of construction. This is true for green homes as well as sustainable office buildings, factories, churches, schools and other structures.

$40,000 in green design in a $2 million dollar project will be repaid in just two years. Over 20 years, the savings will amount to $400,000. In other words, ka-CHING!

Both residential and commercial buildings retain a high resale value if they include sustainable design components.

Sick building syndrome is a problem that has plagued homes and offices for decades, and costs U.S. businesses millions of dollars each month. Green buildings, however, avoid many of these problems with healthy ventilation systems and use of non-toxic building materials.

New buildings aren’t safe from indoor air pollution – in fact, many newer buildings contain hundreds of products that off-gas high amounts of VOCs and other chemicals. New carpet and carpet adhesives, fresh paints and varnishes, new furniture and paneling systems made with particleboard, and fabric used in upholstery and drapery can all contribute to what’s often called “sick building syndrome,”

LEED Buildings address this problem by exceeding the requirements of ASHRAE.

One indirect benefit to green and sustainable buildings is often overlooked: reduced demand on electric, gas and water utilities means that these
infrastructures can do more with less. This can result in lower municipal utility costs over the long run as utilities need not expand and can avoid passing those expansion costs onto utility customers.

• Water-saving plumbing fixtures
• Landscapes planned to maximize passive solar energy
• Minimal harm to the natural habitat
• Alternate power sources such as solar power or wind power
• Non-synthetic, non-toxic materials
• Locally-obtained woods and stone
• Responsibly-harvested woods
• Adaptive reuse of older buildings
• Use of recycled architectural salvage
• Efficient use of space
• While most green buildings do not have all of these features, the highest goal of green architecture is to be fully sustainable. Water-saving plumbing fixtures
• Landscapes planned to maximize passive solar energy
• Minimal harm to the natural habitat
• Alternate power sources such as solar power or wind power
• Non-synthetic, non-toxic materials
• Locally-obtained woods and stone
• Responsibly-harvested woods
• Adaptive reuse of older buildings
• Use of recycled architectural salvage
• Efficient use of space
While most green buildings do not have all of these features, the highest goal of green architecture is to be fully** sustainable**.

By Jackie Craven, About.com Guide
By Marc Lallanilla, About.com Guide

If one is serious about building energy efficient buildings you can’t include massive glass surfaces.

I think he was being realistic though a bit cynical.

In the end it’s math/physics problem.

I agree with you Michael.

I wouldn’t be too critical of Dr Joe Lstiburek until you read more of his work.

He is essentially saying. Let’s take a look at the utility bills of these LEED projects. The limited utility usage numbers that LEED has released so far show why Dr Lstiburek can truthfully say “LEED doesn’t work”.

I’m not here to criticize LEED, just defend Dr Lstiburek.

Truth is, his knowledge is so extensive, and his company is so prolific - he doesn’t need defending by the likes of me.

We could all learn a lot by studying his work (even the LEED steering committee).


What company?
What drives it?
What does he stand to earn by trashing LEED?

Dr Lstiburek is a leading authority in the building science industry, but (and a big but) he is very pro ASHRAE. ASHRAE is an authority as well and their standards are probably more accepted in the HVAC-R industry than any other body. The issue I have is, ASHRAE technically is a competitor to LEED when it comes to standards. They butt heads.

If you want to reference papers the best source is stuff written by the MIT guys. They have no possible alternative motive. Maybe Joe Lstiburek doesn’t either, but he might.

Here is an article, written by a secondary source (NYSERDA), on the Bank of American LEED Platinum building. This building might be the best example of an energy efficiency project in the US, maybe the world. 1% increase in construction cost with a 40% reduction of power and a estimated 4.5 year payback on the energy efficiency upgrades. These are real factual numbers backed up by numbers from operations of the building for a year, not someone writing a paper with opinions and theories.


I usually agree with other posters criticism on the green industry when it relates to government, there are usually alternative motives with the government. When real companies put up real dollars to build something or perform some energy efficiency upgrades, it is very obvious they are doing it for monetary gain. They have stock holders to answer to and ultimately capitalism to answer to. If you want to know what works and what doesn’t look at what large corporations are doing, they are not in business to lose money.


Jason, I don’t know why ASHRAE and LEED would have to butt heads, for several LEED credits and prerequisites require meeting the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc. ASHRAE publishes a widely recognized series of standards and guidelines relating to energy consuption and HVAC systems and issues every three years and ASHRAE 990.1-2007 can be used to calculate the baseline in building energy performance.
So much percentage above the guidline baseline is how you can achieve points to earn a credit.

Also, every LEED-certified commercial and institutional building must comply with certain aspects of the ASHRAE 62.1-2007 standard, or local codes if the local code is more stringent. This standad sets minimum ventilation rates and IAQ levels and specifies that ventilation systems are designed to reduce the potential for adverse health effects. :slight_smile:


That’s great. That shows that LEED CAN work. I think that in the past LEED hasn’t worked very well - the energy usage numbers have shown that. But LEED has improved and is improving and will improve more in the future.

Dr Lstiburek’s contention is that the LEED “checklist” has allowed engineers and architects to become lazy with the basic design. It’s entirely possible to design an energy hog of a building that will develop IAQ and moisture problems that also meets a LEED certification. It’s been done before.

Why not require a review of the first year’s utility consumption BEFORE christening the building with a LEED designation?

Again, I think that the GBC is a fine organization and LEED is a great concept that will grow, mature and get better.

Congratulations Marcel! I thought about studying for the AP myself, but decided it was too much work. I don’t have the discipline for that type of self-study.


Mark Easter


From 1986 to 1992, I got quite involved in IAQ from working with environmentally ill folks (consulting, selling HEPA and absorbant filtration systems + HRVs) to being hired by an engineering firm to set up and manage an IAQ and air balancing subsidiary. Then I had the current ASHRAE 62 at my side constantly.

The method for determining the ventilation rates necessary for human comfort and health, IMO, left a bit to be desired. A panel of test subjects were used in a controlled experiment. The test criterion was that if less than 20 or 25% ( I don’t remember exactly) of subjects did not complain about problems, the fresh air flow rate and condition was acceptable.

For example, at that time, a screening test of 2000 ppm of carbon dioxide in an office building or school was considered the upper limit. Below that supposedly indicated there was “enough” fresh air being introduced. In one school that I tested, when you walked into the classroom, you could smell the perfume from the teacher but the CO2 was well below the 2000 ppm. This was a grade 3 or 4 class so there may be no complaints from the kids. In my report, I made a special note about this situation.

At that time, I was of the opinion that 500 or 600 ppm CO2 should be the screening test upper limit as there was no movement to “scent free” schools or workplaces then.

Hopefully ASHRAE has tightened up the test regime regarding IAQ. Although a great organization, it has not always been correct on its recommendations, the greatest miss being reducing fresh air requirements to 5 cfm/person in schools, etc for energy conservation purposes in the early 1980’s. One of my first IAQ screening/balancing jobs was a new school in northern New Brunswick in which they had, at 8 years old, rebuilt the original to a larger general ventilation system since the ASHRAE recommendation was not sufficient.