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Why Do A LEED Project?

 
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Old 01-15-2010, 02:37 PM   #1
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Why Do A LEED Project?


Why would someone do a LEED project?

I live in Vancouver BC canada, and it is not a requirement to build to LEED standards. Some builders, however, still do LEED projects.

Why would someone do a LEED project? Does the government offer tax credits? Is it cheaper? Do homeowners pay more for a LEED house or apartment? Is it just for the Environmentally conscious builders? whats the deal?
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Old 01-15-2010, 02:48 PM   #2
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Re: Why Do A LEED Project?


It is definitlely not cheaper, it can't be. I worked on a LEED project, and there are plenty of faults in there system.

We did a government building, when we were digging we hit water, and lots of it. We couldn't get a pump and pump it out, because water cannot leave the site, it must stay on site. So we had to dig another hole off to the side, cover it with a tarp, and pump the water in there, than leave it for the whole winter.

You wanna talk about a danger, it was a hidden ice rink when it snowed.

Trucks that entered the site, HAD to be washed off from all dirt that got on it. So you need a wash bay set up on site.

The plumbers had to order there glue from Ontario because the glue they sell around here didn't meet there requirements, and was "Not enviormently friendly." It took the plumber 2 weeks to find a glue that they would accept, and than another week to recive the shipment. Started the job a month late.

I personally looked into the system itself, and it has some major flaws.

They base the whole LEED poject off points for building green. Gold, Sliver, Bronze i believe. The more engery effiicent products you use all get you points, the more points the better.

I can't remember the exact numbers, but they gave a low E Window more points than a full insulated 2x6 wall.....there is no way in hell that a Window is a better insulater to a house compaired to building a 2x6 wall.

Windows have come far, but if that's the case, we mise well build our houses with windows.


I could go on forever. Great concept, but they have a quite a few kinks in there system. I have no idea how a person would estimate a LEED job.

-Bill

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Old 01-15-2010, 04:07 PM   #3
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Re: Why Do A LEED Project?


Quote:
Originally Posted by bobaganoosh View Post
...Why would someone do a LEED project?...
'Cause it's the newest fad
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Old 01-15-2010, 07:55 PM   #4
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Re: Why Do A LEED Project?


Quote:
Originally Posted by bobaganoosh View Post
Why would someone do a LEED project
Because it articulates that you're concerned with the future of the planet.
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Old 01-15-2010, 09:38 PM   #5
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Re: Why Do A LEED Project?


For the kick backs. You are getting kick backs for doing it right? If not screw the tree huggers.
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Old 01-15-2010, 10:26 PM   #6
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Re: Why Do A LEED Project?


Quote:
but they gave a low E Window more points than a full insulated 2x6 wall.....there is no way in hell that a Window is a better insulater to a house compaired to building a 2x6 wall.

Windows have come far, but if that's the case, we mise well build our houses with windows.
You forget that windows aren't just for views.

Factor in heat gain, lighting and ventilation then maybe you will understand why they get more points in certain applications.
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:58 PM   #7
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Re: Why Do A LEED Project?


Quote:
Originally Posted by bconley View Post
You forget that windows aren't just for views.

Factor in heat gain, lighting and ventilation then maybe you will understand why they get more points in certain applications.

So if i build a house with a ton of windows, and pay for a highly environmentally and energy efficient home. But my house isn't going to be as well insulated as any regular home. And im going to be paying a sur-charge for it being a LEED project?

I think you need to re-check your building sciences.

This concept is great, but if you read my post, you'll see that im not talking about views from a window. I'm saying a window isn't a good insulator, compared to a fully built 2 x 6 wall....Low E Argon windows can help save your hardwood floor, but they sure as hell aren't going to keep the heat in your house. When comparied to a fully insulated wall.

Thats a cheap way of getting a higher certified rating without actually improving the energy efficiency of the home. Its a loop hole in there system. Witch is what i was pointing out to people.


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Old 01-16-2010, 09:11 AM   #8
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Re: Why Do A LEED Project?


Some clients want a LEED certified building to show that they are concerned about the environment and also it can be used as a marketing tool to lease or sell the structure. An interesting note on green building practices is that there is evidence that workers are more productive in a building that has been constructed to certain green standards.

LEED is a cumbersome process but has managed to get a toehold as the premier green rating system in place. Fortunately there are some competitors that don't cost as much and don't require as much paper work and in many places the building code itself is moving towards a lot of the better features of the LEED system

Last edited by Rio; 01-16-2010 at 09:11 AM. Reason: grammar
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Old 01-16-2010, 11:21 AM   #9
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Re: Why Do A LEED Project?


Quote:
Originally Posted by B.K View Post
It is definitlely not cheaper, it can't be. I worked on a LEED project, and there are plenty of faults in there system.

We did a government building, when we were digging we hit water, and lots of it. We couldn't get a pump and pump it out, because water cannot leave the site, it must stay on site. So we had to dig another hole off to the side, cover it with a tarp, and pump the water in there, than leave it for the whole winter.

You wanna talk about a danger, it was a hidden ice rink when it snowed.

Trucks that entered the site, HAD to be washed off from all dirt that got on it. So you need a wash bay set up on site.

The plumbers had to order there glue from Ontario because the glue they sell around here didn't meet there requirements, and was "Not enviormently friendly." It took the plumber 2 weeks to find a glue that they would accept, and than another week to recive the shipment. Started the job a month late.

I personally looked into the system itself, and it has some major flaws.

They base the whole LEED poject off points for building green. Gold, Sliver, Bronze i believe. The more engery effiicent products you use all get you points, the more points the better.

I can't remember the exact numbers, but they gave a low E Window more points than a full insulated 2x6 wall.....there is no way in hell that a Window is a better insulater to a house compaired to building a 2x6 wall.

Windows have come far, but if that's the case, we mise well build our houses with windows.


I could go on forever. Great concept, but they have a quite a few kinks in there system. I have no idea how a person would estimate a LEED job.

-Bill
I agree, LEED isn't perfect, the process needs a lot of fine tuning.

I think the Canadian version is different, I'm involved on a government project and we hit water, lots of it, and we're pumping it off site. However, it has to be filtered which is typical anyway.

As for the plumbing adhesive you point out: that's a good reason to have a LEED AP involved beforehand, this could have been avoided with proper planning.

On most projects the trucks can't leave the site and track mud/dirt all over the streets anyway, with or without it being a LEED project.

A large majority of the points can be accumulated by construction waste reduction, and a finished product with better indoor air quality.

Yes, it does add significant upfront costs to the project.
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Old 01-18-2010, 01:23 PM   #10
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Re: Why Do A LEED Project?


Wow! Great responses! Thank you all. I was hoping that there was a kickback for the builder, or perhaps they could charge more to the purchasers.
It seems as thought its simply to show concern for the environment.

Thanks for the posts!

Bob
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Old 02-16-2010, 06:22 PM   #11
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Re: Why Do A LEED Project?


I'm project manager on a LEED project for the company I work for
I can tell you there will be no tax or energy credit for this, we installed geo-thermal and because company is non-profit they won't apply for tax credit state offers.

Facts
we harvested 80,000 board feet of lumber off property to be used for interior trim- don't think we get credit as our woods is not FSC Certified even though we selective cut in a woods that is managed for the health only.

20 tons (est) of fieldstone used for interior /exterior veneer, harvested from property, Company nickname is Big Rock Valley- get it?

scrap lumber is weighed and sent to for recycling- being ground into mulch- based on weight we have sent over 4000 board feet

three 40 yard dumpsters of concrete

metal recycling

It's amazing how much waste you can generate with a project like this

we figured an extra 150K for Leed Certification, including documentation

What we get is a "PLAQUE"- which we buy
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Old 02-17-2010, 09:34 AM   #12
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Re: Why Do A LEED Project?


What tickles me is that just about everyone involved with the green movement violates their own basic tenants almost daily.

It is not even necessary to go into all the recovery, harvesting, manufacturing, and delivery methods which not only cost more, but also often contribute more to environmental problems than standard methods... this stuff is pointed out every time this subject comes up.

But the ones I love the best are the overblown monster pickup trucks each of the suppliers, evaluators, and contractors drive to the site every few days to see how much they are helping the environment. They aren't working, just showing up to rubberneck. The news crews and their big trucks that visit so many of these sites. The inspectors who come a couple of times a week, arriving in vehicles occupied by only one person.

The whole thing is kind of like cutting off our noses to spite our faces. Pretty laughable if it weren't so serious a tangled screw-up all around.
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Old 02-18-2010, 09:59 PM   #13
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Re: Why Do A LEED Project?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rio View Post
Some clients want a LEED certified building to show that they are concerned about the environment and also it can be used as a marketing tool to lease or sell the structure. An interesting note on green building practices is that there is evidence that workers are more productive in a building that has been constructed to certain green standards.

LEED is a cumbersome process but has managed to get a toehold as the premier green rating system in place. Fortunately there are some competitors that don't cost as much and don't require as much paper work and in many places the building code itself is moving towards a lot of the better features of the LEED system
Well said. The only reason I would seek out LEED is if I was looking for grant money or other government funding. Otherwise it's just a piece of paper to hang on a wall. A european company "Passivhaus", which has started to expand in the US, would be the standard we should all strive to achieve. No certificate needed.
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Old 11-01-2010, 10:24 AM   #14
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Re: Why Do A LEED Project?


I just got done going through LEED training last week to get my LEED associate certificate. From my stand point it was just one more feather for my cap but from the client building a LEED certified building there are several factors to why they do it. A lot of what LEED is concerned with is occupancy comfort. So if you are building an office building they feel that an employee working there is going to be more efficient because of factors like lighting, hvac, the view from where your working, etc. Making the company more money in the long run, by having happy employees.
Then of course there are the things like showing you care about your environment or putting your LEED plaque in the lobby of your hotel and charging more to stay there.
If you meet with a LEED company before you ever start building, you can cut down of the cost by incorporating things from the very beginning. If you try to make a LEED cert. building by doing a complete remodel of an existing building, it can be very costly.
After going through the class I see a lot of pluses and minuses but overall the things they cover are never a bad thing and at least in California, everything is heading that way anyways, so you might as well be ahead of the curve.
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Old 11-01-2010, 04:40 PM   #15
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Re: Why Do A LEED Project?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayerzee View Post
'Cause it's the newest fad
Bingo

I work on lots of Leed projects! The Leed consultant is the one that really has the best gig going they consult on crap they don't know except its "Green" in hopes the building will be more efficient, Lots of times its not, usually with a 7 or 8 figure price tag. But they feel good about themselves and pat themselves on the back telling themselves how they are saving the planet.

If they would actually audit these buildings and give tax credits based on real world audits it may one day mean something.

I was just looking at homes in CO and i see an area that is touted as being near zero energy use homes with leed certs and all that.
I couldn't live there I'm afraid the whole community would be running around in Birkenstock's eating granola and smelling like pouchouli oil.

ML

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Old 11-14-2010, 09:39 AM   #16
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Re: Why Do A LEED Project?


I just got done looking through the point system at http://www.usgbc.org/ShowFile.aspx?DocumentID=3638 , and it seems to me that a crafty contractor could build/remodel to LEED certs for not much more money than people who simply build it right anyway.

The prerequisites of erosion control are not much different from what I see on new construction around here. Personally, especially as a smallmouth fisherman, I think the prerequisites are barely enough anyway. Getting credit can be as easy as using native plants in the landscaping with downspouts irrigating the bed. Makes sense to me.

My partner and I visited a LEED project a few years ago while it was in the foundation stage. The designer went through all the features and how many points were gained for each, and when he was done I asked about the roof. He was planning to put brown three tabs 'because they are cheapest'. Had he not been so arrogant about his choice and presentation in general I'd have probably mentioned that white three tabs would be green, and the same price. I didn't know for sure if he could get 'points' then, but reading the requirements he could have gained 1 solar reflectance anti heat island effect point for free. OTOH an enhanced insulation credit of two points would probably cost thousands more than the standard prerequisite (code) and must be audited.

It seems to me, and granted I'm not a GC, that the LEED plaque should earn much more on the sale/remodel than the increase in costs for the contractor to do it.
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Old 11-14-2010, 03:22 PM   #17
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Re: Why Do A LEED Project?


No kickbacks here in BC. Some commercial construction they are starting to require some LEED compliance. There is discussion about making residential construction in Vancouver LEED compliant as well, but I hope and expect that it won't happen anytime soon.

The only thing you get from building LEED is bragging rights and following the latest fad. Low E windows get more points because of the heat gain.

Because of the design and window locations and coatings, this house (in Ladner, B.C.) is very warm when it needs to be and cool when it needs to be with very little mechanical or electrical assistance.

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Old 01-07-2011, 11:23 AM   #18
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Re: Why Do A LEED Project?


LEED has alot of momentum in Seattle right now.
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Old 01-07-2011, 11:25 AM   #19
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Re: Why Do A LEED Project?


Quote:
Originally Posted by MSLiechty View Post
Bingo

I work on lots of Leed projects! The Leed consultant is the one that really has the best gig going they consult on crap they don't know except its "Green" in hopes the building will be more efficient, Lots of times its not, usually with a 7 or 8 figure price tag. But they feel good about themselves and pat themselves on the back telling themselves how they are saving the planet.

If they would actually audit these buildings and give tax credits based on real world audits it may one day mean something.

I was just looking at homes in CO and i see an area that is touted as being near zero energy use homes with leed certs and all that.
I couldn't live there I'm afraid the whole community would be running around in Birkenstock's eating granola and smelling like pouchouli oil.

ML
Funny post..
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Old 01-07-2011, 11:49 PM   #20
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Re: Why Do A LEED Project?


I attended the Greeenbuild convention in Chicago a few years ago, along with about 30,000 others. LEED projects are dominated by architects, mainly idealistic young ones. My company does provide the indoor air quality testing and some other services needed for LEED projects. It was funny and sad to sit in a meeting once with some self-proclaimed greenies trying to say that j-bolts should be carefully removed so they could be reused from buildings being demolished on a government (prevailing wage) project.
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