Monday, August 1, 2011

LEED 2012 Review

LEED 2012 is now out for a second public review. The section that most affects us in the HVAC/Air Distribution business is the IEQ credits. The following is excerpted from the USGBC announcement:

Indoor Environmental Quality
The Indoor Environmental Quality credit category has undergone significant structural reordering for second public comment, but retained familiar requirements in the new credits. This reorganization streamlines the credit category and more effectively addresses overlapping goals of the former credits.

Achieving the Indoor Environmental Quality credits now has more direct benefit to occupants by comprehensively addressing environmental quality impacts. The weightings tool helped to highlight that many of the Indoor Environmental Quality credits were competing with themselves for points when addressing the human health impact category. The reorganization more clearly shows that the category has 4 macro themes, ventilation, lighting, acoustics, and general occupant experience, all of which have holistic credits addressing how buildings can enhance health, safety, productivity, the ability to learn, and also continue to bring biophillic “outdoor” design elements to built spaces.

These changes include:
--- Thermal Comfort credit follows the Assessment credit so that all ventilation-related credits are in order. Interior Lighting is now in order with Daylight.

--- Acoustics. The credit has been significantly re-written with more exact requirements and more referenced standards for all of the sections.

I think the really important thing in the 2012 proposal is that by stating that “HVAC noise shall not exceed…”, and providing a couple of calculation paths, especially directly referencing AHRI 885, will go a long way for making the Engineering community sign on to this requirement. The specification of construction details instead of a ’guestimate’ of reverb time is also a major step. All the engineers I call on (I see about 1000/year) were concerned about the open resulting sound requirement, as there are a lot of sound sources they can’t control.

I encourage all of you reading this that are involved in the LEED process to review the 2102 draft, and would encourage your positive comments towards the acoustic requirements.

Authored by: Dan Int-Hout, Chief Engineer Krueger