Teran Residence – the Benefits of LEED Certification

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Innovation & Design Process (ID)

The Innovation in Design Process category is significant in the sense it 1) addresses issues that help keep costs down and ensures proper integration of green strategies, 2) assesses and mitigates long term durability risks and 3) rewards the project for overachieving credit requirements or implementing creative green strategies.

  1. Integrated Project Planning
    1. One of the unsung heroes of LEED certified homes is the implementation of an integrated project team with scheduled coordinated project team meetings. Not enough can be said about the importance of the project’s stakeholders convening to collectively coordinate the design and review process. With an integrated project team, most issues can be caught well before it’s too late.
  2. Quality Management for Durability
    1. Durability Planning and Management, simply put, forces the project team to implement strategies, quality materials and construction practices in an effort to extend performance of the home. Durability addresses items most susceptible to premature failure as well as regionally specific issues such as radon, pests, climate, soils, etc. Both Durability Planning and Durability Management are mandated prerequisites. The project will also achieve the optional credit for providing Third Party Durability Management Verification.
  3. Innovative or Regional Design
    1. For a variety of reasons, the Teran project did not seek any of these credits as special compensation was not required. These credits must be approved by USGBC and take time to go through the approval process.

 Location & Linkages (LL)

The Location & Linkages category rewards projects based on the location of the site with respect to availability of existing infrastructure, transportation and community services. The main intent is for the project to be advantaged through existing services. Urban development and redevelopment are, understandably, prized goals with all LEED rating systems.

  1. LEED for Neighborhood Development
    1. The Teran project does not qualify for this credit.
  2. Site Selection
    1. This project met all the requirements: above the FEMA 100 year floodplain; not built on habitat for threatened or endangered species; not built within 100 feet of water, including wetlands; not built on land that was public parkland prior to acquisition; not built on lands with prime soils, unique soils, or soils of state significance.
  3. Preferred Locations
    1. The project was benefitted by being both an infill site and had been previously developed.
  4. Infrastructure
    1. All water and sewer services were located at the site.
  5. Community Resources / Transit
    1. Although public transit opportunities are non-existent in this community, an abundance of community services are within ¼ to ½ mile uninterrupted walking distance.
  6. Access to Open Space
    1. A small community with very narrow sites, the area provides an abundance of community or public open space opportunities within ½ mile walking distance and ¾ acres in size.

Sustainable Sites (SS)

While Location & Linkages addresses the location of the site, the Sustainable Sites category rewards the project for minimizing adverse environmental impacts to the site due to related building construction design and activities.

  1. Site Stewardship
    1. The project benefitted here due to the fact the site is less than 1/7 of an acre. Additionally, the Erosion Controls During Construction prerequisite are being met.
  2. Landscaping
    1. The landscaping will be designed to: not use invasive plants as per the prerequisite requirement; all turf will be draught tolerant; no turf will be used in densely shaded areas; no turf will be used on slopes greater than 25%; mulch or soil amendments will be used as appropriate; all compacted soil will be tilled at least 6 inches. Additionally, the overall irrigation demand will be reduced by at least 20%.
  3. Reduce Local Heat Island Effects
    1. 50% of the hardscapes will be light colored, high albedo materials.
  4. Surface Water Management
    1. Due to the existing site restraints and slope conditions, the only part of this credit that could be achieved is planting trees, shrubs or ground cover as permanent erosion control measures.
  5. Nontoxic Pest Control
    1. The following pest control measures are being implemented: seal external cracks and joints with caulking and install pest-proof screens; include no wood-to-concrete connections or separate connections with dividers; install landscaping so mature plants are 24 inches from the home; use solid concrete foundations.
  6. Compact Development
    1. This project qualifies by building a single home on 1/10 acre, or less.

Water Efficiency (WE)

It has been said that due to the projected increase in population and decrease in our fresh water supplies, water may become the next natural resource to be as coveted, guarded and fought over as oil. Water conservation has become more urgent only during the last few years. The Water Efficiency category addresses water conservation by three (3) types of credits.

  1. Water Reuse
    1. Due to site restrictions and limitations and the fact that there is no Municipal Recycled Water System available, this credit was not attempted.
  2. Irrigation System
    1. The overall irrigation demand will be reduced by at least 45%.
  3. Indoor Water Use
    1. The toilets will be high-efficiency and meet the EPA Water Sense specification; the faucets will be very high-efficiency and meet the EPA Water Sense specification.

Energy & Atmosphere (EA)

The Energy & Atmosphere category is primarily focused on reducing our dependence on fossil fuels by reducing our energy consumption. Additionally, this category addresses the adverse environmental impacts caused by the use of certain refrigerants.

There are two (2) pathway options available for the Energy & Atmosphere category: Performance and Prescriptive. The Teran project is following the Performance pathway and will be required to comply with credits EAc1, EAc7 and EAc11.

  1. Optimize Energy Performance
    1. The ENERGY STAR requirements will be met as per the prerequisite.
    2. In a 4 IECC Climate Zone, the project will achieve a HERS Index Rating of 70 to meet the Exceptional Energy Performance credit.
  2. For the prescriptive pathway option
  3. For the prescriptive pathway option
  4. For the prescriptive pathway option
  5. For the prescriptive pathway option
  6. For the prescriptive pathway option
  7. Water Heating
    1. Due to the dimensions of the home, a compact conventional design is not possible.
  8. For the prescriptive pathway option
  9. For the prescriptive pathway option

10.  For the prescriptive pathway option

11.  Residential Refrigerant Management

  1. The prerequisite requires a Refrigerant Charge Test
  2. For the optional credit, only non-HCFC refrigerants will be used.

Materials & Resources (MR)

The Materials & Resources category addresses the impact of material selections to our natural resources, as well as our health. Implementing proper framing strategies, selecting sustainable materials, reclaimed materials and regional materials not only conserve natural resources but reduce adverse environmental impacts due to harvesting, manufacturing and transportation. Selection of low VOC materials reduces the release of toxic chemicals inside the home.

  1. Material Efficient Framing
    1. The prerequisite requires a limit of the overall framing waste factor to 10% or less
    2. All floor, wall and roof components will be prefabricated off-site. The floor and roof members are open web trusses, cut to length and the exterior/interior walls will be panelized construction. This complies with the requirements necessary to pick up the maximum credit points allowed.
  2. Environmentally Preferred Products
    1. No tropical wood will be installed.
    2. The gypsum board installed on the walls and ceilings will be EPP, the interior paint will be low emission and foundation aggregate and cement, gypsum board and exterior deck materials will be local production.
  3. Waste Management
    1. The prerequisite requires the project to document the diversion rate for construction waste.
    2. All construction waste will be diverted from landfills either by a % or weight/volume method.

Indoor Environmental Quality (EQ)

With Americans spending, on average, 90% of their time indoors, where pollution levels can be as high as 100 times worse than levels outside the home, the Indoor Environmental Quality category is critically important and the entire category is focused on improving indoor health and comfort.

  1. ENERGY STAR with Indoor Air Package
    1. The Teran project will comply with this credit by meeting the requirements of USEPA’s Indoor airPLUS as a replacement for Indoor Air Package method.
  2. Combustion Venting
    1. The prerequisite, Basic Combustion Venting Measures, will be met by: installing no unvented combustion appliances, installing carbon monoxide monitors on each floor, installing doors on all fireplaces and installing power vented exhaust on all space and water heating equipment.
    2. The optional credit, Enhanced Combustion Venting Measures, will be met by: installing listed, power or direct vented or fixed doors on all fireplaces and stoves and providing electronic pilots on fireplaces and stoves.
  3. Moisture Control
    1. No dehumidification systems are being installed.
  4. Outdoor Air Ventilation
    1. The prerequisite, Basic Outdoor Air Ventilation, will be achieved through continuous
    2. An optional credit will be achieved by performing Third Party Performance testing ventilation
  5. Local Exhaust
    1. The prerequisite, Basic Local Exhaust, requires: bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans to meet ASHRAE 62.2 air flow requirement, fans and ducts be designed and installed to ASHRAE 62.2, air to be exhausted to the outdoors and bathroom exhaust fans be ENERGY STAR labeled.
    2. The optional credit, Enhanced Local Exhaust will be met by installing continuously operating exhaust fans in the bathrooms
    3. Another optional credit will be achieved by performing Third Party Performance testing
  6. Distribution of Space Heating and cooling
    1. The prerequisite will be met for conducting room-by-room load calculations according to ACCA Manual J & D.
  7. Air Filtering
    1. The prerequisite requires Good Filters be installed with a MERV value of 8 or greater.
  8. Contaminant Control
    1. The Indoor Contaminant Control credit will be achieved by installing a coat rack and shoe shelf in the Garage, at the door leading into the Laundry Room
  9. Radon Protection
    1. This site is located in a high risk area, therefore Radon-Resistant Construction is a mandated prerequisite. Under slab gravel and vapor barrier has been installed, a crock has been installed with a PVC line to the outside, terminating above the roof line, and an electrical outlet located near the crock in the event a power pump will be required after radon testing has been completed.

10.  Garage Pollution Protection

  1. The prerequisite requires no HVAC be installed in the Garage
  2. The optional credit, Minimize Pollutants from Garage, will be met by: sealing all penetrations and connections between the Garage and adjoining conditioned spaces, installing carbon monoxide detector in the Laundry Room adjoining the Garage and weather stripping the Laundry Room door adjoining the garage.

Awareness & Education (AE)

The LEED for Homes Rating System addresses the design and construction of new green homes. However, in order to maintain the continued high performing qualities of a green home, the owner has responsibilities they must be made aware of. The Awareness and Education category addresses this concern by mandating the Education of the Homeowner or Tenant Basic Operations Training prerequisite. This requires the builder to prepare and review an Operations and Maintenance Manual and conduct a minimum one hour walkthrough with the owner or tenant.

Additionally, credits are available for Enhanced Training and Public Awareness. With Public Awareness, the builder must meet 3 of the 4 options: have an open house on at least 4 weekends, market the benefits of LEED Homes on their website, have a local newspaper publish an article about the home, and display LEED signage on the exterior of the home.

Benefits Summary: Teran Residence

    • Integrated Project Team and Planning: protects the integrity of green design strategies and heads off potential cost overruns to inadequate communication and coordination
    • Durability Planning and Management: ensures increased life expectancy of building design and materials susceptible to premature failure
    • Location and Linkages: reduces the burden on our natural resources by building in areas where existing infrastructure can be used
    • Sustainable Sites: provides stewardship over the site as well as adjoining communities
    • Water Efficiency: reduces water consumption; reduces energy demand by requiring less hot water and electrical support for irrigation systems
    • Energy & Atmosphere: reduces energy consumption and the release of harmful refrigerants into the atmosphere
    • Materials & Resources: protects natural resources by careful selection of materials; improves indoor air quality by using low emission finishes (VOC); reduces the burden on landfills by managing construction waste
    • Indoor Environmental Quality: provides increased insulation and air infiltration sealing; increases and controls ventilation and exhaust; reduces indoor pollutants and controls contaminants

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