Energy efficiency best management practices | U.S. Green Building Council
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LEED O+M: Existing Buildings | v4 - LEED v4

Energy efficiency best management practices


Submittal Tips (click to expand)

EA Prerequisite: Energy Efficiency Best Management Practices

All (Except Data Centers)
  • Ensure that the Current Facilities Requirements (CFR) and Operations and Maintenance Plan (OMP) documents include the systems narrative and building occupancy schedule for the entire project building. An excerpt of the sequence of operations, equipment run-time schedules, equipment setpoints, and preventive maintenance plan must be provided for at least two distinct systems.
  • Whether providing an excerpt of the operations and maintenance plan (OMP) or the complete current facilities requirements (CFR) and OMP, ensure that all details required for each component as listed in the LEED O+M v4 Reference Guide are included. For example, the systems narrative must include information about system-specific setpoints, flows, and capacities, and must cover all major building systems and associated controls including the following: HVAC, electrical (power and exterior/interior lighting plumbing), building automation system (BAS), process equipment, heating and cooling systems for process equipment, and supplemental heating and cooling systems.
  • Describe all mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and control systems at the project building and ensure that specific details are included. Specific design criteria (e.g. AHU design flow rates for supply, return, exhaust, and outdoor air flows, chiller tonnage, etc.) and current equipment status (operational, construction shut-down, inactive, etc.) must be included.
  • Ensure that the sequence of operations has been provided for two distinct systems and that it prescribes processes by which building systems respond to external conditions (e.g. temperature, humidity) and commands (e.g. on, off, modulate). All modes of operation should be covered by the documentation.
  • Remember that all documentation must be project specific. If generic or corporate templates for a sequence of operation are used, ensure that they are annotated to indicate which aspects apply to the project building and where project-specific equipment deviates from the template.
  • Ensure that the excerpt of the preventive maintenance plan includes the schedule of activities and all required tasks for each activity for two distinct systems. For example, the preventive maintenance for an air handling unit may have monthly, quarterly, and annual acitivities with distinct tasks (e.g. check belt tightness, lubricate fan shaft bearings, etc.) completed at each time period.

    If providing a complete operations and maintenance plan (OMP), ensure that the documentation is clear and concise (i.e. summarize the plan or annotate the building's complete documentation), and that all building systems and equipment described in the systems narrative have been addressed.

  • If the project has a significant amount of process energy use, ensure that the documentation for this prerequisite also addresses process equipment. Process loads are not excluded from best management practices for energy efficient operations.
  • Ensure that the ASHRAE preliminary energy use analysis and ASHRAE Level 1 walk-through assessment include all required elements described in the ASHRAE Procedures for Commercial Building Energy Audits, Second Edition. For example, a preliminary energy use analysis requires an estimate of the end-use breakdown for the project building, while a calculated (and more detailed) end-use breakdown is a requirement of the Level 2 energy audit.
  • Ensure that the energy use index (EUI) analysis includes target indices related to energy and cost reduction goals. These are not target ENERGY STAR scores, but should be used to inform decisions regarding recommendations from the energy audit process.
  • The target-setting process for the EUI analysis is intended to represent savings to be achieved, not those that have already occurred. Ensure that a future target is presented in the documentation as the achievement of prior targets will be reflected in EAp Minimum Energy Performance and EAc Optimize Energy Performance.
  • Ensure that the end-use breakdown addresses all major end-use categories expected to be present in the project.
  • Although the end-use breakdown required for an ASHRAE preliminary energy use analysis may be estimated, ensure that it is project specific. Common assumptions for end-use breakdowns (e.g. Energy Information Administration, 1995 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey data) often require adjustment for factors such as the project's location, specific tenant activities (e.g. large quantities of computers, etc.), or occupancy patterns (e.g. 24/7 operations versus 9-5/M-F operation), among other factors.
  • When preparing the list of potential no-cost and low-cost improvement opportunities as part of the ASHRAE Level 1 Report, ensure that the documentation includes the financial assessment (e.g., return on investment, payback) and maintenance implications of each opportunity.
  • If an ASHRAE Level 1 audit has been conducted within the past five years, there is no need to repeat the procedure during the performance period, but an updated audit report must be provided that describes any significant changes in operating procedures or building systems, as well as any new energy conservation measures observed during the walk-through.
  • If the project includes completely vacant spaces, ensure that vacant spaces have been accounted for in the building operating plan. For example, differences in setpoints and schedules for vacant spaces must be identified.