ID#10160 made on
EAc3 - Enhanced commissioning
LEED BD+C: New Construction, LEED O+M: Existing Buildings, LEED ID+C: Commercial Interiors, LEED BD+C: Core and Shell, LEED BD+C: Schools, LEED BD+C: Retail, LEED ID+C: Retail, LEED BD+C: Healthcare, LEED BD+C: Hospitality, LEED BD+C: Data Centers, LEED ND: Project
The project is requesting guidance on how EAc3 Enhanced Commissioning, as well as EAc5 Measurement and Verification, can be pursued for projects utilizing government-owned district energy systems that...
The project is requesting guidance on how EAc3 Enhanced Commissioning, as well as EAc5 Measurement and Verification, can be pursued for projects utilizing government-owned district energy systems that can't comply the requirements outlined in the LEED DES guidelines. Following the guidelines, projects that meet certain criteria cannot obtain points for EAc3 or EAc5 if they earn points for EAc1 Optimize Energy Performance but are unable to commission or meter upstream DES equipment.
The project consists of a manufacturing facility located in China. The facility utilizes district steam for heating. The district energy plant is owned and operated by the government. The facility is greater than 50,000 sf and the district energy system will account for about 30% of the building's annual energy cost. In addition to this, the project would like to pursue points under EAc1.
Following the "Treatment of District or Campus Thermal Energy in LEED V2 and LEED 2009-Design & Construction" guidelines, the project would not be able to pursue Enhanced Commissioning while earning EAc1 points without commissioning upstream equipment at the DES plant. The same requirements also prevent the project from pursuing credit EAc5 Measurement and Verification without including the DES plant.
Due to the strict and undisclosed nature of the government in China, obtaining information and specific numbers on the energy performance and maintenance of the DES equipment would not be possible, making the Enhanced Commissioning of all district energy system equipment unfeasible. The same problem applies to credit EAc5.
Even if the DES plant was owned by a utility company, it is unlikely the utility would give the project team all of required the information and allow them to perform the activities outlined in the DES guidelines. The guidelines appear to apply only to owner-operated DESs rather than utility or government-operated DESs. Projects that utilize most district energy systems are disadvantaged by not being able to earn a total of five Energy & Atmosphere points for these two credits. Given that DESs are typically employed because of the increased efficiencies realized through economies of scale and varied user demand schedules and are often more efficient than if the same facility were to operate with individual systems in isolation, we feel the current guidance places an inordinate onerous on government-owned/operated systems.
Given the information above, can government-owned upstream equipment included in the district energy system be excluded from the scope of both EAc3 and EAc5 under the DES guidelines so that projects can earn points for EAc3 and EAc5 while earning points for EAc1?
Also, the DES guidelines state that LEED v2009 projects are not formally required to use the guidelines. Can the project choose to not use the guidelines and earn points for EAc3 and EAc5 in addition to EAc1?
If a project team is following the "District or Campus Thermal Energy in LEED V2 and LEED 2009-Design & Construction" (DESv2) guidelines, the project may not exclude the District Energy System from the requirements of EA Credit 3 and EA Credit 5.
However, as indicated in Section 1.2 of the DESv2 guidelines, "LEED v2009 projects are not formally required to use this guidance". Therefore, the project team may elect to opt out of the DESv2 guidance. If the project team does opt out of the DESv2 guidance, the district energy for EA Prerequisite 2 and EA Credit 1 would be modeled as indicated in the ASHRAE 90.1 Appendix G requirements, which state that purchased heating should be modeled in both the Baseline and Proposed Case systems. Furthermore, the upstream equipment would not be required to be accounted for in EA Credit 3 or EA Credit 5. Note that this methodology does not allow any credit for improved efficiency associated with upstream district energy equipment in EA Prerequisite 2 / EA Credit 1. Equivalent to ASHRAE 90.1 may be used.
Related Addenda (Corrections & Interpretations)