Ball State University built its LETTERMAN building in 2007, earning a Silver LEED certification. When considered (albeit on a non-qualifying basis due to its age) as an NC building under the new methodology, LETTERMAN would not have met the performance benchmark since its percent improvement in EUI over code was 19% when 25% would be the required threshold. However, like many leading green building pioneers, Ball State has continued to invest in clean energy efficiency on a system-wide basis. In particular, in 2012, it began running a campus-wide geothermal system to replace its coal boilers. Interestingly, this generated an improvement in EUI in the LETTERMAN building of more than 20%, opening up the option for it to qualify for Chevrolet funding under the LEED EB-A route, earning potential credits of over 400 tons CO2 per year. However, the geothermal systems were so dramatic in their impact that they enabled Ball State to qualify for campus-wide funding (for stationary 1 reductions that exceed an average of 5.86% per year) which offered the potential to earn many more tons of CO2 credits per year – a route that Ball State chose to pursue with Chevrolet.
The business case for its LETTERMAN LEED building was nonetheless intriguing; based on the $3/square foot that LEED estimates is needed to deliver outstanding LEED performance levels, a 10 year stream of the LETTERMAN building credits (at $5-10/ton) would provide a 7.5%-15% return on incremental capital.
The LETTERMAN building’s pro forma excel templates can be reviewed alongside the EPA Target Finder summaries that resulted.
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