Incorporating LEED into Project Specs

October 13, 2009

“A LEED rating system does not confirm sustainability,” Susan Kaplan, CSI, CCS, a specifier for HLW International in NYC, explained to CSI’s Sustainability Practice Group during a recent meeting.

LEED is not a complete roadmap for running a green project. There will always be new material and system requirements, regulations and standards, etc. These are all LEED “special needs.”

Although it uses a great organizational method that covers attributes including Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality, LEED does not cover the entire life cycle of the project. was mentioned to emphasize that one needs to view the project from the stand point of the entire life cycle.

In the future, LEED will move toward a multi-attribute focus. ISO standards are beginning to address these attributes through LCA, and to look at products more comprehensively. Today’s owners do not necessarily understand that the products they are getting are not as green as they are made out to be. Michael Fuller, CSI, AIA., NCARB, CDT, LEED AP, member of the GreenFormat Program Management Task Team, believes that in the future, there will eventually be more comprehensive definitions of what constitutes a green or sustainable product.

Continue reading the article at CSI Blog

Brutally Honest Attack on Homebuilders? 

September 15, 2009

I debated for a long time whether I should re-post this article or not, because it definitely belongs in the Burning Bridges category.  However this is not representative of all builders.  My primary reason for re-posting is for consumer education.  If one potential new home owner reads this and questions their builder on something/anything.  Then re-posting this was worth it.

Brutally Honest Attack on Homebuilders?

by Mr. Dorris via Consilience: The blog

As I have previously posted, the 20% of homebuilders who build 80% of all homes are not in the business of building homes, they are in the business of making money (increasing shareholder value) and, therefore, do not necessarily know how to build.

Continue reading the article at Consilence: The Blog

How Energy Efficient Is My Home? |

September 14, 2009

How Energy Efficient Is My Home? |

Posted on Aug 25 by Lynn Underwood, GBA Advisor

A newly adopted provision in the 2006 edition of the International Residential Code (IRC) requires that a permanent certificate be posted on the electrical distribution panel. This certificate is for the express purpose of identifying the efficiency of various energy components of the home and must include the following:

energy efficiency certificate

energy efficiency certificate

  • The predominate R-value of insulation in ceiling/roof, walls, foundation, crawl space wall, and floor;
  • U-factors for windows, skylights, etc. (where there is more than one value, the value covering the largest area must be listed);
  • The solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) of windows, skylights, etc. (again, where there is more than one value, the value covering the largest area must be listed);
  • The types and efficiencies of heating, cooling, and water heating equipment.
  • Continue reading the article at

    Attention to detail

    August 24, 2009

    General detailWhen designing and building a new home or office, both the architects and builders need to pay attention to detail.  The architect needs to make sure when they are generating the details on how the structure goes together, that they are making sure that the structure is going to be energy efficient and durable.  Therefore architects and contractors really need to pay attention to the details.

    The majority of architects that you talk to are passionate about design.  It permeates every aspect of our lives.  However as I move forward into my career, I am finding I pay more attention to the details.  Now I have an appreciation for design, it is just not my strong point.  I find it more satisfying to be working on building and wall sections.  Taking what the designer has come up with and generating the details to make it reality and really focusing on the details that will help to insure that the building will be durable and energy efficient.

    With that said, I plan on starting a new series of posts titled “Attention to detail”.  These posts, if you have been following the blog at all, at no surprise will be focusing on energy efficiency and durability.  I will be bringing the attention to small details that can make a big difference in the energy efficiency and durability of a building over its lifetime.

    LEED Credentialing – Update

    August 11, 2009

    In a previous post (here) I talk about the new LEED Credentialing system and how my opinion of the LEED AP designation has changed over the past 5 years since I took the exam.  Over at Real Life LEED, the author tries to explain if there are any real benefits to existing LEED AP’s to upgrading to the new LEED AP+ which sparked a good discussion on his comment board.

    So please, venture over to Real Life LEED and read his latest post.

    Do Legacy LEED APs Really Benefit By Upgrading to the 2009 System?