A Tool to Help You Demystify LEED 2009
Venturing into LEED 2009 can be a bit scary, even for seasoned LEED users. The recently revised rating systems introduce new Minimum Program Requirements (MPR) plus some changes to the prerequisites and credits. Lucky for us there’s an aptly named new resource to help ease the pain.
LEEDuser is an online tool developed by our very reliable good buddies at Building Green and YRG sustainability. It is free through its beta period, likely to end in mid-October. Thereafter it will be available by annual subscription for $99.95 or monthly for $9.95. There will also be a team price to be determined.
The cleanly designed site is extremely user friendly, written in easy-to-understand language versus the sometimes bureaucratically technical jargon in the rating systems and reference guides. You choose the 2009 rating system (New Construction, Core & Shell, Schools, Commercial Interiors, or Existing Buildings Operations & Maintenance) and credit you’d like to know more about and receive a page similar to the one below on Fundamental Commissioning. The credits that users find most challenging are already diagramed; others will continue to come online. Even the MPRs are succinctly summarized.
Users may post comments or questions. LEED experts and topic-area specialists (disclosure – I’m one of them) will respond. Here’s a good example of how it works: A reader questioned an apparent contradiction in the LEED-CI 2009 Reference Guide for the requirements for EAc3 Measurement and Verification. The requirements listed with the credit itself did not jive with the implementation guidelines in the Reference Guide. The LEEDuser reviewer agreed, investigated and received word from USGBC that it had already identified this as an errata item and will issue clarifications soon. Nice not spending any more time on that!
Another CI credit that’s causing angst is WEc1 Water Use Reduction. The language is ambiguous on which fixtures need to be included in the calculations for the prerequisite. LEEDuser confirmed the requirements – straight from the source – and posted the contents of an email from GBCI.
"Existing fixtures and/or those in common areas of the buildings are still to be included in the LEED 2009 WEp1 calculations (as they were in the LEED-CIv2.0 WEc1 calculations) if they are used by the occupants of the LEED-CI tenant space regardless of whether or not other tenants share these fixtures."
LEEDuser is not meant to be a conduit to USGBC or GBCI, but rather a resource to assist project teams achieve the highest possible LEED scores and environmental goals. Add this resource-rich tool to your arsenal. You’ll be glad you did.