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LEED buildings don't perform as expected

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High Five
Friday, October 01, 2010

OHSU's Center for Health and Healing was LEED certified in 2006, but just three years later, engineers discovered it was using 18% more energy than expected.

One criticism of LEED certification is that the designation is based on projections rather than actual performance.

When developing an energy-efficient building, the project team employs energy modeling, which uses computer software to predict how much electricity, water and other resources will be used in a building. Energy modeling for the OHSU building predicted 58 percent energy cost savings; however, three years after construction finished, it was achieving 40 percent energy cost savings.

One problem at the Center for Health and Healing, according to Renee Loveland, development manager for Gerding Edlen Sustainable Solutions, was that medical equipment at the center used more energy than anticipated. Plug loads - the amount of electronic appliances plugged into a building - weren’t a consideration under LEED in 2006. In addition, the heat recovery system wasn’t properly synced with the building’s load demand, Loveland said.

Read more at the Daily Journal of Commerce.

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