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Introducing comparative analysis to the LEED system: A case forrational and regional application

Description: The LEED(TM) system awards points for prescriptive andperformance based environmental strategies; rightly giving more weight todecisions affecting building operations, since environmental impacts overthe life of a building exceed the one-time environmental impacts affectedby the building s construction. The environmental benefits of LEED(TM)strategies are considered implicit and the point system is not a metricof environmental performance. Thus, guideline strategies that achieve thesame points may not have analogous environmental performance. This paperdraws from our LEED(TM) project experience as certified consultants to anumber of design teams. We applied analysis to those experiences andargue that -The relative environmental value of the same LEED(TM)strategy may vary by geographical region and by building type. -Scoringsuccessive LEED(TM) points beyond a 'standard practice design'significantly increases design effort and capital costs for construction.-Without comparative analysis of the costs of alternate LEED(TM)strategies and their corresponding environmental benefit, designers willnot necessarily invest capital in strategies that most profoundlyminimize the environmental impacts of a building. -For design teams andowners interested in the least expensive LEED(TM) certification, gamingthe point system could drive investment away from sound environmentalperformance strategies such as energy efficiency. Using these arguments,this paper makes a case to enhance the LEED(TM) system by -CategorizingLEED(TM) strategies by their direct or indirect value towardsEnvironmental Benefit, Healthy Buildings (Places), and Profitability.-Reformulating prescriptive requirements into performance basedrequirements wherever possible. -Customizing LEED(TM) guidelines byregion.
Date: June 1, 2002
Creator: Eijadi, David; Vaidya, Prausad; Reinertsen, James & Kumar, Satish
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department