Wednesday, June 17, 2015

About LEED


USGBC: U.S. Green Building Council
  • non-profit
  • Objective: "to make green buildings available to everyone within a generation
  • Founded 1992
committees - volunteers

Greenbuild - conference and expo
  • 3 days
  • 30,000 attendees in 2013


  1. Promoting the Triple Bottom Line
  2. Establishing leadership
  3. Creating and restoring harmony between humans and nature
  4. Maintaining integrity by using technical and scientific data to help guide decision making
  5. Ensure inclusiveness by using a democratic process and giving everyone an opportunity to be heard
  6. Exhibit transparency by having open standards


  1. Building owners and end-users
  2. Real estate developers
  3. Facility managers
  4. Interior designers
  5. Architects
  6. Designers
  7. Engineers
  8. Utility managers
  9. Landscape managers
  10. Contractors
  11. Product and building system manufacturers
  12. Government agencies
  13. Nonprofits
  14. College Students and Faculty


LEED stands for: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
LEED: A leading-edge system for certifying high-performance buildings and sustainable neighborhoods.

History of LEED

LEED Green Building Rating System
LEED: 150 professional staff
LEED started in 1994.

Why Was LEED Created

  1. Define "green building" by establishing a common standard of measurement
  2. Promote integrative, whole-building design practices
  3. Recognize environmental leadership in the building industry
  4. Stimulate green compeition
  5. Raise consumer awareness of green building benefits [very important for Egypt]
  6. Transform the building market

LEED Certification Benefits

Financial benefits of green building:
  1. Lower operating costs
  2. Increased building value
  3. Higher occupancy rates
  4. Higher rents
"LEED certified buildings have healthier work and living environments which contributes to higher productivity and improved employee health and comfort."

Term: "net present value"

"By having a LEED certified project, an owner can expect higher earnings and lower expenses."

"The General Services Administration (GSA) has recently increased its minimum requirement for new construction and substantial renovation of Federally-owned facilities to LEED Gold. Until 2010, GSA required LEED Silver."


LEED Rating Systems

Building Design + Construction (BD+C)

"Applies to buildings that are being newly constructed or going through a major renovation."
  1. New Construction
  2. Core & Shell
  3. Schools
  4. Retail
  5. Hospitality
  6. Data Centers
  7. Warehouses & Distribution Centers
  8. Healthcare
  9. Homes and Multifamily Lowrise
  10. Multifamily Midrise
Energy Star

Interior Design + Construction (ID+C)

"Applies to projects that are a complete interior fit-out."
  1. Commercial Interiors
  2. Retail
  3. Hospitality
(None for homes!)

Building Operations + Maintenance (O+M)

"Applies to existing buildings that are undergoing improvement work or little to no construction."
  1. Existing Buildings (Al Marwa buildings)
  2. Retail
  3. Schools
  4. Hospitality
  5. Data Center
  6. Warehouses and Distribution Centers

Neighborhood Development (ND)

"Applies to new land development projects or redevelopment projects containing residential uses, nonresidential uses or a mix."
  1. Plan
  2. Built Project

Multiple Certifications for the Same Building

  1. New Construction, Operations & Maintenance
  2. Core & Shell, Commercial Interiors
  3. New Construction, New Interiors
  4. Commercial, Operations & Maintenance

LEED Updates

Rating System Structure

  1. Location and Transportation
  2. Sustainable Sites
  3. Water Efficiency
  4. Energy and Atmosphere
  5. Materials and Resources
  6. Indoor Environmental Quality
  7. Innovation
  8. Regional Priority
The above criteria apply to every LEED rating system except LEED for Neighborhood Development.

Categories for LEED for Neighborhood Development

  1. Smart Location and Linkage
  2. Neighborhood Pattern and Design
  3. Green Infrastructure and Buildings

Prerequisites and Creidits

Prerequisites: "Prerequisites do not earn your project any points because they are required for the project to be considered."

Example: LEED BD+C New Construction
  1. Construction activity pollution prevention
  2. Indoor environment quality - indoor air quality
  3. Tobacco smoke control


Credit: "A non-mandatory project characteristic, measurement, quality, value or function as identified within a LEED rating system."

Example: "The credit for reducing the amount of water used for landscaping by 50% has the intent of reducing potable water use."

Satisfying Prerequisites and Earning Credits

  1. Intents
  2. Requirements: "The requirement may not be the only way you could think of to achieve the Intent of each credit or prerequisite, but they are the only way from the standpoint of the LEED Rating System.
  3. Behind the Intent
  4. Related Credit Tips (related credits, permaculture: multifunction)
  5. Referenced Standards
  6. Step-byStep Guidance
  7. Exemplary Performance - "Innovation in Design"
  8. Calculations
  9. Required Documentation

LEED Pilot Credit Library

Project Certification

"The ‘greenness’ of a LEED project is based on a 100 point scale with an additional 10 bonus points."

Levels of LEED certification:

  1. Certified: 40-49 points
  2. Silver: 50-59 points
  3. Gold: 60-79 points
  4. Platinum: 80+ points
Requirements for certification:
  1. Meet the Minimum Project Requirements (MPR)
  2. Satisfy all Prerequisites
  3. Satisfy a combination of Credits that achieve a certain number of points for the desired certification level.

Credit Weightings

What I LEED project should accomplish:
  1. Reverse Contribution to Global Climate Change
  2. Enhance Individual Human Health and Wellbeing
  3. Protect and Restore Water Resources
  4. Protect, Enhance and Restore Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
  5. Promote Sustainable and Regenerative Materials Resources Cycels
  6. Build a Greener Economy
  7. Enhance Social Equity, Environmental Justice and Community Quality of Life


  1. Can I join one of the committees?
  2. Can there be chapters in Egypt?
  3. How about chapters for the Green Pyramid in Egypt?
  4. Can I join the Greenbuild Expo, perhaps as a speaker?
  5. Can I become a member of USGBC?
  6. Shall I specialize in ID+C?


  1. In Egypt, we should work on preserving the good old green practices in building and mitigate the adoption of environmentally unfriendly ones that are invading our building scene.
  2. Using LEED certification can be a compelling argument for going green when building in Egypt such as in the Smart Village or the New Capital.
  3. Make my PhD in green building!
  4. We should affect LEED from an Egyptian point of view.


  1. I'd like to be involved in the LEED committee responsible for the certification, exams and training/training materials!
  2. It would be lovely to have the first LEED certified city in Egypt.
  3. Create your own study cards (lists?), flash cards and share them.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Green Building Basics


Sustainability: The ability to meet needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Green building: The practice of creating structures and using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource efficient throughout a building's life cycle.

Built environment: The human-made surroundings that provide the setting for human activity, ranging in scale from personal shelter and buildings to neighborhoods and cities.

Green building may refer to:
  1. sustainable construction
  2. high-performance building
In the past, we used to think of sustainability as something for the future, but now we see it impacts our daily lives. Energy costs have increased.

Impacts of Buildings and Construction

Impact from commercial construction in the US:
  1. 72% of electricity
  2. 39% of energy
  3. 38% of CO2 emissions
  4. 40% of raw materials
  5. 30% of waste output
  6. 14% of potable water

Defining Green Building

Benefits of green buildings

Benefits of green buildings:
  1. less energy
  2. save money over time
  3. better occupant health and comfort
  4. better for the environment
Green buildings reduce the negative impact on a) human health and b) the natural environment by:
  • efficient use of
    • energy
    • water
    • land
    • materials
  • occupant health
  • reducing waste and pollution
  • ways to improve performance [this is a window for innovation]

Whole Building Design

Integrative approach vs conventional approach

ex: building orientation:
  1. sunlight entering
  2. affecting heating/cooling loads
  3. impact on window glazing
(Simulation software)

"uses an integrative project team"

Insulation, HVAC
  • design
  • construction planning
  • construction
  • turnover

The Conventional Building Process

  1. Design
  2. Construction plans
  3. Building process
  4. Construction
  5. Commissioning and turnover
  6. Occupancy
"specialists usually worked in isolation"
ex: insulation: cooling system according to area, not taking insulation type into account.

Can increase initial costs and operation costs.

The Integrative Process

The integrative process: An approach that integrates people, systems, business structures and practices into a process that collaboratively harnesses the talents and insights of all participants.

Team members communicate.
Integrative process project phases (vs. conventional process mentioned above)
  1. Pre-Design
  2. Desing
  3. Construction plans
  4. Building process
  5. Construction
  6. Commission the building
  7. Occupancy and Recomissioning
  8. Building end of life reuse or demolition/recycle


Life Cycle Approach
Develop a Clear Statement of the Project's Vision
Define the Green Goals of the Building
Guidelines on making smart goals: goals should:
  1. support the project vision
  2. be clear so all team members can relate and understand
  3. cover the entire project
  4. be achievable
  5. be measurable (qualitative or quantitative)
  6. be achievable in the space and time of the project (applicable)
ex: goal: saving energy
Metrics and targets (I love metrics!)
"Targets use the metrics for measurement."
Set Priorities
"critical milestones"
(examples from real projects needed)

Select the Project Team

"... and even the building's end users"
"Assign champions/group leaders."
Champion: Someone who is motivated and able to lead the team in the direction of sustainability.

Research Green Technologies and Strategies

also including old materials and strategies
ex: rugs, manwar, mal2af hawa (our rich Egyptian heritage!)

Assign Small Task Groups

Define Green Building Budget Items

"Green building has a few added expenses compared to traditional building." (Actually, "conventional" rather than "traditional" building, in older countries like Egypt.)

Costs include: "Design and cost advice from experienced green building professionals."

Ex: "A high-efficiency HVAC system may cost 10% more upfront, but the simple payback may be 5 years and after that the building will save 20% every year on energy bills."

Research the chosen green technologies:
  1. Do we have installers with significant experience? (Hence the GIZ training of solar systems installers)
  2. Who else is doing this and what were the results? (Very important in Egypt.)

Review Applicable Laws and Standards

Zoning and Local Codes

  1. minimum parking requirements
  2. building hight
  3. floor area ratio
(The above 3 touch upon current challenges in Egypt.)


ICC: International Construction Code


IgCC stands for International Green Construction Code


accessibility guidelines
ADA: Americans with Disapbilities Act

Other Laws

"Some cities now require ... even a certain level of LEED certification."


Remaining Steps

"The project team is always reviewing and verifying that green building goals are being met at every point in the process."

Building Costs

"In the past when constructing a new building the long term costs were never taken into consideration."

LCC: Life Cycle Costs
LCA: Life Cycle Analysis

"LCA addresses environmental impacts while LCC address economic impacts."

Soft costs: include: architectural, legal, financing, engineering fees
Hard costs: fixed assets

"operation and maintenance costs"

term: "value engineering"

Integrative Process Compared to Traditional Project Delivery

Integrative Process and Project Teams

Success factors of a project team:
  1. Setting specific goals that can be measured and validated
  2. Developing strategies that would meet the goals
  3. Proper planning
  4. Creating processes that foster communication of all team members
  5. All team members being on board with the goals and being held accountable for reaching those goals
  6. Continuous monitoring of progress throughout the development process and insuring goals are being achieved

Example: Bridgeton Revitalization Project

affordable housing
"both environmental and social issues"

Ongoing Operations & Maintenance

"preventive maintenance"
"performance measuring ... and optimization"

The Triple Bottom Line

triple bottom line vs. money

  1. economic
  2. environment
  3. social responsibility
(Examples: social entrepreneurs; Sekem)

triple bottom line accounting

Systems Thinking

"Systems thinking tries to avoid designing a solution to one problem that results in a problem in another system."
"emergent properties"

closed systems (most sustainable)
open systems (less sustainable)

Leverage points: A point in a system where a small change can lead to large changes in results.

Ex: exercise sign near elevator (story)

Positive feedback
Negative feedback

Key Terms


The LEED book is using direct benefits including cost reduction to win people into buying into LEED and green buildings.

Green buildings are moving from the current aim of reducing negative impact towards regenerative design. to actually being positive. The Living Building Challenge clearly sets this as its goal while LEED might be looking to this in the future.

Problem: High negative impact of conventional buildings
  1. high energy consumption
  2. CO2 emissions
  3. landfills (waist)
  4. resource consumption (including water)
Solution: Green buildings

Zoom out, bigger picture, macro view

Sum up:
  1. Big picture
  2. Everything is connected
There is a focus on renovation (and operation) not just on building new.


"changes to design in order to meet a certain budget"
The "house as a system" model (disconnectedness)


  1. Green graveyards in Egypt! New business direction! For better comfort!
  2. Goal: Create content better than the official LEED book itself!
  3. Develop learning objectives for the LEED guide book and your version of it.
  4. High rate of success in exam for those attending your course (50%).
  5. Service: apartment finishing, ecologically.
  6. Teach LEED in story form, real stories of actual cases including obstacles and failures.
  7. Lax laws in Egypt may even present an opportunity for green building!
  8. In Egypt, mixed-use developments allow residence to be built among office spaces and basic services, thus decreasing the use of automobile.
  9. I should check and study the Egyptian building code.
  10. The natural insulating material developed by an Egyptian researcher may be used.
  11. The word "traditional" should be replaced by "conventional" when referring to building in Egypt.
  12. LEED in pictures! Create a book containing comics-like pictures in story form of LEED.
Study: 3:45 hours - 9 pages