LEED for New Construction & Major Renovations

The USGBC launched LEED version 3 on April 27th, 2009.  Also known as LEED 2009, this rating system for new construction and major renovations is intended for commercial and institutional facilities, including core and shell and K-12 schools.  This includes building types such as offices, institutional buildings (libraries, museums, churches, etc.), hotels, and residential buildings of 4 or more habitable stories. Similarly to several other States and municipalities, the State of Hawaii enacted legislation mandating all state and county funded facilities be designed and constructed to meet a minimum standard of LEED “silver”, Green Globes or other similar guideline approved by the state.  The State of Hawaii also requires priority processing for all construction or development permits for projects that achieve the LEED “silver” rating or equivalent. Similar requirements are in place for federal and military construction projects, and private sector projects increasingly recognize the financial and building occupant benefits of pursuing LEED certification. Green Building Hawaii has helped design and construction teams in all of the aforementioned project types successfully navigate the LEED certification process. Our consulting services for LEED Green Building Design and Construction include the following:

  • Design Charrette Facilitation
  • LEED Project Management
  • Specification Review and/or writing
  • Specialty team member (e.g. energy modeling, building commissioning, etc.) integration into project team

The LEED rating system continues to push the envelope in green design and construction, and represents a shift in credit weightings from previous versions that addresses environmental and human heath concerns with a focus on energy efficiency and CO2 emissions. Certified buildings represent projects that implement state-of-the-art strategies for sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials and resources selection, and indoor environmental quality. These buildings are designed and constructed to demonstrate high-performance and have reduced operating costs, distinguishing themselves as models of sustainability. The rigorous standards of LEED 2009 are outlined in the 645 page reference guide that project teams must use to get through the certification process. Although it may seem daunting at first, Green Building Hawaii’s expertise in LEED project management can successfully guide project teams through the process from start to finish. Our knowledge of the LEED credit requirements, how those requirements relate to unique contexts such as Hawaii, and team member roles and responsibilities make Green Building Hawaii a go to resource for LEED project support.


LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance

The USGBC’s LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance (EBOM) Rating System helps building owners and operators measure operations, improvements, and maintenance on a consistent scale, with the goal of maximizing operational efficiency while minimizing environmental impacts and building operating costs. All buildings (as defined by standard building codes) are eligible for certification under LEED for Existing Buildings. It is targeted at single buildings, whether owner occupied, multi-tenant, or multiple-building campus projects. It is a whole-building rating system; individual tenant spaces are not eligible. This certification can be applied both to existing buildings seeking LEED certification for the first time and to projects previously certified under LEED programs, excluding residential projects. Green Building Hawaii can provide and/or manage all aspects of a LEED EBOM certification. Our consulting services for LEED Green Building Design and Construction include the following:

  • Management of Energy Star Portfolio Manager
  • LEED EBOM policy creation
  • Energy audit and building commissioning procedures
  • LEED project management
  • Analysis of tax credit, rebate, and other financing mechanisms

LEED EBOM: LEED EBOM addresses the same core aspects of energy, water, site development, indoor environmental quality, and material use as other LEED rating systems, but it does so in a very different way. Instead of being based on green design and modeled assumptions that new construction uses, LEED EBOM addresses actual building performance by looking at metered data and the development and implementation of best practice operational policies. The program requires that buildings be fully occupied for a minimum of one year so that actual performance can be viewed. Minimum standards and performance targets for building energy and water use are set based on building type. The actual usage is then compared against these standards, and improvements can be made to reduce the operational costs and environmental impacts associated with energy and water use. The focal areas of the LEED EBOM rating system include:

  • exterior building site maintenance programs
  • water and energy use
  • environmentally preferred products and practices for cleaning and alterations
  • sustainable purchasing policies
  • waste stream management
  • ongoing indoor environmental quality

The prescriptive and performance strategies of LEED for Existing Buildings are intended to provide operational benefits throughout the life of the building. If these strategies are continued, a building can maintain and even improve its performance over time. To help insure that the standards are consistently met in a LEED EBOM certified building, a series of policies and procedures are required to be created so that the building is properly maintained and operated. Policies can be created to address everything from mechanical equipment maintenance to sustainable purchasing policies, green cleaning protocols, recycling programs, and exterior property maintenance. The creation of policies helps to insure that the buildings are properly operated and maintained even if maintenance personnel or ownership change. Buildings that receive a certification under LEED EBOM must show that the policies and performance standards have been kept up, as buildings must be recertified every 5 years to keep the LEED designation. The intent is to promote high performance, healthful, durable, affordable, and environmentally sound practices in existing buildings.


Energy Star

ENERGY STAR is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) voluntary program that helps businesses and individuals save money and protect our climate through superior energy efficiency.

The State of Hawaii requires state agencies to evaluate the energy efficiency of all existing public buildings that are larger than 5,000 square feet or use more than 8,000 kWh annually. Further, opportunities for increased energy efficiency must be identified by setting energy benchmarks for these buildings using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Management. Both privately and publicly owned and managed buildings increasingly turn to Portfolio Manager as a best practice tool for benchmarking energy and water performance. The Energy Star label has become a highly valued and recognized designation for those buildings performing in the top 25% of their building type.

Green Building Hawaii can assist in helping you set up a Portfolio Manager account for your building or portfolio of buildings, enabling you to benchmark and track building energy and water performance using a secure and user-friendly interface.

In addition, we can provide a full-service, customized package to put your facility on track to qualify for ENERGY STAR certification by helping you develop and implement high-performance building operational strategies allowing you to earn a 75 or higher on EPA’s 1-100 energy performance scale, indicating that your facility performs better than at least 75% of similar buildings nationwide.

Your organization benefits in three ways: First, you will know that you are doing your part to fight climate change by using less energy than your peers. Second, your bottom line benefits from increased energy and water savings. Third, you’re showing the world that your organization is making a commitment to reduce its impact on the environment.

Energy Star for Commercial Buildings:

Portfolio Manager is an interactive energy management tool that allows you to track and assess energy and water consumption across your entire portfolio of buildings in a secure online environment. Whether you own, manage, or hold properties for investment, Portfolio Manager can help you set investment priorities, identify under-performing buildings, verify efficiency improvements, and receive EPA recognition for superior energy performance.

An ENERGY STAR certified facility meets strict energy performance standards set by EPA and uses less energy, is less expensive to operate, and causes fewer greenhouse gas emissions than its peers. Energy use in commercial buildings and manufacturing plants accounts for nearly half of all energy consumption in the U.S. at a cost of over $200 billion per year, more than any other sector of the economy. Commercial and industrial facilities are also responsible for nearly half of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to climate change.

For more than a decade, EPA has worked with businesses and organizations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through strategic energy management practices. To qualify for the ENERGY STAR, a building or manufacturing plant must earn a 75 or higher on EPA’s 1-100 energy performance scale, indicating that the facility performs better than at least 75% of similar buildings nationwide. The ENERGY STAR energy performance scale accounts for differences in operating conditions, regional weather data, and other important considerations.

You establish yourself as a leader doing what’s right for the planet and for future generations. Research shows significant portions of our population prefer to work for or do business with organizations they perceive to be environmentally responsible.

For Commercial Buildings: Buildings achieving a score of 75 or higher using Portfolio Manager must be verified by a Licensed Professional (Professional Engineer or Registered Architect) to be eligible to apply for the ENERGY STAR. The Licensed Professional must verify that all energy use is accounted for accurately, that the building characteristics have been properly reported (including the square footage of the building), that the building is fully functional in accordance with industry standards, and that each of the indoor environment criteria has been met.

For Industrial Plants: A Professional Engineer must certify that the information used to calculate the plant‘s 75 or higher energy performance score is correct. In addition, the plant must satisfy EPA environmental compliance criteria screen.

The program’s emphasis on testing, third–party review, and compliance screening bolsters its integrity and ensures that consumers can trust ENERGY STAR certified commercial facilities to deliver the energy savings promised by the label.


Other high-performance building certifications

Green Building Hawaii can also assist your project team in pursuing a host of other highly recognized high-performance building certifications for your new or existing commercial building. We can help you assess which certifications or standards are best suited or most relevant for your specific project.

These include:

  • Living Building Challenge
  • Green Globes
  • Model Energy Codes (International Energy Conservation Code – IECC, International Green Construction Code – IGCC)

Living Building Challenge:

The Living Building ChallengeTM is the built environment’s most rigorous performance standard. It calls for the creation of building projects at all scales that operate as cleanly, beautifully and efficiently as nature’s architecture. To be certified under the Challenge, projects must meet a series of ambitious performance requirements, including net zero energy, waste and water, over a minimum of 12 months of continuous occupancy.


Green Globes:

Green Globes is a web-based program for green building guidance and certification that includes an onsite assessment by a third party.

The Green Globes software tools and ratings/certification system use a recognized and proven assessment protocol to comprehensively assess environmental impacts on a 1,000 point scale in multiple categories.

Those buildings that achieve 35% or more of the 1,000 points possible in the Green Globes rating system are eligible candidates for a certification of one, two, three, or four Green Globes. The Green Globes system provides higher levels of achievement based on the number of points a building acquires.

After achieving a minimum threshold of 35% of the 1,000 total points in the preliminary self-evaluation, new and existing buildings are eligible to seek a Green Globes certification and rating for their environmental sustainability and achievements. The process utilizes third-party assessors with expertise in green building design, engineering, construction and facility operations. These professionals interface with project teams and building owners to review documentation and conduct onsite building tours. Green Globes rating and certification is attainable for a wide range of commercial and government buildings, and enables building owners to credibly market their environmental responsibility to shareholders, tenants, and their community.


Model Energy Codes:

International Energy Conservation Code – IECC: Introduced in 1998, the IECC addresses energy efficiency on several fronts including cost savings, reduced energy usage, conservation of natural resources and the impact of energy usage on the environment. Important changes in this sixth edition include:

  • A comprehensive set of changes includes measures to improve the thermal envelope, HVAC systems and electrical systems of residential buildings up to three stories in height.
  • Commercial enhancements include required energy savings for windows, doors and skylights; thermal envelope efficiency; and increased efficiencies for installed HVAC equipment.

International Green Construction Code – IgCC: The IgCC is the first model code to include sustainability measures for the entire construction project and its site — from design through construction, certificate of occupancy and beyond. The new code is expected to make buildings more efficient, reduce waste, and have a positive impact on health, safety and community welfare. The IgCC creates a regulatory framework for new and existing buildings, establishing minimum green requirements for buildings and complementing voluntary rating systems, which may extend beyond baseline of the IgCC. The code acts as an overlay to the existing set of International Codes, including provisions of the International Energy Conservation Code and ICC-700, the National Green Building Standard, and incorporates ASHRAE Standard 189.1 as an alternate path to compliance.

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