Monday, July 06, 2009

USGBC Addresses Performance Gap-By Chris Cheatham

USGBC Addresses Performance Gap

I'm impressed. In one fell swoop, the USGBC has stepped up to the plate to address the primary criticisms of the LEED rating system.

Kudos to Scot Horst and the USGBC for acknowledging an issue that has bothered many users of the LEED rating system:

“Today there is all too often a disconnect, or performance gap, between the energy modeling done during the design phase and what actually happens during daily operation after the building is constructed,” said Scot Horst, Senior Vice President of LEED, U.S. Green Building Council. “We’re convinced that ongoing monitoring and reporting of data is the single best way to drive higher building performance because it will bring to light external issues such as occupant behavior or unanticipated building usage patterns, all key factors that influence performance.”

In order to address the performance gap, projects seeking LEED certification must agree to comply with one of the following ongoing requirements:

1. The building is recertified on a two-year cycle using LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance.

2. The building provides energy and water usage data on an ongoing basis annually.

3. The building owner signs a release that authorizes USGBC to access the building’s energy and water usage data directly from the building’s utility provider.

There are serious liability and risk issues implicated by this decision, but I am going to ignore those for now.

Instead, I would like to recognize the USGBC for transparently addressing the primary critique of the LEED rating system.

What will happen to projects that don't comply with an ongoing requireme