I try to review all of the addenda to the LEED Rating Systems and Reference Guides on a regular basis, but it’s a pretty big job. If you’ve been working on LEED projects and haven’t reviewed the available addenda recently, I really encourage you to do so- there are some fairly recent addenda that can make some of the LEED BD+C credits much more attainable. The USGBC website seems to be in a constant state of change, but at the moment, you can find all of the addenda by clicking HERE.
When I was reviewing the LEED addenda a couple weeks ago, I found one particular addition to the Measurement and Verification (M&V) credit that I am very happy about and plan to use on most if not all of my LEED 2009 projects. Prior to this addenda, there were two options for earning the measurement and verification credit:
Option 1: Calibrated Simulation
Comparison of the building’s actual energy use to a calibrated energy model
Option 2: Energy Conservation Measure Isolation
Sub-metering of energy uses and a Measurement and Verification plan to analyze sub-metered date
The addenda offers a third option:
“Meet MPR 6 through compliance Option 1: Energy and Water Data Release Form. Projects must register an account in ENERGY STAR’s Portfolio Manager tool and share the project file with the USGBC master account.”
M&V has typically been a pretty difficult credit to acheive as it requires expensive sub-meters or calibration of an energy model which can be very time consuming and expensive and can still result in little to no real insight into unexpected energy use. The addition of this third option really makes this credit a “freebie” for many of the projects I am on as most of our building owners have already committed to using Option 1 for MPR 6. I have mixed feelings about that. The extra 2-3 points this credit is worth will definitely be appreciated on these projects, but part of me feels a bit like this is cheating since our owners were going to do it anyway. Hopefully in the end it will at least mean that building owners are paying more attention to their energy use on a regular basis as they input data into the Energy Star Portfolio Manager.