LEED-H (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a certification program for residential homes to promote best practices in energy conservation, land and water use, air quality, and education in building construction. (Here is an earlier blog on LEED as it applies to 78 Main St, our renovation project).
This week I held a LEED-H meeting with representation from all the sub-contractors to go over the preliminary rating, the pre-requisite items, and to address the Durability Plan — which is the first real deliverable from our group to the LEED raters.
Preliminary Rating: A few weeks back we had a meeting with the LEED consultant to go through all of the 36 items that are rated in this program and get an idea of the level of certification we should shoot for. For this house, 50 points would get us basic LEED-H certification. 65 points would get us Silver level, 80 points for Gold, and 95 points for Platinum. When we completed the preliminary rating, it looks like we should be able to get Gold level certification. It is possible that we could get to Platinum, but the tradeoffs with historic preservation or costs might not be worth it. The zero net energy building design is providing many of the energy efficiency and indoor air quality points to head us towards the gold rating.
Pre-Requisites: Even if we are able to get many of the points that demonstrate best practices in some areas, if we miss out on any of the mandatory pre-requisite points we will not be able to get a LEED rating. So we went through all the pre-requisite items at this meeting. Some of the interesting ones include: assigning responsible people to each of the items to get sign-off when complete, insuring there are plans in place for moisture control within the house, erosion control and protecting streams and lakes from runoff during construction, limiting building waste, radon mitigation efforts, and many more.
The Durability plan: This plan is used to identify the items that will ensure longevity of this building including water issues that could arise in the foundation, walls, roof, interior moisture, air infiltration, condensation, heat loss, pests, and even warranties on products.
We had lots of good discussions around everything from radon mitigation to insulation applications (especially in the basement and roof) to roofing materials. It was great to have representation from so many different areas in one room. We all learn a lot that way!