eNEWS Sign-Up

Get the lastest updates on events, the lab, energy efficiency resources and more.  Join our subscription list today!

IDL - Bozeman eNEWS - April 2013 - Vol. 6 No. 4

Entries in green building (3)


Article Review: GREEN SCHOOL

Taking a holistic approach to creating a sustainable school in Bali, Indonesia, founders Cynthia and John Hardy designed Green School.  The goal was to have a minimal impact on the land, while also teaching the next generation how to be ecologically responsible.

Unlike usual schools, the classrooms have no walls and the desks aren’t rectangular.  The whiteboards within the classrooms were made from recycled car windshields with a white paper as the background.  Obtaining energy from solar, along with a hydro-vortex, green school achieves an off-the-grid status.  The surrounding area is full of lush garden landscaping.  This provides food for the lunch, which is cooked on sawdust burners by local Balinese women.  The gardens also educate the students on growing organic foods.

To learn more about Green School, click here!


USGBC releases LEED V3

The USGBC has recently released the newest version of LEED (v3, 2009).  As of June 27, all new projects will need to register with version 3.  Version 3 boasts several advancements, including harmonization, credit weightings, and regionalization, as well as an updated LEED-online.

"The LEED Green Building Rating Systems are voluntary, consensus-based, and market-driven.  Based on existing and proven technology, they evaluate environmental performance from a whole building perspective over a building’s life cycle, providing a definitive standard for what constitutes a green building in design, construction, and operation," (USGBC, LEED 2009).  LEED was first introduced in 1998, with three new versions having been introduced between then and now.  LEED 2009 has taken the highlights of the previous versions, as well as incorporated some major modifications that will make it a more user friendly resource to better serve building professionals.

Harmonization:  In the latest version of LEED, credits and prerequisites from all commercial and institutional rating systems have been consolidated and aligned based on their most effective common denominators, so credits and prerequisites are now consistent across all 2009 LEED rating systems. 

Credit weightings:  In LEED 2009, a specific amount of points has been allocated to each credit, weighted based on their ability to impact different environmental and human concerns.  More points will be awarded for design strategies based on 13 environmental impact categories.  LEED 2009 uses the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's TRACI environmental impact categories as the basis for weighting each credit.  It also takes into consideration the National Institute of Science and Technology's (NIST's) weighting system, developed to compare environmental impact categories and weight them against each other.  All LEED rating systems now have 100 possible points, with 10 possible bonus points. 

The LEED 2009 credit weighting process involves three steps.  First, a reference building is used to determine the environmental impacts in 13 categories associated with a typical building pursuing LEED certification.  Next, the relative importance of building impacts in each category are set to reflect values based on the NIST weighting system.  Finally, data that quantifies the building impact on environmental and human health is used to assign points to each individual credit. 

Regionalization:  The new version of LEED also awards points based on regionally specific environmental issues.  For a projects specific location, up to 4 points are available if they address that region's specific environmental issues. 

LEED-online:  The updated LEED-online in version three is now a faster and more user friendly resource.  The improved design has a more intuitive interface, greater help capabilities, and allows for better communication between project teams and certifying boards.

Visit the USGBC website for more information about the newest version of LEED. 



ArchiCAD Launches Energy Modeling Tool

For those of you using Graphisoft's ArchiCAD, there is good news in the way of energy efficient design.  Graphisoft recently launched a new energy modeling tool called EcoDesigner that works directly with ArchiCAD to help quickly analyze building energy performance.  Pitched as a "one-click evaluation for architects," EcoDesigner allows an ArchiCAD user to make quick simple decisions about building usage, material performance, etc. and then quickly see the results of such decisions - including yearly and monthly energy usage, basic carbon footprint data and more.

For more information, check out these links: