Nexus of Net Zero and LEED

For those of you who may not know, Olson Planning & Urban Landscapes has a contract with Sustainable Fort Carson south of Colorado Springs.  At Fort Carson, my responsibilities under this contract are to review submitted construction document drawings for sustainability opportunities.  The following are some of the primary criteria that are to be met by submittals at Fort Carson.

  • Executive Order 13423 & Executive Order 13514 (Includes statement for new construction and major renovations to meet or exceed the compliance criteria of LEED Silver as defined by the GBCI (Green Building Certification Institute)
  • Installation’s Seven Sustainability Goals (Energy and Water Resources; Sustainable Transportation; Air Quality; Sustainable Development; Sustainable Procurement; Zero Waste; Sustainable Training Lands)
  • Integrated Net Zero Installation Requirements by FY20 (Net Zero Energy; Net Zero Water; Net Zero Waste)

In this process, I have noticed a positive shift with the recent Net Zero requirements.  Submittals that were previously meeting the requirements of LEED Silver or above are now capable of meeting LEED Platinum when the Net Zero requirements are met.

This made me ask the question, who many points are achieved automatically in order to become Net Zero for energy, water and waste?  I have found that 53 points are applicable to meeting net zero for energy, water and waste.  53 points does not include any regional LEED credits (via LEED 2009 for New Construction and Major Renovations) nor does it include some of the other “low-hanging fruit” items such as bicycle storage that are frequently achieved for LEED purposes.

The following are the credits directly related:

SS 6.1: Stormwater Design – Quantity Control (1 point)

SS 6.2: Stormwater Design – Quality Control (1 point)

SS 7.1 Heat Island Effect – Nonroof (1 point)

SS 7.2 Heat Island Effect – Roof (1 point)

WE 1: Water Efficient Landscaping (4 points)

WE 2: Innovative Wastewater Technologies (2 points)

WE 3: Water Use Reduction (4 points)

EA 1: Optimize Energy Performance (19 points)

EA 2: On-site Renewable Energy (7 points)

EA 3: Enhanced Commissioning (2 points)

EA 5: Measurement and Verification (3 points)

MR 2: Construction Waste Management (2 points)

IEQ 1: Outdoor Air Delivery Monitoring (1 point) (necessary with a tight building envelope)

IEQ 2: Increased Ventilation (1 point) (necessary with a tight building envelope)

ID 1.1: Additional Water Use Reduction (1 point)

ID 1.2: Additional Energy Reduction (1 point) (strive for 75% reduction per building prior to renewable integration)

ID 1.3: Additional On-Site Renewable Energy Production (1 point) (strive for 25% from Renewable Energy)

ID 1.4: Zero Waste (1 point) (meets or exceeds 95% waste diversion during construction)

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