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Another Plaque on the Wall – Perseverance on the Way to Certification

Another Plaque on the Wall – Perseverance on the Way to Certification


TLC recently hung our 416th LEED plaque on the wall (figuratively of course). The project is an industrial plant that was designed by a different firm. TLC jumped in when the project was turned down in the LEED certification review because it couldn’t meet the energy prerequisite due to so much energy being involved in the industrial process that it dwarfed the energy required to operate the building itself. The energy from the building’s systems (HVAC, lighting, etc.) could have been cut by 75% and it still wouldn’t have made even a 10% difference towards reducing overall project energy cost. The other firm couldn’t get on the same page with the GBCI reviewers and ended up losing an appeal on the energy prerequisites.

TLC had previous helped the plant’s owner with getting one of their other industrial plants LEED certified about 10 years ago, so it was a natural response for the owner to ask if we could get their “ox out of the ditch”. Using connections that we have forged over the years with USGBC, TLC conducted several detailed discussions with USGBC staff and the GBCI review team in order to work out a way to achieve certification. In the end, we used a Pilot Credit (Energy performance metering path (EApc107) for you LEED techies) alternative compliance path that allows a project to meet the prerequisite if it can show that it uses at least 25% less energy (via actual metered performance) than the average of at least three other similar buildings’ metered performance.

In the process of exploring how we could have gotten some additional points towards the next level of certification, we learned about some other pilot credits such as “Bird collision deterrence” (SSpc55) and “Enhanced acoustical performance – exterior noise control” (Eqpc57). Unfortunately, we weren’t able to acquire these credits due to a variety of miscellaneous factors. At the end of the day, we were able to get the owner’s “ox out of the ditch” by utilizing our LEED certification expertise, connections with USGBC, and some creative problem solving.

Got a tough certification challenge? We are glad to help! Shoot an email over to and we’ll try to solve it!

Written by: Chief Sustainability Wizard, Kim E Shinn, PE, LEED Fellow, BEMP

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