Princeton Engineering Services, PC provides innovative solutions for the design of high performance buildings.
Our sustainable design services include the following:
Sample Sustainable Building Design Project: New Jersey Forestry Service
Since the release of LEED® 2.0 in March 2000, project teams from more than 300 projects have registered their buildings, expressing their intent to apply for official LEED Certification by the USGBC.
Increasingly, companies are turning to LEED as the blueprint by which a true “green building” can be designed. LEED is a registered trademark of USGBC.
Only buildings certified by USGBC under the LEED Green Building Rating System may refer to themselves as LEED buildings.
Princeton Engineering Services, PC assists in the certification process and involves the following:
1. PES helps in registering the project to initiate a relationship with USGBC and receive orientation materials. Registration during pre-design phase is highly recommended.
2. PES Technical support comes in the form of clarifications about the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to the specifics of their project. As a LEED Accredited Professional, PES can evaluate which credits the design has met and issue a LEED Assessment Report as to what level the design has achieved.
3. PES helps in applying for certification. Application review can take anywhere from six weeks to several months. As a LEED Accredited Professional PES assists in response and appeal throughout the review stages (administrative, preliminary technical and final technical reviews).
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) (www.usgbc.org) to assess the environmental sustainability of building designs.
LEED is a point-based rating system; points are earned for building attributes considered environmentally beneficial. LEED differs from other rating systems in that it has quantified most of the "green credits " For example, 5% of the building materials must be from salvaged materials to earn a point for the salvaged materials credit.
LEED Version 2.1 consists of 69 points covering six topic areas. Each topic area has a statement of associated goals.
• Site Development: Minimize storm water run-off, encourage car pooling and bicycling, increase urban density and increase green space.
• Water Efficiency: Eliminate site irrigation, reduce water consumption, minimize or treat wastewater.
• Energy Efficiency: Reduce building energy consumption, use renewable energy, eliminate ozone-depleting chemicals, commission building systems.
• Material Selection: Minimize construction waste, re-use existing building façade, use recycled and salvaged materials, use renewable construction materials.
• Indoor Environmental Quality: Incorporate daylighting, use low-gassing materials, provide operable windows and occupant control of work space, improve delivery of ventilation air.
• Process: Use a LEED Accredited Professional, greatly exceed the requirements of a credit, incorporate innovative environmental features not covered in other areas.
Designers can pick and choose the credits that are most appropriate to their project to achieve a LEED rating. LEED has four performance levels:
26 to 32 points: Certified
33 to 38 points: Silver
39 to 51 points: Gold
52 to 69 points: Platinum
LEED is the most recognized green building rating system in North America. Although there are fewer than 50 LEED buildings that have been certified by the USGBC, there are hundreds of buildings that are going through the process. Many developers, particularly those working on federal government and leading-edge private sector buildings, are requiring that building designs meet LEED Silver performance. Given that conventional new buildings would likely score only a few LEED points, achievement of any LEED level represents a significant reduction in building environmental impact and improvement in indoor environment.
The LEED system can be used in three ways to improve the "green-ness" of a building design.
(1) LEED can serve as a design guide for the design team. The LEED credit system is a systematic way of ensuring that the most important environmental issues are considered during the design of the building.
(2) LEED reports are a valuable means of showing the client and other interested parties that the design has effectively addressed environmental issues.
(3) A building design can be certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. Certification provides increased market exposure and places the building in elite company among the most green buildings in North America. The USGBC requires registration and certification costs of 3 cents (5 cents CDN) per square foot. In addition, the USGBC requires calculations and documentation to validate each LEED credit claimed.
The table below summarizes the typical costs and payback periods for LEED buildings. The payback period includes only annual utility energy savings. The larger benefit of LEED buildings is in improved indoor environment (lower absenteeism, greater productivity, better thermal comfort), lower maintenance costs (commissioned building, more durable materials, smaller or eliminated building systems), higher corporate profile (increased product sales, marketing advantage, improved employee morale) and reduced risk of remedial measures (to deal with sick building syndrome or environmental contaminants).
|LEED Points||26 to 32||33 to 38||39 to 51||52 to 69|
|Typical Energy Savings||30 to 40%||40 to 50%||50 to 60%||60% and over|
|Incremental Construction Cost||2%||5%||7.5%||10%|
|Annual Utility Savings||$0.75/ft2||$1.00/ft2||$1.25/ft2||$1.50/ft2|
|Typical Payback Period||Under 3 years||3 to 5 years||5 to 10 years||10+ years|