Monday, April 23, 2012

Kinsley's Role in the LEED® Certification of a New or Renovated Building

What role does Kinsley play in the LEED® certification of a new or renovated building? During preconstruction, the design team is responsible for approximately 60% of the available credit points and during the construction phase, Kinsley is responsible for the remaining 40% targeted credits. It is extremely important that the Kinsley team take ownership of the LEED process to assist the owner and design team in obtaining the desired level of certification. The following are a few typical construction phase credits:

Flight 93 National Memorial - Sitework
Construction Activity Pollution Prevention
This is a prerequisite involving the compliance with federal, state and local laws and requirements in addition to following the civil engineer’s project specific erosion and dust control plans. Being a prerequisite, it doesn’t count as a credit but is required to be qualified for any other credits within this category.

Site Development: Protect and Restore Habitat
During site operations Kinsley must stay within the Limit of Disturbance. The Limit of Disturbance is defined 40 feet beyond the building perimeter, 10 feet beyond surface walkways, patios, parking, and utilities less than 12 inches in diameter, 15 feet beyond roadway curbs and main utility trenches. 

Heat Island Effect: Non-Roof
Although this is mainly design driven, material cut sheets and as-built drawings may be required from Kinsley to achieve this credit. The term "heat island" describes surface areas that are hotter than nearby rural areas. They can be minimized by utilizing architectural and/or site components to shade a percentage of
the site. Also, utilizing a solar reflectance index (SRI) of at least 29 on a percentage of all hard surfaces (including roofs) contributes towards the credit. SRI is a measure of a material’s ability to reject solar heat. Kinsley furnishes and installs only the specified materials having the required reflectance values.

Fundamental & Enhanced Commissioning
Fundamental commissioning is a prerequisite in the E&A category that involves verifying that the project’s energy-related systems are installed, calibrated and perform according to the requirements set forth by the owner and engineer. In order to fulfill the enhanced credit, the commissioning process must begin early in the design phase and additional activities will be required of the contractors. Everybody, especially MEP contractors, must do their part to achieve this credit.

Construction Waste Management
Before the project begins, the Kinsley team will develop a plan that will identify the types of debris or trash that we will likely create and where it will go when it leaves the job site. We must think twice before throwing something away. The only way we can earn credit points is to keep as much material as we can from going to the landfill.

Materials Reuse (reuse of building materials, decreasing the demand for virgin materials)

Recycled Content (requirement for recycled content percentage within building materials)

Regional Materials (increasing the demand for materials manufactured, harvested or extracted within the region)

Rapidly Renewable Materials (materials that are manufactured from raw material that can be harvested within a 10-year cycle or less) – This credit usually involves more work on the designer’s part but the contractor will need to be sure to follow the plans and specifications as well as submit the necessary documentation.

Certified Wood
To earn this point, at least 50% of all the wood used on the project must be Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified, meaning, it has come from a forest where management practices have been held to strict standards set forth by the certifier. Also, everyone who has handled the wood before it reached the job site must have a certificate from FSC for their part in the manufacturing process.

Construction IAQ Management Plan
This plan will ensure the reduction of air quality problems that can occur during the construction or renovation, which in turn improves the wellbeing of the workers and building occupants. Smoking, protection of the ventilation system, storage of material on site, and housekeeping are all items that must be addressed within this plan. The Kinsley team develops the plan to achieve this credit.

Low-Emitting Materials
With these credits, it’s important that each contractor on site uses only the specified materials for this project. They were specified because of their relatively low VOC content. VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids, typically at room temperature. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long term adverse health effects.

Taking ownership of the LEED process and being held accountable for the results can be summed up by Kinsley superintendent, Mike Goodling, “After you get your feet wet and understand the process, it is not all that time consuming. Little things that you take for granted need to be documented, like taking measurements and weights of recycled materials to be reused in the building.”

Article written by:
John Clemons LEED AP BD+C
BIM Program Manager