Saturday, November 11, 2006

GSA Report Finds LEED is the Best Building Rating System

By: staff - Thursday, October 12, 2006

A 55-page report prepared for the U.S. General Services Administration in July 2006, found LEED® to be "the most appropriate and credible sustainable building rating system available for evaluation of GSA projects," according to a September 15th letter from Lurita Doan, Administrator of the GSA Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs, to Senator Christopher Bond (R-MO), that became widely available in early October.
The GSA study rated the applicability, stability, objectivity and availability of the following systems: LEED, BREEAM (UK), GBTool (Europe/IISBE), CASBEE (Japan) and Green Globes™. According to Doan’s letter, the report’s authors, from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) concluded that LEED:

is applicable to all GSA project types

tracks the quantifiable aspects of sustainable design and building performance

is verified by trained professionals

has a well-defined system for incorporating updates; and

is the most widely used rating system in the U.S. market.

Editor’s Note: This report should put to rest any controversy about which rating system project teams should use for commercial and institutional projects. The jury is still out on the best rating system for low-rise and single-family residential projects.

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Ask the Green Architect: Occupant Surveys and Fly Ash By: Eric Corey Freed

Q: We are developing a post-occupancy evaluation for our clients and are struggling with how to ask the users, who don't know much about green buildings, about the qualities of their green building. Do you have any suggestions for resources or examples of occupant surveys?

A: Post-occupancy evaluations (POEs) are useful for evaluating the success of any building design, but are particularly useful in evaluating green buildings. It is the only opportunity architects and designers have to learn if their buildings actually work. Think of it as a report card to assess what is good about a building and what is not.The goals of a green POE are to document and measure the indoor environmental quality, energy performance, occupant satisfaction and the other green factors you incorporated. This information will help architects design better green buildings.Using interviews, behavioral maps, user surveys, visitor questionnaires and observational walkthroughs, POE reports typically contain nine items (sorted by priority):Top Priority: Health, Safety, SecurityMid Priority: Function, Efficiency, Work FlowLast Priority: Psychological, Social, Cultural

Read the full article here.