Sustainability — LEED
UEM supporting LEED Building Projects
The United States Green Building Council has recognized the energy and environmental benefits of buildings connected within district energy systems and utilizing combined heat and power. Beginning with LEED for New Construction version 2.2, project buildings can earn as many as four additional points in Energy Atmosphere Credit 1 by outlining their connection to a district energy system like the one operated by UT Utilities & Energy Management.
Specific guidelines for UT Austin main-campus building projects pursuing LEED-NC v2.2 within the UEM district energy system have been developed.
This document is summarized below, outlining the individual credit components and providing the additional submittal requirements. A comprehensive version of the guidelines [PDF*], including the submittals, is available for download.
All of the documents on this page are updated as required by LEED projects. If more current information or additional information is needed, contact Ryan Reid of Utilities & Energy Management.
LEED NC v2.2 DES & CHP Guidelines
Two application guidelines have been released by USGBC which describe how to account for district energy systems and combined heat and power for LEED-NC v2.2. These are:
- Required Treatment of District Thermal Energy in LEED-NC version 2.2 and LEED for Schools [PDF*]
- CHP Calculation Methodology for LEED-NC EA Credit 1 [PDF*]
These documents are occasionally contradictory and can add a significant level of complexity to the submittal process, so early familiarization is important.
EAp3 – Fundamental Refrigerant Management
The USGBC guidelines expand the zero-CFC requirements from the project building itself to the chilling stations supplying the building. In the case of UEM, which does operate a single CFC charged chiller, a phase out commitment and action plan is required. This commitment was signed in April of 2009, with a full phase-out of CFCs by August of 2015.
EAp2 and EAc1 – Optimize Energy Performance
The greatest point advantage occurs in EAc1, where the heating supplied by UEM’s combined heat and power plant can provide a four point gain [up to the 10 point maximum] compared to the typical building performance model.
As different LEED project teams may use different modeling techniques, referencing the USGBC modeling components of the guidelines linked above is highly recommended. A more detailed explanation of how to include UEM’s specific system into the building performance model is available in the UT guidelines referenced above, and a specific example is provided below.
Example modeling method:
- Energy Analysis Protocol, UT-Austin, Campus Central Plant [PDF*] prepared by Davis Langdon, January 15, 2010
This method was applied to the model submitted during the design review phase for the Norm Hackerman Building. This method builds the central plant and chilling station efficiencies into the building model, per USGBC guidelines.
EAc3 – Enhanced Commissioning
Similar to the refrigerant management requirements, the USGBC guidelines extend the commissioning requirements beyond the building itself to include the district energy system. This is addressed through a narrative, provided below.
EAc4 – Enhanced Refrigerant Management
Due to a single CFC chiller, UT does not currently meet the requirements of this credit, and any building utilizing the USGBC district energy guidelines is incapable of obtaining this point. However, after the scheduled retrofit of the chiller in February 2015, this point will be possible. Any building with a scheduled completion after February of 2015 is therefore eligible.
Meanwhile, the current chiller inventory and supporting information is provided below, in the format required for LEED submittal.
- Submittal EAc4.A – UT Chillers Inventory [Excel**]
- Submittal EAc4.B – YK Chiller Leakage Rate [PDF*]