Conservation DistList Archives [Date] [Subject] [Author] [SEARCH]

Subject: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification

From: Monona Rossol <actsnyc<-a>
Date: Saturday, January 11, 2014
Rachael Perkins Arenstein <rachael<-a t->amartconservation< . >com> writes

>An architect colleague and I will be presenting a paper at the 2014
>AIC Annual Meeting on understanding the LEED (Leadership in Energy
>and Environmental Design) certification process with the goal of
>giving conservators a greater understanding of the program and how
>to work with architects to effectively present their preventive care
>criteria and concerns and make themselves heard during the design
>process.  I would very much like to hear from any conservators who
>have gone through a renovation, addition or new construction process
>in a LEED certified building to discuss your experiences. ...

I have presented at Green Building Conferences twice with Gund
Partnership architects and part of what I had to say involved LEED.
I have been on planning teams for about 80 buildings over the last
30 years so I know pre and post LEED issues well.

LEED principles are well meaning, but detrimental to the safety and
health of occupants in buildings for the following reasons:

    The information they rely on for selecting "green" building
    materials is primarily from the manufacturers and green
    certifiers. They need experts on their Board to evaluate these
    claims and they don't have them. They need toxicologists,
    chemists and industrial hygienists.  From what I can see, there
    is one medical doctor and the rest are primarily architects and
    engineers.  LEED ends up being another promoter for certain
    manufacturers which is a conflict of interest.

    LEED's energy saving strategies include reducing the amount of
    fresh air drawn into buildings.  LEED accepts the latest ASHRAE
    62 standards for this strategy.  I watched ASHRAE standards in
    the 1970s when they cut fresh air requirements which led to all
    the sick buildings.  Now they are doing the same thing.  ASHRAE
    is, to their credit, advising better placement of supply and
    exhaust, but even adjusting for this difference, the amount of
    fresh air they now recommend is not consistent with optimal
    functioning and health of the occupants.  I am a member of
    ASHRAE and I quote two of the papers published in their journal
    which make this point for me in my reports.  My reports
    recommend using the older ASHRAE 62-2001 standard plus the newer
    supply/exhaust placement for better air quality. LEED will take
    points away from planners for this action.

    LEED is really not equipped to deal with a building that
    requires industrial ventilation systems which are my specialty.
    They seem unfamiliar with the ACGIH's Industrial Ventilation: A
    Manual of Recommended Practice.   I am also a member of ACGIH
    and have been specifying industrial systems for art processes
    and theater shop facilities for many years.  But LEED gives
    points for things like windows that can be opened which will
    defeat these system.  And in one of my buildings, the client got
    LEED points for installing an energy saving device called a Heat

These Heat Wheels actually pass the stream of exhausted contaminated
air passed the incoming fresh outdoor air.  To believe this system
works, you would have to believe you could assign a section of a
Jacuzzi for peeing.  The Heat Wheel is less detrimental with low
contaminant general ventilation, but it is a disaster for industrial
systems.  And now, the ACGIH Manual of Practice has a section making
that point for designers that I can quote to back up my position in
my reports.

In the area of ventilation, I could list many more things LEED does
wrong. But they all are a result of providing energy saving by
cutting the cost of conditioning more fresh air and exhausting more
contaminated air. They don't seem to appreciate that energy savings
are way down the list of important issues when providing ventilation
for welding, foundry, woodworking, oil painting, printmaking,
ceramics, and the like.

It might be easier for conservators who use fume hoods which are off
the shelf systems that don't need designing.  But if a conservation
lab needs slot hoods, spray booths, flexible duct systems, or other
special systems, it is my experience that LEED's emphasis will be on
energy savings rather than providing proper capture and exhaust.

In summary, the idea of LEED is a good one.  But they need real
experts on their Board in chemistry, toxicology, industrial hygiene,
industrial and general ventilation.

Monona Rossol, M.S., M.F.A., Industrial Hygienist
President:  Arts, Crafts and Theater Safety, Inc.
Safety Officer: Local USA829, IATSE
181 Thompson St., #23
New York, NY 10012

                  Conservation DistList Instance 27:30
                Distributed: Wednesday, January 29, 2014
                       Message Id: cdl-27-30-002
Received on Saturday, 11 January, 2014

[Search all CoOL documents]