Innovation & Design Process (ID) – LEED for Homes Review

The first category in the LEED for Homes Checklist is the Innovation & Design Process. There are three sections in this category as follows:

  1. Integrated Project Planning (1 prerequisite / 4 points max)
  2. Durability Management Process (2 prerequisites / 3 points max)
  3. Innovation or Regional Design (4 points max)

We’ll go through each section in detail with examples from our project as well. I will not go into full detail on each section in order to keep the posts to a reasonable length for those looking for an overview of LEED for Homes.

Integrated Project Planning

This section promotes an integrated, system-oriented approach to cost-effective green project design, development and construction.

1. Preliminary Rating (Prereq) – The LEED Provider must conduct and initial rating of the project with the key members of the project team. In this meeting the targeted LEED award level (Certified, Gold, Silver or Platinum) for the project will be identified, the credits chosen to reach that level will be selected and each party accountable for meeting each credit will be recorded.

LEED for Homes Checklist

2. Integrated Project Team (1 point) – To achieve a point here, a project team must be assembled to meet three criteria:

  • Cover capabilities in the team outside of the builder and Green Rater in three other specialties such as architecture, mechanical engineering, building science, green building and civil engineering.
  • Involve all team members in a least three of the major phases of the project including conceptual design, LEED planning, preliminary design, energy analysis, design development, final design and construction.
  • Conduct monthly review meetings

3. Professional Credentialed with Respect to LEED for Homes (1 point) – This credential is not yet available from the USGBC but should be shortly. This is not the LEED-AP Accreditation, but a new credential specifically for LEED for Homes that is currently being worked on but not yet available.

4. Design Charrette (1 point) – One full day meeting early in the project with the full project team to integrate green strategies across all aspects of the building design.

5. Building Orientation for Solar Design (1 point) – Design the home so that all of the following requirements are met:

HERS Evaluation from Magrann is on Target
  • The glazing window area on the north and south facing walls is 50% greater than the sum of the glazing glass area on the east and west facing walls.
  • The east-west axis of the building is within 15 degrees of due east-west.
  • The roof has a minimum of 450 sq ft of south facing area.
  • At least 90% of the glazing on the south wall is completely shaded at noon on June 21st and unshaded at noon on December 21st.

100K Review for Integrated Project Planning (2 of 4 points) – We were able to meet the prerequisite for a preliminary rating as well as getting a point for the integrated project team and the design charrette. For more details see our posts on the LEED Design Charrette and the Results of the LEED Design Charrette. We were unable to meet the criteria for building orientation for solar design as we can not control the orientation of the home due to the tight infill lot we are building on. We are slightly outside of the 15 degree tolerance for southern orientation, but did meet the other criteria for this point.

Durability Management Process

This section promotes durability and high performance of the building enclosure and its components and systems through appropriate design, materials selection and construction practices.

1. Durability Planning (Prereq) – Prior to construction, the project team must do the following:

  • Complete Durability Risk Evaluation Form (Part of the LEED Checklist spreadsheet).
  • Develop specific measure to respond to durability issues.
  • Identify and incorporate indoor moisture control measures (see table below).
  • Incorporate above measures into construction documentation as needed.
  • List all durability measures in a durability inspection checklist (Part of the LEED Checklist spreadsheet).

2. Durability Management (Prereq) – During construction, the builder needs to check off each measure in the durability checklist as it is completed.

LEED Design Charrette Today

3. Third-Party Durability Management Verification (3 points) – Have the Green Rater inspect and verify each measure listed in the durability inspection checklist was completed.

100K Review for Durability Management Process (3 of 3 points) – We simply need to pay MaGrann a small fee to carry out the third party inspection to get the 3 points available here.

Innovation or Regional Design

This section is intended to minimize the environmental impact of the home by incorporating additional green design and construction measures that go well above and beyond those in the LEED for Homes Rating System or may simply be applicable techniques for the specific region the home is in.

1. Innovation (1-4 points) – A written Innovative Design Request must be submitted by the Provider to USGBC for each proposed measure. The point(s) will not be counted until the USGBC has ruled that it is sufficient for credit.

100K Review for Innovative or Regional Design (1+ points?) – Currently we plan to submit at least one IDR for going well above and beyond the requirements in the Awareness & Education category. 100 points for the first commenter that guesses what the main argument is going to be for this IDR (hint: it has to do with the “Public Awareness” section of this category). We have a couple others in the back of our head that we might have a go at, but we hear this is fairly tough to get approved. It will probably depend on how badly we need an extra point or two or how much free time I have to write more up.

That’s it for the first category. Tune in soon for the next category – Location and Linkages.