Today I sat in on the live webinar ‘Carbon Accounting’, offered by Everblue as continuing education credits towards my LEED Accredited Professional credential. The goals of this presentation were to understand greenhouses gases, carbon accounting, and then identify what parts of the LEED rating system are affected by these concepts.
*note: I took this course as a part of an Everblue Training package of 30 hours designed to meet the CMP prescriptive path for LEED AP’s previously without specialty.
I entered to live chat room 2 minutes late and missed the name of the young woman who was presenting the material (Erin perhaps?). However, in keeping with Everblue’s standard, she was very clear and organized in her presentation.
A lot of the information was a review of basic scientific facts about the chemical makeup of the earth’s atmosphere and how we are destroying it with our various activities here on Earth. The parts that I found more interesting were the parts where the presenter identified various LEED credits that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions reductions.
For LEED New Construction, 47% of all possible points fall into this description. The credit names, specifically, are:
- Fundamental Commissioning
- Minimum Energy Efficiency
- Fundamental Refrigerant Management
- Optimize Energy Performance
- On-Sire Renewable Energy
- Green Power (Off-Site Renewable Energy)
- Measurement & Verification
- Enhanced Refrigerant Management
The presentation also highlighted some interesting factoids about the Operations and Maintenance LEED rating system. Most of the credits dealing with energy consumption reduction are included as impacting greenhouse gas emissions simply because of the emissions caused by fuel consumption.
One case study she mentioned was the NREL Research Support Facility, in Golden, Colorado. It is not only Net-Zero Energy, but it also recently received Platinum LEED certification.
Among many other ridiculously cool and modern examples of product and materials technology, this building boasts electrochromic windows.
The last part of her presentation, which I wish had been a larger percentage of the presentation, was an overview of reporting and accountability organizations:
At the moment, this organization is still being used in LEED literature. However, it is being phased out due to federal budget cuts, and supposedly went out of commission in September 2011. When reporting emissions reduction through this program, it’s important to keep in mind that they are asking about energy consumed on-site only, not energy lost to inefficiencies. It is based on inventory of the big 6 greenhouse gases.
This program is much more popular than the previous one – mainly because it is simple and quite achievable for building owners who want a certification, but do not want to go through the process of a scheme like LEED. In order to achieve an ENERGY STAR, your building has to show that it performs in the top 25th percentile for the US. A score over 75% for ‘Energy Performance Rating’ is sufficient.
This program is the most popular and comprehensive method of figuring out exactly what your greenhouse gas emissions are. Even the federal government is now requiring federal agencies to comply with this program. The method for accounting is broken down first by classifying emissions into one of 3 scopes. The presentation said that there are two different reporting protocols, depending on whether you are monitoring your entire company or one project. However, as of October 11th, WRI has announced 2 new scopes – for corporate value chains (scope 3) and product life cycle emissions.
More Everblue reviews to come!