Sustainable design and construction
Why green is growing
Three factors behind the growth of green building have been identified,
and Ohio leads in all three. Hereís a rundown
Three major factors have been identified as bringing sustainable building practices to the forefront of the industry: the move toward green in the residential market; the increasing availability of new sustainable materials and systems; and government initiatives created by the state, both as an owner of buildings and as an economic development machine.
All three of these trends have made inroads into Ohio, with the residential component seen in new initiatives toward mixed-use neighborhood development; increasing support toward making Ohio a center for learning about green systems and materials, and the Ohio Schools Facilities Commissionís championing the move to green schools. Hereís a wrap-up.
LEED for neighborhoods
The U.S. Green Building Councilís Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system is currently pilot testing a new category, LEED for Neighborhood Development. The pilot includes 238 projects in 39 states and 6 other countries. The final version of the system will have a full public launch in 2009. Among the criteria:
Smart location: Avoiding sprawl by building on abandoned urban lots, redeveloping old buildings and choosing new sites that are close to existing communities and infrastructure.
Smart linkage: Reducing the need to drive with transit oriented development and design elements that encourage people to walk to nearby conveniences.
Neighborhood pattern and design: Using less land to create more benefits, including homes, stores and offices built around public squares, parks, and gardens.
Green construction and technology: Conserving energy, water and other resources with buildings that make the most of water- and energy-saving features such as solar panels, shade trees, natural light and ventilation, and rainwater collection systems.
Plus, there is a category for innovation and design.
Ohio leads in LEED-ND
Ohio is lucky in that it has nine of the 238 projects, with five in Northeast Ohio. Four of the LEED-ND pilot projects, which make the Cleveland area fourth in the world in the number of LEED-ND projects per capita, were described by a recent panel on LEED-ND at Cleveland State:
St. Lukeís Point: The former 28-acre St. Lukeís site is becoming a mixed-use, transit-oriented site, with a new Harvey Rice School, Cleveland Public Library, park and garden, in addition to housing for a variety of income levels. Denise Zeman spoke as president and CEO of the St. Lukeís Foundation. The project is evolving with Neighborhood Progress Inc.
Flats East Bank: Justin Glanville, project director of Building Cleveland by Design, an initiative to improve the cityís aesthetic, sustainability, cohesiveness and complexity, spoke of how these factors would be brought to bear as the East Flats projects starts this spring, as east connects to west, land to water, with 24 acres of such projects as the Canal Basin park terminus to the towpath, Coast Guard Station, K&D Groupís Stonebridge and Wolsteinís East Bank projects, and Whiskey Island.
Upper Chester: Kevin Dreyfuss-Wells, project manager for City Architecture, described the development of the 40-acre Upper Chester area, with the Finch Group of Boca Raton, FL, and Heartland Developers of Cleveland, to connect the Cleveland Clinic to University Circle.
East College Street: The Sustainable Community Association in Oberlin is in Stage 2 of transforming the former Buick dealershipís 2.5 acre site into an East College Street project, a three-building complex with 34 units of mixed-income housing and a six-unit tech business incubator, as presented by Naomi Sabel. See more at www.sustainableca.com.
Five other Ohio LEED-ND pilots include the 10-acre Greenhills project in Greenhills,www.greenhillsohio.org; the 1.45 acre North Block 1 Jeffrey Place in Columbus; the 800-acre Sahbra Farms Conservation Development in Streetsboro; The Arbors in Cincinnati, a 1.35 acre project; and the Village of North Clayton in Clayton, OH, a 104-acre, Stage 2 development.
Critical year for
These projects were recently described at Levin College of Urban Studies at Cleveland State University, at a panel keynoted by Tom Hicks, vice president of the LEED initiative of the U.S Green Building Council.
This year, 2008, will be a critical year for LEED, Hicks says, with regional stormwater issues becoming more prevalent, with LEED materials points moving from an emphasis of point of origin to include Cradle to Cradle factors that address the lifecycle of products, and with the science behind human health and environmental impacts adding weight to their selection.
Also key are the effort to address school construction and speeding registration/certification. The Green Building Certification Institute will handle both professional accreditations for the new APs and for the buildings themselves being awarded certification at various levels. A rollout is expected at Greenbuild in Boston this November.
In addition, the ASHRAE Standard 189 is being developed, in partnership with the IESNA, to put baseline green and sustainability standards into code language. Standard 189 should be available for comment this summer.
Plus, Hicks says, software enhancement now allow building owners to look not just at their individual buildings but to track the building performance of all their buildings, in real time, via a LEED Portfolio Program, so owners can take their LEED criteria across an entire spectrum of buildings, be they retail, financial or commercial.
Other changes in the LEED system are new standards that will disqualify any building that does not score a 2 out of 10 for energy efficiency, with even more importance to be given to energy points when a rewritten LEED comes out this year.
information available here
Another key to green growth The Sustainable Products Education Center (SPEC) was recently founded in this state to increase the availability, awareness, and use of high performance building practices and products throughout North America, with a goal of increasing available components and technical and application skills of manufacturers, architects, engineers, contractors, installers, inspectors, financers, and realtors. Names behind SPEC are Jud Kline of Herschmann Architects, chairman of Greater Cleveland Real Estate Organizations, Jerry Single of PS Offices, and Tom West of Cresco Real Estate.
The center will be located in the Midtown area of Cleveland, one facility for use by owners, developers, designers, distributors and installers to learn more about sustainable building products and systems. It is planned to consist of a 15,000 sf showcase to provide manufacturers and distributors a permanent display and demonstration space, as well as an as-needed space with quick connect utilities. A 20,000-sf training center will let manufacturers, distributors and educators highlight features, benefits and proper use, installation and maintenance of products, with AV support, easy hookup and spaces for learning that can accommodate groups from 10 to 200.
In addition, a 15,000-sf office can accommodate staff for organizations involved in sustainable businesses. Team NEO and various foundations are supporting the plan, and among the possible vendors to locate there are Viega, Stiefle-Eltron and General Electric.
The project hopes to open the center this fall. For more information, go to www.SPEC-sustainable.org, 5005 Rockside Rd., Cleveland, OH 44131, Suite 6000, 216-573-3757.
OSFC loves green schools
A third initiative behind greenís popularity is government championship of it. In Ohio, this is seen in the Ohio School Facilities Commission championing green, with the A/E/C industry hustling to learn and become more competitive. The OSFC has adopted the LEED for Schools rating system passed last April as part of its school design standards. With $4.1 billion targeted for school facilities, the Commissionís action means that at least 250 buildings will be registering for LEED Silver Certification within the next two years.
Current OSFC standards already align with 20 to 28 of the 37 points necessary for LEED for Schools Silver status. Pleasant Ridge School and Hughes School in Cincinnati are seeking Silver certification, and the JVS in Licking County is certified Silver. A task force is exploring options for state financing that would assist school districts in funding the local share of the extra cost.
And there are myriad ways to learn about green schools, from a March conference on green schools in Columbus to an April USGBC workshop on the topic in that city, sponsored by the Columbus and Cleveland green building groups. Indeed, the Greater Cleveland Green Building Coalition website offers several benefits of a green school and how to achieve them.
Environmental protection: Reusing existing schools buildings and using recycled materials, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and carefully siting projects
Improved health and learning: Daylighting, better air quality, superior acoustics and thermal comfort
Saving money: Minimizing energy demand and water use and using energy-efficient
lighting, mechanicals and renewable energy.
LEED for schools includes the following, with schools aiming at least 44 points:
Sustainable sites (16 points): Preserve natural areas, maximize site open space and habitat, reduce urban heat island effects, and minimize light pollution
Energy & atmosphere (17 pts.): Use less energy, use no-pollution and renewable energy courses, reduce fluorescent lighting with use of daylighting. This is a preferred category.
Water efficiency (7 pts): reduce use of potable water, reduce the burden on the municipal water supply and wastewater systems, use water efficient landscaping, rainwater harvesting and greywater
Materials (13 pts.): Minimize construction waste, reuse existing buildings, use local and rapidly renewable materials
Indoor air quality (20 pts.): Use good acoustic design and adequate fresh ventilation, flush HVAC before occupancy, use low VOC materials, daylighting
Innovation (6 pts.): Cleaning and maintenance, use of school as a teaching tool.
The site has posted a draft of OSFC Manual guidelines that has been critiqued by Robert Kobet, AIA, of Sustainaissance Intíl. to make this document greener. It calls for looking beyond first costs to a life cycle cost analysis and integrated design based on building systems modeling and commissioning, as well as the benefits of reusing existing schools vs. new construction.
Other factors include the use of design charrettes to solicit community input, the use of schools as multi-function community centers and new categories of public/private space, the use of LEED accredited professionals, fees for documentation, the use of water features and other green elements as educational tools, permeable playground areas, daylighting with consideration of directionality, light shelves and solar gain, attention to indoor air quality and allergy concerns. In elementary schools, corridors and public spaces can double as educational areas.
Ohio A/E/Cs who want to learn more about green schools have resources such as the LEED for Schools Green Building Workshop in the Columbus area in April and this nthís Green Summit at the Athenaeum in Columbus. bxm