UEM Supporting Projects Pursuing LEED Certification Under v4

The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) has recognized the energy and environmental benefits of buildings connected to district energy systems and utilizing combined heat and power. Projects pursuing LEED certification under v4, can earn points in Energy Atmosphere Credit 1 by outlining their connection to a district energy system like the one operated by Utilities and Energy Management (UEM).

Obtaining these points requires following USGBC’s guidance document Reference Guide for Building Design and Construction. The requirements are limited to Energy and Atmosphere and seek to ensure that upstream generation equipment meets the intent of LEED certification. The following prerequisites and credits are impacted for building projects on the UT Austin Main Campus:

  • EAp2 – Minimum Energy Performance
  • EAp3 – Building Level Energy Metering
  • EAp4 – Fundamental Refrigerant Management
  • EAc1 - Enhanced Commissioning
  • EAc2 – Optimize Energy Performance
  • EAc6 – Enhanced Refrigerant Management

View UEM's compliance with the new LEED guidelines.

EAp2 and EAc2 – Minimum Energy Performance & Optimize Energy Performance

The following document outlines the modeling method and approach recommended to incorporate DES/CHP as well as the supporting efficiency data.

EAp3 – Building Level Energy Metering

UEM typically monitors all sources of energy delivered by the DES/CHP to campus buildings. Energy consumption is measured and recorded on a monthly basis using building-level meters. UEM will support the project owner in sharing with USGBC the whole-project energy usage data acquired from installed meters in accordance with prerequisite requirements.

EAp4 – Fundamental Refrigerant Management

The USGBC guidelines apply the zero-CFC requirements to all applicable downstream and upstream equipment. All existing UEM chillers are now CFC-free and meet the prerequisite requirements.

EAc1 – Enhanced Commissioning

All upstream equipment associated with serving the project building is included in the scope if the project is taking credit for the efficiency of the DES under EA Optimize Energy Performance using Option 1 (Path 2 or 3); if not, upstream equipment is excluded from the scope of this credit.

The commissioning requirements are addressed through the following narrative.

EAc6 – Enhanced Refrigerant Management

UEM chillers do not use any low-impact refrigerant. Hence by following Option 2. Calculation of Refrigerant Impact, project will not earn this credit for upstream equipment. If the project has downstream equipment that meets the credit requirements, the project team may demonstrate compliance using weighted average refrigerant impact for the project building.

UEM Chiller inventory and supporting documentation, with calculation of refrigerant impact is provided below.

For additional information, contact Roberto Del Real.