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An online platform to automate LEED energy performance evaluation and submission process

Jie Zhao (Center for Building Performance and Diagnostics, School of Architecture, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA)
Khee Poh Lam (Center for Building Performance and Diagnostics, School of Architecture, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA)
Tajin Biswas (School of Architecture Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA, USA)
Haopeng Wang (Center for Building Performance and Diagnostics, School of Architecture, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA)

Construction Innovation

ISSN: 1471-4175

Article publication date: 13 July 2015

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to develop a web-based tool – LEED Energy Performance Online Submission Tool (LEPOST) to reduce the submission cost of the leadership in energy and environmental design (LEED) application process and facilitate green building design. Lifecycle cost reduction is a major driver for designing green buildings. LEED rating system has been well recognised and widely used in the green building industry. However, certification cost incurred in time and money is often a deterrent for some projects.

Design/methodology/approach

LEPOST automatically maps EnergyPlus and eQUEST energy simulation results to the LEED energy performance requirement submission templates using an extensible markup language (XML) data structure. It incorporates the Energy Star Target Finder online engine and current utility data to calculate points required to assess LEED Energy and Atmosphere Prerequisite 2 and Credit 1 automatically.

Findings

A comparative case study is conducted using an office building project. The study results show that the tool can reduce the amount of time for the LEED energy performance evaluation and submission process from more than 6 hours to 2 minutes. The total number of manual data entries is reduced from 442 to 20.

Research limitations/implications

Future work includes the update to support LEED V4, the development of a parametric design function that can help design teams perform design alternatives to evaluate energy performance with minimum effort, and the integration with the LEED Online system.

Practical implications

The use of the tool by the building industry may decrease the cost of LEED certification for building owners, developers and design teams by simplifying the submission process.

Originality/value

The overall development framework of LEPOST contributes to the knowledge of the data interoperability in the building sector by demonstrating a viable solution to extract and map digital model information for achieving code and standard compliance purposes.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge National Science Foundation-Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (NSF-EFRI Award #: 1038139) and Innovation Works (Award #: 2012W.EZ01532E-1) for funding the study. The authors would also like to acknowledge the support from Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for Technology Transfer and Enterprise Creation (CTTEC) and Pittsburgh Innovation Works.

Citation

Zhao, J., Lam, K.P., Biswas, T. and Wang, H. (2015), "An online platform to automate LEED energy performance evaluation and submission process", Construction Innovation, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 313-332. https://doi.org/10.1108/CI-04-2014-0020

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited