Breakdown of the points earned for Energy and Atmosphere

Total points possible in “energy & atmosphere” category: 17

Points earned: 17

Prerequisites

Prerequisite 1: Fundamental Building Systems Commissioning

e&a1The intent of this prerequisite is to verify and ensure that fundamental building elements and systems are designed, installed, and calibrated to operate as intended.

Points are not earned for meeting prerequisites, but without meeting these requirements, certification is not possible. To meet this prerequisite, an independent commissioner was hired to design a commissioning plan, oversee the development and construction process, and finally write a report verifying that the systems designed function in the way they were intended.

Prerequisite 2: Minimum Energy Performance

e&a2The intent of this prerequisite is to establish the minimum level of energy efficiency for the base building systems.

Points are not earned for meeting prerequisites, but without meeting these requirements, certification is not possible. To meet this prerequisite, Rieth Village designed the buildings and systems to greatly exceed minimum energy performance as mandated by local energy codes.

Prerequisite 3: CFC Reduction in HVAC&R Equipment

e&a3The intent of this prerequisite is to reduce ozone depletion.

Points are not earned for meeting prerequisites, but without meeting these requirements, certification is not possible. To meet this prerequisite, Rieth Village uses a ground source heat pump HVAC system, which uses zero CFC-based refrigerants. The GSHP system relies on geothermal energy and the constant temperature of the Earth’s surface.

Awarded Credits

Credits 1-10: Optimize Energy Performance (10 points earned)

e&a4The intent of these credits is to achieve increasing levels of energy performance above the prerequisite standard to reduce environmental impacts associated with excessive energy use.

Rieth Village earned a maximum 10 points for this credit by reducing design energy cost by 60%. The following features of Rieth Village’s design contribute to this reduction:

  • Geothermal HVAC system
  • Use of interior fans
  • Use of solar hot water heating system
  • Heavily insulated building envelope
  • Triple glazed windows
  • Installation of whole house fans
  • Use of energy-efficient interior lighting
  • Building orientation and windows that allow for maximum use of passive solar energy
  • Computer monitoring of energy production and use
  • Heavily insulated duct network
  • Heavily insulated hot water pipes

Credits 2.1-2.3: Renewable Energy, 20% (3 points earned)

e&a5The intent of this credit is to encourage and recognize increasing levels of on-site renewable energy self-supply in order to reduce environmental impacts associated with fossil fuel energy use.

Rieth Village earned the maximum 3 points for this credit by installing photovoltaic panels, solar water heaters, and a wind turbine on-site, all of which use renewable energy. In 2007, 41% of Rieth Village’s energy needs were met using on-site renewable energy, exceeding the LEED requirement by 21%. This excess of energy helped Rieth Village earn an additional point in the Innovation and Design category.

Credit 3: Additional Commissioning (1 point earned)

e&a6The intent of this credit is to verify and ensure that the buildings are designed, constructed, and calibrated to operate as intended.

Rieth Village earned this point by hiring an independent commissioner to stay on board throughout the design and construction process.

Credit 4: Ozone Protection (1 point earned)

e&a6-5The intent of this credit is to reduce ozone depletion and support early compliance with the Montreal Protocol.

Rieth Village earned this point by installing a ground source heat pump HVAC system that relies on geothermal energy instead of using refrigeration equipment and coolants. In addition, fire suppression equipment at Rieth Village do not contain HCFCs and Halons, which damage the ozone layer.

Credit 5: Measurement and Verification (1 point earned)

e&a7The intent of this credit is to provide for the ongoing accountability and optimization of building energy and water consumption performance over time.

Rieth Village earned this point by installing a computer in the basement of Oshtemo to log all data coming from the building’s sensors. The computer logs information about input and output from the pv panels, solar water heater, wind turbine, and HVAC system. This allows us to compare energy use from month to month and keep track of many facets of the buildings’ efficiency, like lighting systems and controls, cooling loads, boiler efficiency, and water use.

Credit 6: Green Power (1 point earned)

e&a8The intent of this credit is to encourage the development and use of grid-source, renewable energy technologies on a net zero pollution basis.

Rieth Village earned this point through “green tag purchasing.” Some states have options for purchasing green energy from the grid. In this system, although the electricity produced from the renewable sources is combined with conventionally produced electricity, you pay for the support of green energy systems being held in place and developed further. Indiana does not have a renewable energy option within the grid, so Rieth Village purchased green power from a national system.

“I see this as a good purchase, because we’re affirming a larger system to which we belong. Also, through this system, LEED is creating opportunity to support renewable energy in a nationwide system.” –Luke Gascho, Merry Lea Executive Director