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FE&S LEED and Energy Star Webcast Follow Up Questions

Is it necessary for the manufacturer to provide information such as VOC emissions and distance that wood traveled to the company pursuing LEED certification?

TS: MRc5 Regional Materials applies to CSI Divisions 03-10, 31, 32, and 12 is optional. Foodservice equipment falls under CSI Division 11 and is therefore not included in this credit. If the item in question does fall under one of the applicable Divisions, the location of material origin and manufacture is important to project teams attempting this credit. IEQc4 Low-Emitting Materials includes different standards for different materials. For example, IEQc4.1 Low-Emitting Materials - Adhesives and Sealants requires that all adhesives, sealants and sealant primers must comply with South Coast Air Quality Management District Rule #1168, which limits the amount of Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) allowed in materials. If IEQc4.1 is attempted, it applies to all adhesives and sealants used on the interior of the building (defined as inside the weatherproofing system and applied on-site) and it would be important for project teams to know the VOC emissions of any material that falls within this category on the project. For additional information on all of the IEQc4 materials and standards, please refer to the U.S. Green Building Council website.

Can a non-Energy Star-rated piece of foodservice equipment with rated power equal to an Energy Star-rated piece of foodservice equipment earn LEED points?

RY: A non-Energy Star "certified" piece of equipment that meets Energy Star "qualifications" can be considered the equivalent of Energy Star and would qualify for LEED points in the CI category. Please note: Energy Star qualification is not based on rated power. It is based on energy efficiency. So, the first step is to determine that the piece of equipment is Energy Star qualified. Then, its rated power would be used to determine the percentage of Energy Star "eligible" equipment that is installed in the project.

There are a lot of pieces of foodservice equipment in the market that are falsely advertising having an Energy Star rating. How does the LEED certification board verify whether a product really has earned an Energy Star rating?

RY: If you find a piece of equipment that is falsely advertising Energy Star certification, please contact the Energy Star commercial food service Program Manager, Una Song, and that manufacturer will be dealt with accordingly. Falsifying Energy Star certification could bear legal liability and is not encouraged. Also, the GBCI (the LEED certification body) is fairly strict on requiring documentation regarding energy performance. If a manufacturer cannot produce valid documentation proving appliance energy performance, then there is the likelihood that the appliance will not be considered for energy savings. Valid documentation would include listing in the Energy Star qualified appliance database and/or an FSTC test report or listing in the California Energy Wise rebate program.

Do you recommend tankless water heaters for LEED projects? Can they contribute to generating LEED points?

TS: EAc1 Optimize Energy Performance in the current LEED rating systems rewards project teams for energy savings beyond the prerequisite standard, with up to 19 points possible. We recommend that the engineers look at each project on a case-by-case basis to determine which approach will result in the most energy savings on the project and have seen both tankless and high efficiency tanks employed to achieve credits on various projects. For additional information on water heaters, please refer to the Food Service Technology Center website.