As we begin our review of the challenge to the Northland Pines High School LEED certification, the most obvious starting point is the LEED challenge itself.

The challenge was prepared by two engineers – Mark Lentz and Lawrence Spielvogel – on behalf of five appellants.  By just the second paragraph, my jaw was on the floor:

"The engineering professionals preparing this appeal were originally retained to review the design for non-compliance with LEED prerequisites due to litigation threats made by the design team against the appellants for publicly expressing their concerns for the design provided."

Think about that sentence for a minute.  According to the LEED challenge, the threat of LEEDigation – "litigation threats made by the design team" – led to LEEDigation – the LEED challenge.

The challenge then explains that the grounds for the LEED protest are the design and construction of the project did not meet LEED prerequisites EA1, EA2 and EQ1:

EA1, Prerequisite, Fundamental Building Systems Commissioning was not complied with. The first three steps of the Commissioning Process include review of design intent, basis of design documentation, and incorporation of commissioning requirements into the Construction Documents. All are required prior to bidding and construction. The reviewing professionals have been unable to confirm that any were performed. Had a competently executed Design Review been performed by the Commissioning Agent, as required by LEEDTM NC 2.1, ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-1999 and ASHRAE Guideline 1-1996, the majority of the EA2 and EQ1 violations identified by the reviewing professionals should have been identified by the Commissioning Agent and corrected by the design team prior to the issuance of the Construction Documents for bid.

EA2, Prerequisite, Minimum Energy Performance: The design of the HVAC systems and other listed elements of the building do not comply with all of the requirements of ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-1999. The scope and number of prerequisites violations was pervasive.

EQ1, Prerequisite, Minimum IAQ Performance: The design of the HVAC systems failed to comply with ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.1-1999, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality. Validation computations were performed to determine the actual basis for ventilation rates and to determine what the actual ventilation requirements would have been had the required Ventilation Rate Procedure computations been performed. These computations established that the actual basis for ventilation was the Wisconsin Enrolled Code, which produces significantly lower ventilation rates at both individual zones and at the system level than those which would have otherwise been required to comply with ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.1-1999.

What are your thoughts on the grounds for the LEED challenge?  Have you witnessed problems with these credits?

Photo Credit: Jinho.Jung

Related Links

LEED Credibility Destroyed (pdf)
Complete NPHS Appeal (pdf)
Horizon Report (pdf)
Taylor Report (pdf)
USGBC Letter (pdf)
Response to Horizon Engineering Report (pdf)
Response to Taylor Engineering Report (pdf)
Appellants’ Statement (pdf)