Mahesh Ramanujam and Scot Horst discuss the LEED Dynamic Plaque at Greenbuild

With LEED Dynamic Plaques starting to appear in building lobbies it is a good time to understand this new U.S. Green Building Council platform. It is a whole lot more than a 7 lb. display unit.

While we are aware of six LEED Dynamic Plaque certifications, according to the USGBC, the Dexter Horton Building in Seattle was the first of the six buildings certified with the Dynamic Plaque. More precisely the building was LEED for Existing Buildings 2008 Gold certified in 2010 and with its five year required recertification approaching the owner determined to pursue recertification piloting the new LEED Dynamic Plaque.

The LEED Dynamic Plaque is a building performance monitoring and scoring platform.

Scot Horst, Chief Product Officer at the USGBC explains, “the LEED Dynamic Plaque changes the paradigm of green building certification by adding the dimension of performance. Now there are three broad categories of LEED: New (LEED NC, C&S, etc.), Existing (LEED EB), and Ongoing (LEED Dynamic Plaque).”

The LEED Dynamic Plaque measures building performance across five categories: energy, water, waste, transportation and human experience, and generates an ongoing performance score (out of 100) which is updated whenever new building data enters the platform.

Horst makes clear, “it is not a rating system in itself. It is designed as a recertification option. In the future an owner will be able to use the LEED Dynamic Plaque to certify when it is combined with elements of the LEED EB rating system; this approach is in development and has not yet been approved by the LEED Steering Committee.”

The LEED Dynamic Plaque does not override any other certification.  For example, a LEED NC, EB or C&S certification given in 2009 remains valid.  Rather, the LEED Dynamic Plaque keeps all these certifications up to date.  The LEED Dynamic Plaque is for all LEED projects (except not Homes) to recertify, whereas previously only EB projects were able (i.e., EB is actually required) to recertify and today, there are projects BD+C and ID+C certified and using the LEED Dynamic Plaque to gauge performance.

Accepting that smart building software is already a crowded space, the LEED Dynamic Plaque is designed to enable building owners, facilities managers, consultants and others to observe trends and make meaningful improvements to building operations that save money, resources and make building occupants more comfortable, the data collected through the Plaque can also be applied toward LEED recertification.

The platform is built with flexibility to allow high and low tech buildings to interact, from API connections for sophisticated building automation systems to a simple user interface and spreadsheet upload for a single user who doesn’t have a lot of time to spend on data.  The documentation requirements are minimal because the data is the documentation. This means lower soft costs for engaging with the platform.

The real gem of this platform is the bold statement made by public display of a LEED Dynamic Plaque. The display unit itself is only about 18 inches in diameter and weighs just under 7 lbs., but the continuous and changing display of a score engages a broader community. It lets everyone, from the boardroom to the visitor, know that their actions affect the building. There is even an app that allows an owners to share building performance information over Bluetooth with the public on their own mobile device. Put the LEED Dynamic Plaque in your pocket with the Android app or Apple app.

Admittedly it has become common to use an educational program about the LEED project to earn a point under Innovation in Design and those programs often consist of a kiosk, a website, and signage. But the LEED Dynamic Plaque is much more than that, .. ‘have you down loaded the app yet?’

Arguably any building can leverage the LEED Dynamic Plaque to measure and display its performance score. In fact there are about 70 buildings that are non LEED buildings, that did not pursue any certification that are today utilizing the performance score to ascertain areas for improvement.

At this time certification by Plaque does not satisfy the requirements for LEED certification under laws or regulatory programs, but such is likely only a matter of time. City of Rockville officials have indicated that in the next authorization of their tax credit program they will include LEED Dynamic Plaque recertification.

In addition to the Dexter Horton Building, you can see a LEED Dynamic Plaque at these buildings that recertified in recent weeks: the Alliance Center in Denver, 200 West Madison in Chicago, 53 State Street in Boston, and Maitland Promenade I in Maitland, Florida.

With 385 projects, comprising 107,300,000 sq. ft. (including subscriptions and strategic trials) using the LEED Dynamic Plaque software, you should consider subscribing to the Plaque platform because, no doubt, a Plaque will soon be tracking ongoing performance in a building near you.