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Professional Education Series

Practices of Sustainable Design for

Commercial Buildings
Continuing Education Credit

CertainTeed is a Registered Provider with the American Institute of

Architects Continuing Education System. Credit earned upon completion
of this program will be reported to CES records for all AIA members.
Certificates of Completion for non-AIA members are available upon

This program is registered with AIA/CES for continuing professional

education. As such, it does not include content that may be deemed or
construed to be an approval or endorsement by the AIA of any material
of construction or any method or manner of handling, using, distributing,
or dealing in any material product. Questions related to specific
materials, methods, and services will be addressed at the conclusion of
this presentation.

This course qualifies for HSW credit.

This course qualifies for Sustainable Design credit

Continuing Education Credit

In order to obtain your AIA Continuing Education credit you are

required to take the post-test at the end of the course and
correctly answer 90% of the questions. The test consists of 10
questions, which can be either multiple choice or true-false.

These question are designed to test your understanding of the

concepts covered in this course and are limited in scope to the
material in this course.

This course qualifies for HSW credit.

This course qualifies for Sustainable Design credit

CertainTeed Building Solutions

CertainTeed Building Solutions is a USGBC Education

Provider committed to enhancing the professional
development of the building industry and LEED
Professionals through high-quality continuing
education programs.

As a USGBC Education Provider, we have agreed to

abide by USGBC-established operational and
educational criteria, and are subject to course reviews
and audits for quality assurance.

CSI CEN Registration Statement

This program is a registered educational program with the

Construction Specifications Institute of Alexandria, VA. The content
within the program is not created or endorsed by CSI nor should
the content be construed as an approval of any product, building
method, or service. Information on the specific content can be
addressed at the conclusion on the program, by the Registered

CertainTeed is a Registered Provider with the Construction

Specifications Institute Construction Education Network (CEN).
Credit earned for completing this program will automatically be
submitted to the CSI CEN. Completion certificates can be obtained
by contacting the Provider directly.

This logo and statement identify Provider programs registered with

CSI CEN and are limited to the educational program content.

This presentation is protected by U.S. and international

copyright laws. Reproduction and distribution of this
presentation without written permission of the sponsor
is prohibited. CertainTeed Corp.
Learning Objectives

After completing this course you will be able to:

Describe some of the design issues pertaining to critical components of the building

Describe some of the sustainability practices that apply to efficient water delivery

Describe how durability is incorporated as a sustainable design principle when

designing the buildings external surfaces

Describe some of the issues pertaining to recycled, regional, and wood building
Learning Objectives (cont.)

After completing this course you will be able to:

Describe how sustainable design issues pertain to interior materials

Describe some of the key design issues that concern indoor environmental quality

Describe some of the design considerations pertinent to:

Renewable energy systems

Rainwater and stormwater

Describe specific LEED credits that pertain to each of the above areas of commercial
building design and construction
Module 1 Principles of Sustainable Design
Principles of Sustainable Design

Sustainable Development

Preserves ability of future generations to

meet their needs while meeting todays

Sustainable Design

Apply the principles of sustainable

development to produce places and products

Minimize harm to the site

Restore local ecosystems

Sustainable Buildings

Durable, self-sustaining systems over the

long term

Harvest energy and water from the site

Overview of the Practice of Sustainable Design

Basics of Products and Materials for a Sustainable


Applying the principles of efficiency and durability

Designing buildings that are energy and water


Designing buildings with materials that are durable

and healthy, attractive and functional

Building responsibly

Requires an understanding of products and materials

Capturing resources such as rainwater and solar


Select materials and products from suppliers that

produce sustainable products
Products and Materials for a Sustainable Building

Overview of the Remainder of the Course

Energy efficiency

Water efficiency


Indoor environmental quality

Advanced sustainable design

Module 2 Energy Efficiency

Fiberglass Insulation

Made by spinning melted sand and recycled glass into

thousands of tiny fibers

Typically has recycled content between 25%

and 40%

R-value varies with the thickness and type

A building with 2x4 studs will be able to fit R-15

fiberglass batt

Using 2x6 studs will be able to fit R-19 batt

Most commercial buildings need insulation in the


Rigid board

Fiberglass batt

Acoustic control

Fiberglass Insulation (cont.)

Batt insulation has a major environmental impact

Insulation now being made that uses a plant-

based binder instead of phenol-formaldehyde

EA Prerequisite 2, and EA 1

For energy efficiency

MR 4

Points based on recycled content of the


MR 5

Points based on where the manufacturing plant

and the raw materials extraction site are located

Spray Foam Insulation

Hybrid Insulation Diagram Using Spray R-values of 3.6 open cell to 6.5 closed cell per inch
Foam and Fiberglass Batt
Professional installation

Closed-cell/high-density spray foam

Open-cell/low-density spray foam

R-values as high as 26 in a 2x4 wall with closed cell

spray foam

Hybrid insulation systems provides maximum

R-value at less cost

EA Prerequisite 2, EA 1

For improved energy performance

MR 5

Points for relevant locations


Roof Insulation

Important component of a BUR/ flat roof system

Illustration of BUR Insulation
Most commercial buildings have BUR/flat roofs

Base sheet


Membrane or asphalt

Insulation value is directly related to thickness

Each material offers different R-values per inch

Factors for selecting materials and thickness:


Roof structure

Materials in the BUR system


Roof Insulation (cont.)

Multiple ways of increasing the R-value of:

Illustration of BUR Insulation
Low slope roofs

Steep slope roofs

EA Prerequisite 2, EA 1

Improving energy performance.

MR 4

Based on the recycled content of the


MR 5

Based on the location of the

manufacturing plant and raw
materials extraction site

Air Sealing

Create a continuous air barrier around the entire building

An exterior air sealing system

Air Sealing Air seal

Reduce thermal bridging

Spray-on solutions

Careful attention to:


Windows and doors

Controlled infiltration

Improves IEQ

Heat exchanger

EA Prerequisite 2, EA 1

Improving energy performance


Duct Design Fundamentals

Proper sizing, sealing, and insulation are


Tools available for proper sizing

Main types




Energy efficiency practices

Insulated Ductwork
EA Prerequisite 2, EA 1
Above Ceiling

Duct Sealing and Insulation

Use mastic or metallic tapes

Leaky ductwork a major source of heating

and cooling loss

Insulating ductwork

Fiberglass wrap

Bubble wrap


Recommend at least R-6

Well-Sealed Ductwork EA Prerequisite 2, EA 1

Building Envelope

Exterior Claddings and Wall Systems

Increase insulation value

Reduce thermal bridging

Insulating panels


Precast wall units

EA Prerequisite 2, EA 1

MR 3

Using salvaged, refurbished or reused materials

MR 4

Recycled content
EIFS Improves Insulation Values and
Reduces Thermal Bridging
MR 5

Based on where made or raw materials extracted

Building Envelope

Windows and Window Wall Systems

Curtain wall systems:

Daylighting and views for the occupants

Energy efficiency challenges

The window-wall ratio (WWR)

Reducing glazing improves energy efficiency

Window wall system provide
Spectrally selective coatings in warmer climates
ample daylight but can lead to
excessive heat gain and glare.
EA Prerequisite 2, EA 1

MR 4

MR 5


Providing direct view of outside, and/or daylight

for most of space


Can significantly reduce roofs surface temperature

Efficiency of a roof:

Solar reflectance (SR)

Thermal emittance (TE)

Reduce peak cooling load 15%

SS 7

SRI over 78 for low-sloped roofs and over 29 for


EA Prerequisite 2, EA 1

MR 4

MR 5

Vegetated Roofing

Reduces heat gain through the roof

Extend the life of the roof

Reduce urban heat island effect and

stormwater runoff

$7 - $15 per ft2 plus membrane

Two types



SS 6, 1 point

Roof Garden at Herrity Building Parking For reducing stormwater runoff

Garage at the Government Center
Complex in Fairfax, VA SS 7

Reducing heat island effect

EA Prerequisite 2, EA 1
Module 3 Water Efficiency
Plumbing Systems

Low-flow Fixtures

Water from environment
Energy and chemicals needed to treat

EPA WaterSense standards for:


WE Prerequisite 1

20% less water use vs. baseline

WE 3, up to 4 points

40% less water use vs. baseline

WE 2, 2 points

50% less potable water used for sewage conveyance

Plumbing Systems


Washing machines and dishwashers can use

large percentage of buildings water

More efficient appliances reduce water and

energy use


Clothes Washer
ENERGYSTAR Rated Commercial
Dishwasher and Clothes Washer

EA Prerequisite 2, EA 1

WE Prerequisite 2 and WE 3
Plumbing Systems

Water Heating

Building layout and demand

.4 gal per hour per person not including showers,


Water heaters with storage tanks

Locate close to point of use

90% or more efficiency rating

Insulate hot water lines

Insulated Hot Water Lines Instantaneous point-of-use water heaters

Reduce piping

Consider when number of hot water fixtures is small

Office kitchen sinks

EA Prerequisite 2, EA 1

Drip vs. Spray Irrigation

Commercial applications use lots of water

Proper design and installation

Monitor and control

WaterSense program

Irrigation certification

Design elements to consider

Spot watering


Moisture sensors

Drip Irrigation System

Drip Irrigation
with Moisture Sensor
WE 1

2 points for reducing water use for landscaping by 40%

4 points can be earned for using only non-potable water


Landscape Design for No Irrigation

Traditional landscaping requires significant


Can design beautiful landscapes that

requires no water

Particularly important in dry climates


Landscape Design for No Irrigation (cont.)

Reduces water consumption and cost

Design techniques

Native plant species

Minimize lawn area


WE 1, 2 points

For reducing water use for

landscaping by 40%
Module 4 Materials

Exterior Claddings

Wide variety of claddings

Evaluate for durability

Service life

Maintenance requirement

Scale of commercial buildings makes maintenance difficult

Choose materials requiring little maintenance

Precast concrete

Multiple green advantages

Precast Concrete Construction Provides MR 3

High Durability and Can Have High
Recycled Content and R-Value MR 4

MR 5


Typical BUR construction

Membrane on top of the insulation

Membrane provides protective waterproof


Highly reflective coatings

Inverted Roof Membrane Assembly (IRMA)

Insulation on top of the membrane

Rooftop Deck on an IRMA Roof
Insulation kept in place with a protective layer
also protects the membrane

Allows the roof to be used for as a patio, roof

deck, etc.

MR 4

MR 5


Has a gypsum plaster core wrapped in a paper liner

Used extensively on the interior is also available for the

exterior sheathing

Typically about 35% of construction waste

Recycling reduces the environmental impact of

commercial construction

100% recycled wallboard is available

MR 2, up to 2 points

For recycling or reusing wallboard not dumping it

MR 4

MR 5


How ceiling tiles perform in environmental terms:


Light reflectance

Many ceiling tiles consist of recycled and/or rapidly

renewable materials

Light reflectance can contribute to energy efficiency

EA Prerequisite 2, EA 1

MR 4

MR 5

MR 6, 1 point

For containing cornstarch or other rapidly renewable



Commercial structures use a wide variety of

materials for flooring

Important selection criteria:

Recycled content


Stained Concrete Floors Maintenance

Carpet tiles for example

Dematerialization as a strategy

Eliminate unnecessary materials

Sealing or staining a concrete floor

MR 3

MR 4

MR 5
Environmentally Preferable Products

Pre- and Post-consumer Content

Recycled content would otherwise be waste, but

instead used as raw material

Important environmental benefits

Reduced environmental damage

Reduced energy consumption

Reduced greenhouse gas emissions

Two types of recycled content:


Pre-consumer or Post-industrial
Environmentally Preferable Products

Pre- and Post-consumer Content (cont.)

LEED standards count pre-consumer material at half

the value of post-consumer material

Requirements are listed in terms of post-

consumer content

Post-consumer content

+ (post-industrial content)

LEED recycled content

MR 4, up to 2 points

For using materials with recycled content

Environmentally Preferable Products

Regional Materials


Less transportation distance and cost

Less environmental impact

Local economy is supported

Reduced dependence on fossil fuel

MR 5

Exception under Commercial Interiors

Up to 2 points:

1 for making, and

1 for extracting, harvesting or recovering as

well within 500 miles of the project site
Environmentally Preferable Products

Life Cycle Assessment

Seeks to identify the environmental impacts of a product,

process or activity over its entire life cycle:

Extraction and processing raw materials

Manufacturing and distribution

Use, reuse, and maintenance

Recycling and final disposal

Environmental impacts not obvious from final product

LCA data now available for identifying environmentally

sound products

Building for Environmental and Economic


LEED pilot LCA credit

Environmentally Preferable Products

Certified Wood

Widespread lack of knowledge about forestry practices,

but extensive use of wood

Poor forestry practices

Degradation of many tropical and temperate


Significant harm to biodiversity

Climate change

Sustainably managed forests

Source of certified wood

Protect water and soil


Indigenous peoples and forest workers

Supply wood indefinitely

Environmentally Preferable Products

Certified Wood (cont.)

Forest Stewardship Council

Independent, non-governmental, non-profit


Works toward the responsible management of

the world's forests

Has certified more than 100 million hectares

(247 million acres) of forest in more than 79
countries (2008)

7% of worlds productive forests

MR 7 (LEED-NC and LEED for Schools), MR 6

(LEED-Core and Shell), 1 point

For ensuring that 50% of all wood-based

materials are FSC-certified
Module 5 Indoor Environmental Quality
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Adhesives, Sealants, and Coatings

Many building products have off-gassing potential

High indoor VOC concentrations

Short- and long-term health effects

Use products with low VOCs

Several organizations provide standards for

VOC content

Low or no-VOC interior paints now widely


IEQ 4, up to 2 points

Up to 1 point each for using adhesives and

sealants, and for using paints and coatings,
that meet LEED VOC standards
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)


Batt and board insulations binder may contain formaldehyde or other VOCs

GREENGUARD tests and certifies products

GREENGUARD for Children and Schools

Insulation with plant-based binders in place of phenol-formaldehyde binder being produced

GREENGUARD, or other third-party certification important when choosing products

May still be emitting VOCs or other toxic chemicals even if formaldehyde-free

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Insulation (cont.)

Insulation choices affect a variety of LEED credits

IEQ 4, up to 1 point

For using ceiling and wall systems that meet the LEED VOC standards
MR 3
Using salvaged, refurbished or reused materials
MR 4
Based on the recycled content of the ceiling and wall systems
MR 5
Based on the location of the manufacturing plant and raw materials extraction site
EA credits
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)


Sustainable properties
Recycled content
Recyclable at the end of its life
Very low or no levels of toxic emissions
New carpets release VOCs

Over next 2 - 4 weeks

Cleaning properly over carpets life positively affects IAQ

Green Label and Green Label Plus programs

Test carpets, cushions, and adhesives

IEQ 4, up to 1 point

Carpet/flooring systems that meet LEED VOC standards

MR 3, MR 4, MR 5
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Wood and Agrifiber Products

Composites made from products otherwise dumped

Very resource efficient

Heavily used in buildings

Binding and preservatives

Can emit formaldehyde and other VOCs

Alternative binding agents

Positive affect on IAQ to select products with no

urea-formaldehyde resins

IEQ 4, up to 1 point

For using wood and agrifiber products that meet

the LEED VOC standards

MR 3, MR 4, MR 5
Indoor Environmental Quality Systems


Can improve energy efficiency and productivity

A complete daylighting design involves multiple systems

Multiple options for providing glare-free daylight throughout

the space

Additional elements


Light colored and highly reflective interior finishes

IEQ 8, up to 2 points

90% of building occupants have a direct view of outside

And/or providing daylight to vast majority of the space

Indoor Environmental Quality Systems

HVAC Filtration

MERV is a number from 1 to 16

Higher number means a more efficient air filter

A fiberglass panel filter may have a MERV of 4 or 5

Critical hospital choice uses a MERV 14 filter

Higher MERV filters increase resistance to airflow

Select the highest MERV filter that works with HVAC unit

Based on rating of fan

And filtration level appropriate to the buildings use

IEQ 5, 1 point: MERV 13 or more

IEQ 3, 1 point: MERV 8

Indoor Environmental Quality Systems

Modern commercial buildings
Considerably more air-tight
To meet IEQ standards
Indoor air pollutants
CO2 monitor
Standard for indoor airoutdoor air
exchange rate for a given room volume
Outdoor Air Handling Unit with Pre-Heat Mechanical systems
and Pre-Cool Capabilities Brings Fresh Air
into the Building Operable windows
Heat exchanger
IEQ Prerequisite, IEQ 2, 1 point
Meet ASHRAE 62.1 standard
At least 30% better
IEQ 1, 1 point
Monitor ventilation system
Indoor Environmental Quality Systems

Thermal Comfort

Influenced by many aspects of the buildings design

Office Space HVAC Zones
Areas getting lots of sun

Leaky ductwork

Lack of thermostats

For existing buildings, survey occupants

For new buildings, design separate control zones for each

solar exposure

ASHRAE 55-2004

IEQ 6, 1 point

For individual thermal control systems

IEQ 7, 1 point

Meets ASHRAE 55-2004

Indoor Environmental Quality Systems


Can have a significant effect

Insulated Internal Partitions can Multiple simultaneous conversations

Substantially Reduce Noise
High noise levels

Outside noise

Using thick and/or massive materials in walls and roofs

Ensuring that windows and doors are thoroughly sealed

Interior noise

Various options

ANSI Standard S12.60

For spaces where acoustical performance matters

LEED for Schools, IEQ 9

1 point: classrooms that meet ANSI S12.60 standards

Module 6 Advanced Sustainable Design
Sustainable Design Practices

Renewable Energy

Resources that regenerate or cant practically be depleted

Decreases our dependence on fossil fuels

Lower carbon emissions

The only sustainable form of energy

Sustainably designed buildings harvest renewable resources

Photovoltaics and windmills

Other options
Photovoltaic panels that Create EA 2, up to 7 points
Electricity and Provide Shaded
Parking Based on the percentage of energy use that is provided
from on-site renewable sources

7 points for providing 13%

Sustainable Design Practices

Rainwater and Stormwater

Fresh water is a scarce resource in much of the world

Rainwater collection systems

Can provide water in areas where sources are declining

Captures water where storm-water runoff is an issues

Collect, filter, and store

Storage tanks can be made from a variety of


Use collected rainwater for non-potable uses

Rainwater Collection System
WE 1, 2 4 points

Provides water for irrigation, 50% or 100%

Add 2 points for 50% reduction in use of potable water for

sewage conveyance
Sustainable Design Practices

Solar Design Elements

Solar orientation

Influences buildings energy use

Use for passive heating and cooling

Thermal mass and glazing

Structures and devices available for managing light in

the building

Problem of excessive solar heat gain

South Facing Windows

North and South Facing Facades

EA Prerequisite 2, EA 1

For reducing energy use

Sustainable Design Practices

Geo-thermal Heating/Cooling

Uses constant temperature found about 15 ft underground

In summer, transfer heat out

In winter, transfer heat in

Geothermal heat pumps

Can reduce energy use

More than 40% compared to heat pumps using outside air

More than 70% compared to standard HVAC

Can be used in almost any part of the country

Can work effectively in any climate

EA Prerequisite 2, EA 1

For reducing energy use

Course Summary

We have reviewed the following topics:

Design issues pertaining to critical components of the building

Sustainability practices that apply to efficient water delivery systems

Designing the buildings external surfaces so they will be durable

Recycled, regional, and wood building materials

Sustainable design and interior materials

Key design issues concerning IEQ

Design considerations pertinent to:

Renewable energy systems

Rainwater and stormwater

Specific LEED credits that pertain to each of these areas

Course Conclusion- Principals of Attic Ventilation

This concludes the Practices of Sustainable

Design for Commercial Buildings