TAG Videos | Building with Nature


Video Source: 

The Architecture Gazette | Sustinble Snippets

Music Source:

“Almost New” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Data Sources:


 

What’s the ‘Zone’ Plan?

Akshay Urja

Building functions can be zoned according to ventilation strategy for effective management and energy conservation. This is seen in Akshay Urja Bhavan, New Delhi where spaces are divided into zones according to setpoints– Apex, Controlled and Passive. Only around 12% of the area is air-conditioned. Mist cooling systems are used for the Controlled and Passive zones1.

Read the whole article here

Graphic Source:

The Architecture Gazette | Sustinble Snippets

Data Source:

  1. BEE, USAID, PACE-D. Case Studies – Akshay Urja Bhawan. NZEB. http://www.nzeb.in/case-studies/detailed-case-studies-2/akshay-urja-bhawan-case-study/.

Passively Battling 50oC!

Sustꓥinꓥble Snippets

NEEMrana

A 16 km (once the campus is completed) tunnel network of Air Earth tunnels, will be running 4 m below the ground in NIIT University, Neemrana Campus. Surface temperature and seasonal variations do not penetrate below this depth, keeping air temperature constant throughout the year. Fans will pull cool air through these tunnels. This would then be taken through precipitators to eliminate dust and would be supplied to the building through ducts. The result! – Pleasant 25oC temperatures indoors, without the use of air-conditioning, when temperatures outside are nearing 50oC1.

Read the whole article here

Graphic Source:

The Architecture Gazette | Sustinble Snippets

Data Source:

  1. Bhandari P. Let buildings breathe. Times of India Jaipurhttps://bit.ly/2MH0kzV. Published 2009.

 

What are Sustꓥinꓥble Snippets?

Sustainable Snippets

LEED AP BD+C: Setting Exam Timeline – 4 Considerations

time

This is part of a series of articles on the experience of giving the LEED AP BD+C examination. You can access the entire series from our Menu Topic titled ‘ LEED‘.

menu screen
Screenshots for Menu Topic Locations

Our first article looked at why the LEED AP BD+C exam could prove difficult to crack. The following 2 weeks elaborated on 11 Essential ‘Need -to-Knows’ before LEED AP BD+C Prep (Part 1, Part 2). We then looked at LEED AP BD+C: Resources and Materials (Free). This was followed by a list of Paid Resources and Materials (Study ResourcesPractice QuestionsProject Experience and Direct Classes/ Webinars) available online, in case you felt the need for them after referring to the free items.

This week, we look at LEED AP BD+C: Setting Exam Timeline – 4 Considerations. Setting a realistic timeline is crucial for preparation. It should take into account various factors that would differ between individuals.

  1. Experience
  2. Gap after GA
  3. Time Available
  4. Speed, Stress, Patience

1) Experience

LEED Specific Project Experience, Prior Industry experience, Professional and Academic Background

Like mentioned earlier, many of our team did not have prior LEED Specific Project Experience. This makes it harder to pass the exam, although it is still doable. You need to factor this into your timeline. However, our candidates were either Architects, Engineers, or had some prior Sustainability background. This is extremely useful and partially makes up for the lack of LEED Specific Project experience.

You may want to increase or decrease the prep time based on your comfort level and background. From the experience of our team candidates, the average timeline for preparation ranged from 1 – 1.5 months. Once the timeline was set, a date was fixed, and the exam fees was paid. This becomes a push factor to work towards the goal, with a deadline looming ahead.

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2) Gap after GA

Having a Gap between the LEED Green Associate and LEED AP Examinations

We would suggest you give both exams (LEED Green Associate and LEED AP) with at least a year’s gap in between.

For one, it is a slightly stressful experience – so taking a break might help.

Secondly, these preparations if tackled well, don’t just help you pass the exam. You get a larger understanding of the Sustainability Industry. To grow as a professional, we suggest you first pass the LEED Green Associate examination. Then try and use the expanded understanding from the exam by engaging in related industry activities for at least a year. You could then apply that experience into your preparation for the next level.

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3) Time Available

Amount of time available to dedicate to studying for the exam

You may be working full time, part – time, not at all or studying. This will strongly impact your timeline.

For example, one of our candidates set a timeline of 1.5 months. This included –

  • First Month – 6-7 hours LEED studies per day 
  • Last 15 days – 10+ hours each day

You could decide based on this example accordingly.

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4) Speed, Stress, Patience

Learning Speed, Stress Management Ability, Patience Level

Our team consisted of various kinds of people. Quick and slow learners. Some can retain concepts for longer, while others may need to revise more often. The ability to handle pressure also differs. Stress increases as the exam date nears. It is better to truly assess your personal speed, studying style, level of patience and stress management ability to avoid unnecessary pressure to build up. Ultimately it is preferable to treat the experience as not just an exam, but an opportunity to grow professionally. So self-assess, decide and go for it!

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That’s all for today. We hope the LEED Series has been helpful for you so far.

If you have suggestions for other topics or questions related to this content, kindly let us know in the comments.

Alternatively, you could leave us a message here.

Thank you for reading!


 

LEED AP BD+C: Resources and Materials (Paid)-3

paid 3

This is part of a series of articles on the experience of giving the LEED AP BD+C examination. Our first article looked at why the LEED AP BD+C exam could prove difficult to crack. The following 2 weeks elaborated on 11 Essential ‘Need -to-Knows’ before LEED AP BD+C Prep (Part 1, Part 2). We then looked at LEED AP BD+C: Resources and Materials (Free). This was followed by a list of Paid Resources and Materials (Study Resources) available online, in case you felt the need for them after referring to the free items. Last week, we continued the list of Paid items – Practice Questions. Today is our final article on Paid Resources – LEED Project Experience and Direct Classes/ In-Person training/ Webinars.

As mentioned in earlier posts – If you have prior experience with LEED projects (or some sort of Sustainability background), then things become relatively easier. If not, then you might feel the need to use a guided study course, or other paid materials. Today’s article addresses this scenario.

Note: We have tested and used some of following resources and can tell you what we found useful. There are others that we feel could be good based on the credibility of the source (these have not been tried by us, so the decision to use them would lie with you). Our aim is to create an exhaustive list of materials, so that the Menu is in front of you to make your decision (our articles are not endorsing any online courses/ question banks. However, we would like to give due credit to pages that our team found useful while attempting the exam. Ultimately, it is totally up to your choice and discretion whether to subscribe to them). We have mentioned Sources Reviews, Prices (any offers), Subscription time, Important Links and Material Inclusions. All prices are rounded off to the nearest 5 or 10.

  1. Study Resources
    • Green Building Academy
    • GBES
    • GreenCE
    • USGBC
    • GBRI
    • Everblue
    • American Technical Publishers
  2. Practice Questions
    • GBES
    • GreenCE
    • Green Building Academy
    • GBRI
    • Everblue
    • American Technical Publishers
  3. LEED Project Experience
  4. Direct Classes/ In-Person Training/ Webinars

3) LEED Project Experience

Considering the importance of LEED experience to become a professional, to add CE hours, and of course to help pass the exams, some websites have started offering this option. They use real project examples and tools and provide the service as online modules.

(a) GBRI

Source Review | USGBC Education Partner  (List of other Education Partners)

(i) $150 | LEED v4 Project Implementation | 2-Years Access

Inclusions | 4-week course, Utilizing an actual LEED v4 BD+C project – elaborating on Credit Requirements, Reference Standards, Implementation Strategies, and Documentation Guidelines, highlighting Changes from the previous version of LEED. Course is approved for 15 GBCI/ AIA LUs including 6 LEED Specific BD+C Hours.

(b) GBES

Source Review | USGBC Education Partner (List of other Education Partners), Tested their Question Bank – Good quality experience

(i) $850 | LEED v4 BD+C Project Immersion

Inclusions | 6 Live Interactive Work Sessions/office hours with coaches, Short Videos + PDFs Explaining Every Credit, 24/7 Coaching through a Learning Platform, Q&A with LEED Experts, Recorded Videos, Technical Reviews about implementation and documentation of Credits, Access to LEED Tools and Templates, 30 Hours of GBCI Approved CE (worth $249). Here is a preview video.

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4) Direct Classes/ In-Person training/ Webinars

We didn’t try out this option. However, if you prefer face to face lessons, these are provided by some organizations in specific locations.

(a) GBES

Source Review | USGBC Education Partner (List of other Education Partners), Tested their Question Bank – Good quality experience

(i) $180 | LEED AP BD+C Exam Prep On Demand Webinar | 120-Day Access (can watch as many times as needed in the 120-Day period)

Inclusions | 11 hours of Video Instruction, 24/7 Access, Works with PCs, Macs, iPads, all major browsers and smart phones

(b) GBRI

Source Review | USGBC Education Partner  (List of other Education Partners)

(i) $250 | All-Inclusive LEED v4 BD+C Exam Preparation | Access to classroom sessions for 1 year

Inclusions | Live/ On Demand Classes every month on specific days and times, 500+ Practice Test Questions with explanations, 2 Simulated Mock Exams, Study Guide, Flash Cards and Memory Charts (printable), includes LEED GA Exam Prep

Offers | Money Back Guarantee with some conditions; LEED Green Associate Material Free with the package

(c) Everblue

Source Review | USGBC Education Partner (List of other Education Partners)

(i) $900 | LEED Accredited Professional Building Design + Construction Training | 2-Day course, Access to materials for 6 months

Inclusions | Live, Instructor led training, Printed Guide, Access to instructors for follow-up questions, 300+ Practice Questions, LEED Credit Reference sheets. The course is offered in Washington, Chicago, Manhattan, Los Angeles on dates between October to December 2018. You could check the schedule here.

Offers | In-house, Flexible courses with Discounts and Offers available for Corporate and Group Training.

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That’s all for today! This concludes our list of Paid Resources and Materials for LEED AP BD+C Preparation.

Hope this was helpful. If you have suggestions for other topics or questions related to this content, kindly let us know in the comments.

Alternatively, you could leave us a message here.

Thank you for reading!


LEED AP BD+C: Resources and Materials (Paid)-2-Practice Questions

paid 2

This is part of a series of articles on the experience of giving the LEED AP BD+C examination. Our first article looked at why the LEED AP BD+C exam could prove difficult to crack. The following 2 weeks elaborated on 11 Essential ‘Need -to-Knows’ before LEED AP BD+C Prep (Part 1, Part 2). We then looked at LEED AP BD+C: Resources and Materials (Free). This was followed by a list of Paid Resources and Materials (Study Resources) available online, in case you felt the need for them after referring to the free items. This week, we continue the list of Paid items – Practice Questions. We are listing standalone practice question sets, along with study packages that include questions.

As mentioned in earlier posts – If you have prior experience with LEED projects (or some sort of Sustainability background), then things become relatively easier. If not, then you might feel the need to use a guided study course, or other paid materials. Today’s article addresses this scenario.

Note: We have tested and used some of following resources and can tell you what we found useful. There are others that we feel could be good based on the credibility of the source (these have not been tried by us, so the decision to use them would lie with you). Our aim is to create an exhaustive list of materials, so that the Menu is in front of you to make your decision (our articles are not endorsing any online courses/ question banks. However, we would like to give due credit to pages that our team found useful while attempting the exam. Ultimately, it is totally up to your choice and discretion whether to subscribe to them). We have mentioned Sources Reviews, Prices (any offers), Subscription time, Important Links and Material Inclusions. All prices are rounded off to the nearest 5 or 10.

  1. Study Resources
    • Green Building Academy
    • GBES
    • GreenCE
    • USGBC
    • GBRI
    • Everblue
    • American Technical Publishers
  2. Practice Questions
  3. LEED Project Experience
    • GBES
    • GBRI
  4. Direct Classes/ In-Person Training
    • GBRI
    • Everblue

2) Practice Questions

(a) GBES

Source Review | USGBC Education Partner (List of other Education Partners), Tested their Question Bank – Good quality experience

We tested the $80, 500-practice questions. This was a decision towards the later stages of exam preparation. We felt there was need to attempt at least 5 seriously timed exams before giving the final paper. The course provides 5 timed exams of 100 questions each. You also have the option of shuffling the questions and attempting them chapter-wise. Here is a video by GBES showing a demo of the practice tests. Their explanations are very elaborate and useful. You can also mail and ask them doubts. They respond quite quickly.

(i) $45 | Practice Test – LEED AP BD+C

Inclusions | Exam Simulator with 100 questions in 2 hours.

(ii) $80 | LEED AP BD+C v4 Practice Tests for BD+C Exam Prep | 120-day access

 Inclusions | Exam Simulator with 500 practice questions

(iii) $100LEED AP BD+C Silver Pack | 120-day access

Inclusions | Exam Simulator with 500 practice questions, 200 flashcards

(iv) $230LEED AP BD+C Platinum Pack | 120 day access

Inclusions | Exam Simulator with 500 practice questions, 200 flashcards, Study Guide, 11 On-Demand Webinars, 12 Study Sheets

Offers | The $40 GBES 100 question exam, is available free with the annual subscription to Education@USGBC. Student and Faculty Discounts are available on the GBES website.

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(b) GreenCE

Source Review | Tested Continuing Education videos (good quality Content and Experience), LEED Green Associate Course available for Free here (Chapter-wise videos and 3 practice exams could be viewed to gauge for quality)

(i) $30 | GREEN BUILDING PRINCIPLES & LEED v4 Simulated Exams

Inclusions | Exam Simulator with 100 questions for LEED AP BD+C (along with 400 questions for LEED Green Associate)

(ii) $230 | Green Building and the LEED AP BD+C Exam

Inclusions | Study Guide, 90+ LEED practice questions, Study Sheets, Certificate of Completion for 8 AIA HSW Hours, Tips,  Study Methods, Hands-on exercises, Slideshow format with Audio

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(c) Green Building Academy

Source Review | Tested | Proved great for LEED Green Associate, Reasonable Price, Accessible and helpful staff

Their question bank for LEED AP BD+C could be expanded, so that it is as extensive as what they provide for LEED Green Associate. However, their team is super accessible when you have doubts, and they go out of their way to clarify them for you. (even if they must call back, or WhatsApp!)

(i) $75 | LEED v4 AP BD+C Made Easy | 6 months subscription (3 months initial subscription, can be renewed for another 3 months at no cost)

Inclusions | Detailed videos chapter-wise (including explanations for calculations), downloadable PDFs, Questions, Forum

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(d) GBRI

Source Review | USGBC Education Partner  (List of other Education Partners)

(i) $45 | LEED v4 BD+C Mock Exam – 30 Questions

Inclusions | Mock test with 30 Questions, Explanations

(ii) $70 | LEED AP Practice Tests

Inclusions | 3 Practice Tests with 100 questions each, Explanations, Review of all questions, including correct answers.

(iii) $250 | All-Inclusive LEED v4 BD+C Exam Preparation

Inclusions500+ Practice test questions, 2 simulated Mock exams, On-Demand classroom sessions, Study Guides, Flashcards, Memory Charts

Offers | Free LEED Green Associate Package, Money Back Guarantee with some conditions

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(e) Everblue

Source Review | USGBC Education Partner (List of other Education Partners)

(i) $50 | LEED AP Building Design + Construction v4 Practice Questions

Inclusions | 200 Digital Practice Questions

(ii) $200LEED AP BD+C v4 Exam Prep (On-demand)

Inclusions | 3 Study Sections and 2 Practice Exams (100 questions each), 8.5 AIA LU/HSWs

(iii) $500LEED Accredited Professional Building Design + Construction – Start NOW! Online | Access to course materials for 6 months

Inclusions | Self-guided content, on demand access to 8-hour course presentation, access to instructors for follow-up questions, 300+ practice questions,  LEED Credit Reference Sheets

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(f) American Technical Publishers

Source Review | USGBC Education Partner (List of other Education Partners)

(i) $105 | LEED AP® BD+C Exam Preparation Guide ATPWebBook™ | Access for 5 years (needs Internet, not downloadable)

Inclusions | 450-page Study Guide (concise text and detailed, full-color illustrations and photos), 170+ Checkpoint Questions for continual assessment, Knowledge Retention and Calculation exercises, 100-Question Practice Exam, Illustrated Glossary, Key Terms list, Factoids, Appendix

(ii) $320Study Bundle: LEED BD+C Study Guide and BD+C Reference Guide (V4)

InclusionsHard copy: LEED v4 Reference Guide for Building Design and Construction + 450-page Study Guide(concise text and detailed, full-color illustrations and photos), 170+ Checkpoint Questions for continual assessment, Knowledge Retention and Calculation exercises, 100-Question Practice Exam, Appendix | Online Learner Resources (ATPeResources.com): Quick Quizzes, Illustrated Glossary, Flashcards, Media library with 6 videos and animations

Offers | School Price for 5 or more ATPWebBooks, Member Price for Study Bundle $270

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That’s all for today! Since this list of Resources and Materials is quite long, we have broken it into 3 parts. The next part will cover sources for LEED Project Experience and Direct Classes/ In-Person training.

Hope this was helpful. If you have suggestions for other topics or questions related to this content, kindly let us know in the comments.

Alternatively, you could leave us a message here.

Thank you for reading!

Passive Strategies: Natural Ventilation (b)

Last week we started our series on Passive Strategies in Buildings. We kicked off with Natural Ventilation (a)Why it’s needed, What needs to be doneHow and Factors important for it.

This week we look at Strategies and related Issues for Natural Ventilation.

  1. Zoning
  2. Orientation and Form
  3. Building Depth
  4. Fenestration
  5. Advanced Strategies

(1) Zoning

Building functions can be zoned according to the ventilation strategy for effective management and energy conservation. This is seen in Akshay Urja Bhavan1 where spaces are divided into zones according to setpoints – Apex, Controlled and Passive. Only around 12% of the area is air-conditioned. Mist cooling systems are used for the Controlled and Passive zones.

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(2) Orientation and Form

Buildings should preferably be oriented between 0o and 30o with respect to the prevailing wind direction2. The building form can incorporate courtyards or verandahs (transitions zones between inside and outside) for increased ventilation and thermal comfort. These features temper down the harshness of the exterior environment, providing shade and cool breezes in summer.

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(3) Building Depth

unit thick principle
Unit Thick Principle in 2 projects by WOHA

A building depth of around 15 meters or less would enable Natural Ventilation and Daylighting. This is an assumption based on our research of many buildings by WOHA applying their Unit thick Principle. Some buildings may not be able to achieve less depth due to larger functions such as Industrial labs.

Solution | Fragmentation of Form – Such buildings could employ courtyards or atriums to break the overall form, thus enabling light to penetrate or air to flow better. (eg. Cleantech One) Fragmentation of form is also seen in Indira Paryavaran Bhavan3, where two North-South oriented blocks are separated by a centrally running  public spine.

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(4) Fenestration

  • Location, Sizing, Area – The location and size of windows, should take into account the wind direction and the ‘Living Zone’. The total area of openings should be a minimum of 30% of floor area2.
  • Window to Wall Ratio – The Window to wall ratio (WWR) should fall between 20-40% for Commercial buildings. In any case, it should not exceed 60%4.
  • Operable windows – The windows should preferably be operable with a staggered alignment. Operable windows may present certain issues. In the case of hotels for example, people might leave windows open when the air-conditioning is on, which would affect energy costs. Operable windows could also have safety implications.

Solution 1 | Sensors – Some hotels install sensors that automatically shut off air-conditioning when windows are opened.

Solution 2 | Individual Project Detailing – Safety concerns would need to be addressed in projects individually, through railing design details, selective openings or special locking mechanisms.

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(5) Advanced Strategies

(i) Air Earth tunnels

neemrana

A 16 km (once campus completed) tunnel network of Air Earth tunnels, will be running 4 m below the ground in NIIT University, Neemrana Campus. Surface temperature and seasonal variations do not penetrate below this depth, keeping air temperature constant throughout the year. Fans will pull cool air through these tunnels. This would then be taken through precipitators to eliminate dust and would be supplied to the building through ducts. The result! – Pleasant 25oC temperatures indoors, without the use of air-conditioning, when temperatures outside are nearing 50oC5.

(ii) Wind Tower

These are utilized widely in desert climates (eg. Iran, Saudi Arabia). Tall towers are built with openings facing the prevailing wind direction. The openings are narrow and the towers may contain misters or other moisture creating devices. As the tall tower catches winds, air moves down the tower, cooling on the way and is used in the building. A similar system using Shower Towers is used at DPR Office, Phoenix.

(iii) Stack effect

According to the principle, warm air from an area would rise, making space for cooler air. This would generate a loop of air circulation. This effect can be seen at building scale or even at room level. In Indira Paryavaran Bhavan, the central courtyard spine coupled with well placed building punctures, generates the ‘Stack Effect’ at the building scale. The IRRAD Building, although using air-conditioning, is utilizing a similar principle. The vents are placed near the floor, instead of the ceiling. Cool air enters the room at a lower level and it rises as it become warm6.

(iv) Displacement Ventilation

In Neemrana University, the cool air from ducts is introduced at lower levels in rooms. This pushes warm air in the room upwards, which is then exhausted through openings in higher parts of the spaces. It is similar to the stack effect, but here an additional push is being provided by the introduced cool air, to get the circulation loop going.

(v) Wind Scoops

Wind Scoops like the one used in CapitaGreen can channel air into a ‘Cool Void’. This brings cool air from a higher altitude, deeper into a high-rise building. Air flow, such as that channeled by CapitaGreen maybe blocked by surrounding buildings in a different scenario.

Solution | City Planning and Studies – This leads to the need for city planning and studies like Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to ensure these strategies are workable at a city level. This would help avoid “dead air zones”, wind canyons and other undesirable wind related events. This becomes especially important in city centers with greater density and multiple high-rise structures.

(vi) Solar Chimney

The DPR Phoenix Regional Headquarters in Pheonix, Arizona use solar chimneys to exhaust warm air from the building.

(vii) Evaporative cooling

This technique utilizes the latent energy used to convert liquid to gas. As water evaporates, its phase changes, which results in a cooling effect. This technique has been used widely in desert coolers.

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That’s all for this week. Hope this was useful! As always, please let us know your thoughts, suggestions, queries, opinions. Your views will make this exploration richer!

Thank you!

 


References

  1. BEE, USAID, PACE-D. Case Studies – Akshay Urja Bhawan. NZEB. http://www.nzeb.in/case-studies/detailed-case-studies-2/akshay-urja-bhawan-case-study/.
  2. BEE, USAID, PACE-D. Knowledge Centre – Natural Ventilation. NZEB. https://bit.ly/2QhxxoD. Accessed September 9, 2018.
  3. CA(NDR), CPWD. Sustainable Architectural Built Environment.
  4. GRIHA, TERI. GRIHA V-2015.; 2015. http://www.grihaindia.org/files/GRIHA_V2015_May2016.pdf. Accessed September 9, 2018.
  5. Bhandari P. Let buildings breathe. Times of India Jaipur. https://bit.ly/2MH0kzV. Published 2009.
  6. Somvanshi A. Simply creative. DownToEarth. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/coverage/simply-creative-39818. Published 2015.

Passive Strategies: Natural Ventilation (a)

Last week we were in conversation with Sustainability Professional Steven Lee from Malaysia. He is currently Principal at Edisi Hijau Sdn Bhd, Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh. Steven has been working with the IT industry for over 20 years, before making the move to Green Technology in 2007. (You could connect with him here – LinkedIn, Twitter)

Our discussion started with the post on Passive Strategies used in CapitaGreen, Singapore and the viability of such strategies in other projects and countries.

Today, we sum up points from this discussion and others that we think could be useful to our readers. We will focus on 3 Essential Passive Strategies – Natural Ventilation, Integration with Greens & Water and Daylighting. This part starts with Natural Ventilation.

Natural Ventilation

 


Natural Ventilation

Why it is needed ?

Why

Buildings account for 33% of the total electricity consumption in India. (Domestic 24%, Commercial 9%)1. Of this,  HVAC is one of the highest loads accounting for almost 50-60%2.

What needs to be done and effects ?

reduce need

Our effort should be to reduce the need for Air-conditioning, to help reduce energy loads. Less AC use or using air-conditioning at higher setpoints, could result in saving energy. In Residential scenarios for example, after 22oC, every 1oC higher set point equals 3-5% less energy use3.

How ?

Through design, planning, passive strategies like Natural Ventilation, integration with greens and water, we can increase thermal comfort. Thus people will want to use less air-conditioning and this will result in energy use reduction.

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Factors important for Natural Ventilation

(i) Climate

Climate is one of the chief factors determining the feasibility of Natural Ventilation. For example, Natural Ventilation is quite effective in Moderate climates and it may provide considerable relief in Hot and Humid conditions4. However, it could bring discomfort and dust in Hot and Dry Climates. Cold Climates also need protection from chilling exterior winds and might need enclosed conditions.

(ii) Wind direction

The wind direction determines design and viability of Natural Ventilation. Wind rose diagrams are used to understand prevailing directions, frequency, speed and other factors related to wind conditions in any particular area.

(iii) Thermal Comfort and Perception

Thermal Comfort is a complex, often subjective issue determined by multiple factors. Before the advent of AC, buildings were designed according to climate and context. People enjoyed the benefits of fresh air. Now, many occupants prefer fully air conditioned spaces since they have become used to such an environment. There might be instances when the AC is too cold for comfort, but this has become the norm. Enclosed buildings behave like greenhouses2, which then need air-conditioning to cool them down. So, the need is not only to improve thermal comfort , but also address people’s perception related to it.  To address this complex issue, we could look at the following solutions.

Solution 1Custom Thermal Comfort Models – Countries could develop customized thermal comfort guidelines for Design. An example is the ‘Indian Adaptive Comfort Model’ developed by CEPT university. This is part of the GRIHA manual5 and is adapted to Indian local conditions. For example, it provides Indoor Operative temperature values for all cities in India. These are setpoints which are required as per standards to achieve thermal comfort. They are to be monitored during the operation of the building. These models could help optimize setpoints and engage in better AC design.

Solution 2 Hybrid systems – DPR Office in Phoenix, Arizona uses a hybrid cooling system. They have special High Velocity Low Speed (HVLS) fans and operable windows. Cooling is provided by moist air through Shower Towers on the facade. There is also a Solar Chimney exhausting warm air. Only when the conditions are too extreme, they switch on the air-conditioning6. A hybrid cooling system is also being designed for the new School of Design and Environment building NZEB in the National University of Singapore7. The NZEB at CEPT University is planning to utilize optimized natural ventilation coupled with a radiant cooling system2.

Solution 3Common areas could be Naturally Ventilated, (fully or partially) for starters. Since occupants spend lesser time in spaces like corridors, washrooms, lobbies, parking – such efforts might help the acclimatization process. An example can be seen in ParkRoyal Hotel @ Pickering.

park royal

(iv) Pollution and Location 

Natural Ventilation may not be possible if the outside air is polluted. Pollution could be due to traffic, dust from a construction site or other harmful substances, such as emissions from a factory.

Solution 1 | Location – Sensitive functions like schools or hospitals would ideally be located away from such areas.

Solution 2 | Natural Filters/ Barriers – If this is not possible, window opening design could be clubbed with strategies like Vegetation or Earth mounds, to act as noise barriers or to filter pollution.

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That’s all for today. We hope you enjoyed reading the article!

Next week we look at Passive Strategies: Natural Ventilation (b) in which we cover Strategies and related Issues of Natural Ventilation.

For now we leave you with these questions.

Do you know of other Commercial or large projects that are using Passive Strategies?

What do you think of the Passive Strategies mentioned above? Can you spot further practical issues that might arise?

Please share your Sustainability knowledge and experience. Our search for answers continues…..

See you next week.

 


References

  1. Rakheja A. Case Study EcoCommercial Building, Noida, India – Adapting To Climate. High Perform Build. 2013:44-52. https://bit.ly/2O4lt8H.
  2. USAID India. Net Zero Energy Buildings Initiative.; 2011. https://bit.ly/2N2rQNy. Accessed September 9, 2018.
  3. Majumdar M. Sustainable Habitats: Cooling homes…heated pockets. The Economic Times Blogs. https://bit.ly/2wY4wGz. Published 2013.
  4. BEE, USAID, PACE-D. Knowledge Centre – Natural Ventilation. NZEB. https://bit.ly/2QhxxoD. Accessed September 9, 2018.
  5. GRIHA, TERI. GRIHA V-2015.; 2015. http://www.grihaindia.org/files/GRIHA_V2015_May2016.pdf. Accessed September 9, 2018.
  6. GreenCE. Aggressively Passive: Confronting the Comfort Status Quo. https://www.greence.com/Free_Courses/aggressively-passive. Accessed September 9, 2018.
  7. NUS S. NUS breaks ground on its first Net-Zero Energy Building today! https://bit.ly/2CBLknq. Published 2016. Accessed September 9, 2018.

LEED AP BD+C: Resources and Materials (Paid)-1

paid 1

This is part of a series of articles on the experience of giving the LEED AP BD+C examination. Our first article looked at why the LEED AP BD+C exam could prove difficult to crack. The following 2 weeks elaborated on 11 Essential ‘Need -to-Knows’ before LEED AP BD+C Prep (Part 1, Part 2). Last week we started with LEED AP BD+C: Resources and Materials (Free). This week we delve into a list of available online Paid Resources and Materials that you could refer to if needed.

Like we mentioned in earlier posts – If you have prior experience with LEED projects (or some sort of Sustainability background), then things become relatively easier. If not, then you might feel the need to use a guided study course. Today’s article addresses this scenario.

Note: We have tested and used some of following resources and can tell you what we found useful. There are others that we feel could be good based on the credibility of the source (these have not been tried by us, so the decision to use them would lie with you). Our aim is to create an exhaustive list of materials, so that the Menu is in front of you to make your decision (our articles are not endorsing any online courses/ question banks. However, we would like to give due credit to pages that our team found useful while attempting the exam. Ultimately, it is totally up to your choice and discretion whether to subscribe to them). We have mentioned Sources Reviews, Prices (any offers), Subscription time, Important Links and Material Inclusions. All prices are rounded off to the nearest 5 or 10.

Since this list is quite long, we are breaking it into 3 parts.

  1. Study Resources
  2. Practice Questions
    • GBES
    • GreenCE
    • Green Building Academy
    • GBRI
    • Everblue
    • Poplar and Green Step
  3. LEED Project Experience
    • GBES
    • GBRI
  4. Direct Classes/ In-Person Training
    • GBRI
    • Everblue

1) Study Resources

(a) Green Building Academy

Source Review | Tested | Proved great for LEED Green Associate, Reasonable Price, Accessible and helpful staff

(i) $75 | LEED v4 AP BD+C Made Easy | 6 months subscription (3 months initial subscription, can be renewed for another 3 months at no cost)

Inclusions | Detailed videos chapter-wise (including explanations for calculations), downloadable PDFs, Questions, Forum

We bought and tested this online course for the LEED Green Associate exam. [At the time (in 2016), this was the cheapest complete course we found in the market at $55. The resource provided informative videos and downloadable PDFs along with  timed exams and explanations. Their forums were also very useful, where you could read questions and answers by other candidates or post your own doubts.]

Our experience led us to subscribe to it for the LEED AP BD+C stage. This version of the examination is more technical than LEED Green Associate since it involves calculations. For $75, Green Academy provides very detailed videos for each chapter which also explain how to solve problems.

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(b) GBES

Source Review | USGBC Education Partner, Tested their Question Bank – Good quality experience

(i) $35 LEED AP BD+C Study Sheets

Inclusions | 12 Study Sheets (PDF format, can be printed)

(ii) $35 | LEED AP BD+C Flashcards | No Expiration Date

Inclusions | 200 flashcards (Can be printed 6 to a sheet or studied online)

(iii) $60 | LEED AP BD+C Study Guide

Inclusions | 200+ page Study Guide (including key terms, case studies, sample questions)

(iv) $100LEED AP BD+C Silver Pack | 120-day access

Inclusions | Exam Simulator with 500 practice questions, 200 flashcards

(v) $230LEED AP BD+C Platinum Pack | 120 day access

Inclusions | Exam Simulator with 500 practice questions, 200 flashcards, Study Guide, 11 On-Demand Webinars, 12 Study Sheets

Offers | 25% Off Everything for Labor Day Weekend, Student and Faculty Discounts

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(c) GreenCE

Source Review | Tested Continuing Education videos (good quality Content and Experience) , LEED Green Associate Course available for Free here (Chapter-wise videos and 3 practice exams could be viewed to gauge for quality)

(i) $230 | Green Building and the LEED AP BD+C Exam

Inclusions | Study Guide, 90+ LEED practice questions, Study Sheets, Certificate of Completion for 8 AIA HSW Hours, Tips,  Study Methods, Hands-on exercises, Slideshow format with Audio

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(d) USGBC

(i) $100Web-based Reference Guide (all rating systems) | 1-year Access

Inclusions | Fully interactive Web-based Reference Guide, 50 Multimedia Modules, Tutorials and Case Studies

(ii) $200 | Education@USGBC | 1-year Access

Inclusions | Access to all listed study materials and Continuing Education Resources (400+ courses including Web-based Reference Guide)

(iii) $220 (e-document PDF), $250 (Hard copy) | LEED Reference Guide for Building Design and Construction

Inclusions | 90-day Access to full suite of Web-based guide content (50 multimedia modules, interactive videos, tutorials, case studies, presentations and documents) with purchase of a hard copy or e-copy of the LEED v4 Reference Guide

Offers | Member Price for Hard copy of Reference Guide is $200

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(e) GBRI

Source Review | USGBC Education Partner  (List of other Education Partners)

(i) $250All-Inclusive LEED v4 BD+C Exam Preparation

Inclusions | 500+ Practice test questions, 2 simulated Mock exams, On-Demand classroom sessions, Study Guides, Flashcards, Memory Charts

Offers | Free LEED Green Associate Package, Money Back Guarantee with some conditions

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(f) Everblue

Source Review | USGBC Education Partner

(i) $200LEED AP BD+C v4 Exam Prep (On-demand)

Inclusions | 3 Study Sections and 2 Practice Exams (100 questions each), 8.5 AIA LU/HSWs

(ii) $500LEED Accredited Professional Building Design + Construction – Start NOW! Online | Access to course materials for 6 months

Inclusions | Self-guided content, on demand access to 8-hour course presentation, access to instructors for follow-up questions, 300+ practice questions,  LEED Credit Reference Sheets

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(g) American Technical Publishers

Source Review | USGBC Education Partner

(i) $105 | LEED AP® BD+C Exam Preparation Guide ATPWebBook™ | Access for 5 years (needs Internet, not downloadable)

Inclusions | 450-page Study Guide (concise text and detailed, full-color illustrations and photos), 170+ Checkpoint Questions for continual assessment, Knowledge Retention and Calculation exercises, 100-Question Practice Exam, Illustrated Glossary, Key Terms list, Factoids, Appendix

(ii) $320Study Bundle: LEED BD+C Study Guide and BD+C Reference Guide (V4)

InclusionsHard copy: LEED v4 Reference Guide for Building Design and Construction + 450-page Study Guide(concise text and detailed, full-color illustrations and photos), 170+ Checkpoint Questions for continual assessment, Knowledge Retention and Calculation exercises, 100-Question Practice Exam, Appendix | Online Learner Resources (ATPeResources.com): Quick Quizzes, Illustrated Glossary, Flashcards, Media library with 6 videos and animations

Offers | School Price for 5 or more ATPWebBooks, Member Price for Study Bundle $270

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That’s all for today! Since this list of Resources and Materials is quite long, we have broken it into 3 parts. The next part will cover sources for Practice Questions.

Hope this was helpful. If you have suggestions for other topics or questions related to this content, kindly let us know in the comments.

Alternatively, you could leave us a message here.

Thank you for reading!

LEED AP BD+C: Resources and Materials (Free)

LEED ram f

(Updates below)

This is part of a series of articles on the experience of giving the LEED AP BD+C examination. Last week we completed our 2-part article on 11 Essential ‘Need-To-Knows’ before LEED AP BD+C Prep (Part 1, Part 2). Now, we start to look at Resources and Materials (both Freely available and Paid) that would be useful for this preparation.

This week we start with Freely available online resources. Based on your level of experience and knowledge, you may be able to pass the exam by using just the free resources. Some of our team however, felt the need for additional support. So, they made use of some ‘Paid’ resources which we talk of next week in case you feel the need for those.

Note: We have employed exhaustive online research, to explore all possible sources on the topic, as we felt that relying on any one source may not be enough.

Our articles are not endorsing any online courses/ question banks. However, we would like to give due credit to pages that our team found useful while attempting the exam. Ultimately, it is totally up to your choice and discretion whether to subscribe to them.

  1. Online Book
  2. Other Resources
  3. Practice Questions
    • USGBC
    • GBRI
    • Everblue

1) Online Book

current online book screenshot
Screenshot for Online Book – Current Version [Image via USGBC]
  • Latest Link – This is a 160+ pages free Document that has everything you need to know for the exam. The latest update to the book was published by USGBC on 2nd July 2018. The link for this PDF is here.
  • Updates – We will keep updating this link. If at some point you are unable to access it, that could mean that USGBC has published another update and removed the earlier version. Just google LEED v4 BDC pdf and you should be able to find an org link saying current version.
  • Getting through the book – If you can get through this slightly intimidating document on your own, then you may not need to refer to other sources at all. If however, the thought of reading and getting through the first page onward is a little daunting, you could try a couple of different methods and resources (explained below and in ‘Method of Study’ in coming weeks).

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2) Other Resources

(a) USGBC
  • Introduction Video – USGBC provides a simple animated free introduction video that helps to get your bearings about the exam.
what is a leed ap
Screenshot for USGBC Introduction Video [Image by USGBC via YouTube]
  • Four-week study plan – This is something new we came across recently. The link provides a Syllabus  and a 28-day study plan (which includes PDFs and Videos) which should help you organize your preparation. The videos are a wonderful addition to their free resources.
  • LEED AP BD+C v4 checklist in Excel format – This excel sheet shows what an actual project checklist looks like, so it will give you an experience of the structure followed – prerequisites, credits, points possible.
excel screen shot
Screenshot v4 Checklist [ Image by USGBC]
  • Credit/ Prerequisite Database – All prerequisites and Credits are explained in considerable detail here. These pages should be included in the study schedule. They help you check for latest updates. Resources like Submittal Tips and Forms help to understand the practical side and applicability of the exam in LEED projects.
  • Reference Guide 67-page excerpt – This is a short section of the complete reference guide that is available free online. It is quite detailed and a little intimidating. You might not need this much detail for the exam, so maybe don’t look at it if you are short on time!
(b) GBRI
  • Glossary of Terms – These are key terms useful for LEED exams presented as a video and PDFs. They are available at 2 locations – here and here.
  • Introduction videos – This is a free introduction video on LEED Process, Integrative Strategies
GBRI
Screenshot for GBRI video – LEED Process, Integrative Strategies [Image by GBRI via YouTube]
(c) Green Building Academy

Also known as Conserve Academy, this is an excellent resource that we talk about in detail later. This is a paid resource, but Introduction videos and few chapters like ‘Location and Transportation’ for LEED AP BD+C are available for free.

  • Video for Location and Transportation Credit – Sensitive Land Protection
  • Video for Location and Transportation Credit – High Priority Site
(d) Poplar

This is a 27-page slideshow about useful LEED concepts.

(e) Quizlet

This application allows students to learn using tools and games. We had heard about this website and thought to give it a try. Searching for LEED AP BD+C gives a massive list of flashcards with useful terms to study for the exam. This material is created by users from around the world. It can offer a unique perspective and can be good for revision reading towards the later stages of preparation.

(f) GBES

Update: We recently found another free resource. A glossary of 257 v4 terms presented in Excel format. The file also includes translations in other languages like Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Italian.

(g) GreenCE

Update: While writing our article on Paid Resources, we came across this section on FREE courses offered by GreenCE. The courses are meant for collecting Continuing Education hours once you have passed the examination. However, these can be referred to earlier, during exam preparation as well. Since they refer to actual projects applying LEED Credits, they are very useful in understanding the certification process. There are General and Specific courses (BD+C, Homes, ID+C, O+M, ND).

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3) Practice Questions

(a) USGBC
  • 100 question mock exam – This is a free exam offered by USGBC. It is in computerized format and you can attempt it as many times as you need.
100 mock usgbc
Screenshot for 100 question Mock Exam [Image via USGBC]
  • 6 free questions – This is an article we found recently by one of the USGBC authors. It includes 6 questions in a computerized format. Extra free questions are always welcome. Right?!
6 questions
Screenshot for 6 question exam [Image via USGBC]
(b) GBRI

This is a 30 question Mock Examination. You would need to login to their site.

(c) Everblue

They offer 10 free practice questions and answers here.

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That’s all for this week. Hope this was helpful. Next time we outline a list of Paid resources that we thought were useful. You could refer to those if you feel the need for them.

If you have suggestions for other topics or queries related to this content, kindly let us know in the comments below. From this week, we are using DISQUS for comments!

Alternatively, you could leave us a message here.

Thank you for reading!

11 Essential ‘Need-To-Knows’ before LEED AP BD+C Prep (Part 2)

part 2

This article is written by our contributing Author – Aditi Bisen.


Last week in Part 1, we covered the first 5 (of the 11) essential ‘Need-To-Knows’ before starting preparation for the LEED AP BD+C examination. This week, we go through the remaining 6 ‘Need-To-Knows’.

  1. Candidate Handbook
  2. Exam Fees
    • LEED Green Associate
    • LEED AP BD+C
    • Combined Examination
  3. Requirements, Prior Knowledge
    • Mandatory Requirements
    • Recommendations
  4. Registration
    • Account
    • Credentials
    • Registration
  5. Scheduling
    • Prometric Centre
    • Alternate Exam Delivery
  6. Questions and Time Limit
  7. Format of Questions
  8. Minimum score and Marking System
    • Minimum Score
    • Marking
  9. Calculations
  10. Some memorizing required
  11. USGBC Help

6) Questions and Time Limit

(i) 2 hours, 100 questions

(ii) As mentioned in the first post, the questions are longer (than LEED Green Associate) and include more detail. You will need to quickly sift out relevant bits to answer the questions.

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7) Format of questions

(i) Questions are multiple choice.

(ii) There can be one choice or multiple choices as answers. (The exam will specify for each question whether it needs a single answer or more.)

(iii) During the exam, you can attempt, skip, mark questions (to come back to later), or leave comments for your reference.

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8) Minimum score and Marking System

(a) Minimum Score

You need to score a minimum of 170 out of 200.

(b) Marking

(i) The Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) marking system is unique. You cannot assume that if you answer 85 questions correctly, then you pass (That is, each question is not allotted 2 marks uniformly, which would mean 85 X 2=170).

(ii) 15 questions (of the 100) are not marked. They are only for evaluation purposes.

(iii) The remaining questions have the marks divided amongst them based on specific criteria such as difficulty level, application etc.

(iv) There is no negative marking! (Thank the Universe!!) You can safely attempt all questions.

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9) Calculations

(i) There are (basic) calculations involved in this examination.

(ii) You will have access to an inbuilt calculator on the exam screen.

(iii) In addition to this, you will be provided with a marker and sheet to do written calculations.

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10) Some memorizing required

This exam expects you to be trained enough to be a LEED AP BD+C professional. Consider this example – If you’re a doctor, you need to know various symptoms, their causes, preliminary treatments etc. off the top of your head. When your patients consult you, you can’t go around rummaging through notes and handbooks to give an answer. Well here you’re not a doctor, but still training to be a professional. So, we feel the same rules are applicable.

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11) USGBC Help

We have tried to mention all relevant ‘Need-To-Knows’, before starting LEED AP BD+C prep. You may have additional queries. You could leave a comment, contact us here, or refer to the USGBC help page. The USGBC page is a wonderful resource with many pre-answered questions. You can also ask them a question, if you feel, your query has not been covered in this section.

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Look out for the remaining articles in coming weeks. If you have suggestions for other topics or queries related to this content, kindly let us know in the comments below.

Alternatively, you could leave us a message here.

Thank you!

 


About the Author

Aditi Bisen started writing for ‘The Architecture Gazette‘ in 2016. She is an Architect and LEED AP BD+C with a Masters in Integrated Sustainable Design from National University of Singapore. You could connect with her here-

LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Google+

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