[Equest-users] Open Letter to LEED Energy Model Reviewers

Wesley S. Care wesley.care at esdaz.com
Mon Aug 19 15:53:59 PDT 2013

Dear LEED Energy Model Reviewers:

Let me first say that I believe most of you are doing your best and take your positions seriously. Also, that I understand your jobs must be difficult, to decipher modeling results from a variety of users and software, all of us with our own modeling styles. In my commentary below, know that I am trying to come from the position of a constructive critic, and would like the LEED process to be better for everyone involved. Unfortunately, the opaque, anonymous review process does not allow me any forum whatsoever to provide feedback which would not threaten the review status of my clients.

I received several (less than 10) comments on a model today. I expected some, especially with a fairly unusual method of water heating in my proposed model which is difficult to explain well with the template process. However, two are completely unacceptable:

The first comment requests that I make modifications necessary to "reflect Title-24 modeling protocol." Ok, that would be fine, except my building is NOT IN CALIFORNIA.

The other comment includes bracketed notes to the reviewer him/herself, resulting in a totally incomplete comment: "It is unclear whether the Baseline case fan air flow rates were sized based on a 20 deg. F supply-air-to-room-air temperature difference for each Baseline system because [indicate why you think this has been done incorrectly and what you are looking at to indicate this issue]." What am I supposed to do with this? Choose my own adventure?

You may not have perspective on what it is like to be on the LEED submittal side of this process, or why this might be a big deal. People do these models as a JOB. A career. Some of us work for a company, others as independent consultants. All of us do it for money, usually a pretty substantial amount, and to get the work, we have to present ourselves as qualified, professional energy modelers. When our clients, who paid a lot for our professional services, see a "text wall" of comments, what do they think? It's one thing when the comments are reasonable, but totally inappropriate when they are not.

Adding rubber-stamp comments does not make you look better as a reviewer. It does not make our clients say, "Wow, all that money I paid to USGBC sure is justified!" It makes us both look foolish, and it does two bad things (over and above wasting my/my client's/my company's time). It delegitimizes my standing as a modeler, because my client thinks I may not be as good as I say I am (which impacts my or my company's ability to negotiate decent contracts going forward). And it delegitimizes the USGBC as a whole, because now I know, as many others have attested on this forum as well, that some of the model reviewing going on is some combination of incompetent and lazy.

For all the work required to successfully complete a LEED model submission, and all of the cost, surely we can at least expect you to double check your own comments, and make sure that they are even relevant. You are not graduate TAs grading freshman engineering papers. You are professionals, guiding other professionals in the energy modeling process for tomorrow's efficient buildings. We've all made mistakes, but please, please take this seriously.


[ESD 25 LOGO BLACK]<http://www.esdaz.com/>
Celebrating 25 Years
Mechanical Engineers + Electrical Engineers + Sustainable Design<http://www.esdaz.com/>

Wesley Care, EIT | Mechanical Project Engineer | * <mailto:wesley.care at esdaz.com>  wesley.care at esdaz.com<mailto:wesley.care at esdaz.com> | * 480.481.4973 | 6 480.481.4903

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.onebuilding.org/pipermail/equest-users-onebuilding.org/attachments/20130819/51c6c3c1/attachment.htm>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: image001.jpg
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 6362 bytes
Desc: image001.jpg
URL: <http://lists.onebuilding.org/pipermail/equest-users-onebuilding.org/attachments/20130819/51c6c3c1/attachment.jpg>

More information about the Equest-users mailing list