[Equest-users] New LEED issues brought up in Final review comments??

Patrick J. O'Leary, Jr. poleary1969 at gmail.com
Tue May 27 15:55:24 PDT 2014

i've had mixed success in the past about emailing tech support (thru the 
usgbc website) & asking for clarification about whether a reviewer's 
comments are accurate/correct in the process.  you might try that route 
though there's no guarantee the reply will be swift or not.  i've had 
answers in a week or less and i've waited months & had to resubmit to 
get an answer on a few projects.

On 5/27/14 12:39 PM, Nick Caton wrote:
> Hi Pasha (and everyone),
> From my experience, this does sound weird, but there may be missing 
> context to make it more reasonable.
> I have seen final documented EAc1 credits being reduced in response to 
> a calculated "adjustment" for the baseline and/or proposed energy 
> tallies, based in turn on some measure being determined invalid or 
> similar.  These adjustments are typically reasonable and clear enough, 
> even if I don't always agree with them.  This would be the first I've 
> heard of an entire model (or all EAc1 credits) being rejected outright 
> in final review, and the first I've heard of a LEED reviewer reducing 
> *or* denying credits over zoning decisions, which are clearly under 
> the umbrella of the modeler's prerogative.  Again, these are 
> observations from my bubble of experience.
> You can assert the modeler is permitted broad leeway to define zoning 
> as simply/broadly as may be necessary for an Appendix G model -- this 
> is touched on in Appendix G, and dealt with more explicitly in the 
> 90.1 User's manual.  It's routine practice in my experience for large 
> and otherwise complex projects where floor layouts and mechanical 
> system designs lend themselves to grouping spaces together, and for 
> when actual zoning layouts are "unknowable" for the duration of 
> modeling (such as with shell/TI construction).  On the flip side, the 
> person assembling the documentation should be prepared to explain and 
> provide context for why any zoning simplifications are undertaken, 
> should those decisions be called into question.
> It may be that zoning for your project wasn't documented well (or at 
> all) for preliminary review, and so wasn't available to comment upon 
> or question.  In that scenario, the preliminary review commentary 
> should have firstly noted that deficiency in documentation.  In 
> response to such preliminary commentary, the modeler should have taken 
> explicit care to fully document zoning, and to provide reasoning & 
> explanation for any simplifications.
> I don't know whether there are any hard and fast rules as to whether 
> the LEED reviewership is discouraged from bringing up new issues in 
> final review, particularly those they had an opportunity to take issue 
> with in preliminary review, but if the preliminary review 
> model/documentation were really deficient I can imagine it being 
> within reason to recognize new problems.
> All told, it sounds as though the mess was already made when you came 
> into the project.  Perhaps after this "damage assessment" is over, you 
> may need to re-assess your fees/scope to actually re-build the entire 
> model with appropriate zoning.  There should be a lesson in all this - 
> Chalk it up as the cost/risk of not hiring a qualified energy modeling 
> professional from the get-go.
> For such an "extreme" punitive reaction as denying all EAc1 points 
> over a "new" issue in final review, I should think LEED would have 
> some means of communication with those familiar with your project, 
> short of undertaking the ($$$) appeal process, so that you could 
> assess what compromises are necessary to arrive at an acceptable 
> zoning layout.  That I should think would be reasonable at a minimum.  
> You'd think they'd also have some additional  degree of oversight for 
> such cases to ensure individual reviewers aren't just writing off 
> entire projects they're uncomfortable reviewing.
> I'm hopeful someone from the LEED side of things monitoring these 
> lists will either chime in with whether any such intermediate mode of 
> recourse is available, or at least contact you off-list if need be.
> Best regards,
> ~Nick
> cid:489575314 at 22072009-0ABB**
> **
> Smith & Boucher Engineers
> 25501 west valley parkway, suite 200
> olathe, ks 66061
> direct 913.344.0036
> fax 913.345.0617
> www.smithboucher.com__
> *From:*Equest-users 
> [mailto:equest-users-bounces at lists.onebuilding.org] *On Behalf Of 
> *Pasha Korber-Gonzalez
> *Sent:* Tuesday, May 27, 2014 10:50 AM
> *To:* eQUEST Users List
> *Subject:* [Equest-users] New LEED issues brought up in Final review 
> comments??
> Hi  colleagues:    This is the first time this has happened to me...
> We received final LEED comments back from a project and 3 new issues 
> were brought up that were never recognized in the first round of comments.
> The issues focused around unacceptable zone groupings, but this had 
> not changed from the first submission of comments, so it felt like we 
> were blindsided by the new issues that we were not given a chance to 
> address the first time the LEED reviewer looked at the model results. 
>   Based on these 3 new issues regarding the zoning all of the EAc1 
> points were denied and the project is now forced into an appeal process.
> The kicker is that I didn't acquire this model until they needed help 
> with the Reviewers comments...so the zoning was out of my hands, and 
> it feels like there was no chance at "passing" LEED because we were 
> never given a chance to address the zoning issue because they didn't 
> recognize it the first time...
> I'm frustrated...has anyone else had this happen, does it seem 
> unreasonable?
> Pasha
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