Question-and-Answer Resource for the Building Energy Modeling Community
Get started with the Help page
Ask Your Question

Treatment of District or Campus Thermal Energy in LEED

asked 2016-05-16 14:30:50 -0500

PJC's avatar

updated 2016-05-17 14:27:20 -0500

Hi all, I have buildings sharing central plant for a LEED project, but it doesn't seem to work well with the "Treatment of District or Campus Thermal Energy in LEED". I saw the answers here, but they don't match either

I am working on a project with two buildings on one site, one commercial C&S, one Hotel - separate submissions for LEED (and code). The two buildings are sharing only a condenser water loop – one central cooling tower set, one boiler plant to boost the loop. Both systems will use water source heat pumps.

The campus document talks about a district energy system as being a system that provides thermal energy “heating via hot water or steam, and/or cooling via chilled water”. My condenser water loop is obviously neither, but the document only really talks about heating and chilled water, which will cover 99% of shared plant I guess. If I follow the guide it tells me to make both my baseline and my proposed purchase heating and chilled water, so not what is being built.

Am I supposed to just ignore the central plant and treat them as separate water loops? There are theoretical energy savings from putting two buildings with different profiles on the one loop, and there are also capacity reductions available, but using the guide doesn't seem any kind of logical. Losing those theoretical savings isn't going to kill my result, but I'm trying to be sure that GBCI will actually accept the approach I take.


edit retag flag offensive close merge delete


What software are you using?

MatthewSteen's avatar MatthewSteen  ( 2016-05-17 06:34:15 -0500 )edit

Using IES currently, could maybe switch to E+ if it miraculously solved my problem but the principle of the problem holds - how do they actually want me to do this

PJC's avatar PJC  ( 2016-05-17 07:34:52 -0500 )edit

1 Answer

Sort by » oldest newest most voted

answered 2016-05-18 08:17:24 -0500

updated 2016-05-18 08:17:47 -0500

Here is a LEED Interpretation ruling on a similar situation (shared condenser loop and equipment). The relevant section of the ruling states:

It appears, based on the description, that the building does not fall under the District Energy requirements, in that it is not provided with cooling or heating from a district source, but rather provided with condenser water which feeds heat pumps that produce the cooling and heating within the building. As such it is not required to follow the methodology defined in the "Required Treatment of District Thermal Energy in LEED-NC version 2.2 and LEED for Schools."

You should make sure the ruling is applicable to your rating system version, and possibly do additional searches for other interpretations that may have been made on this issue. This one doesn't make any determination on how the equipment should be modeled, but given that the district guidance doesn't apply, I would probably include the equipment in both models.

edit flag offensive delete link more


That is perfect, thanks, I hadn't found it when I was searching the LEED interpretations.

PJC's avatar PJC  ( 2016-05-18 12:40:26 -0500 )edit

Your Answer

Please start posting anonymously - your entry will be published after you log in or create a new account.

Add Answer

Training Workshops

Question Tools



Asked: 2016-05-16 14:30:50 -0500

Seen: 718 times

Last updated: May 18 '16