LEED 2012 for data centers and healthcare

In an effort to be more market-focused, LEED 2012 tackles data centers and hospitals, buildings that often have a more difficult time achieving LEED certification because of their significant energy and uptime demands.


In an effort to be more market-focused, LEED 2012 tackles data centers and hospitals, buildings that often have a more difficult time achieving LEED certification because of their significant energy and uptime demands. LEED 2012 gives these buildings a different benchmark by which to measure their energy savings, recognizing that reduction is difficult and therefore providing them more of an opportunity to achieve it.

Data centers

EA Prerequisite 1: Combined building and IT energy use must be 10% less than the ASHRAE 90.1-2010 baseline. Power utilization effectiveness (PUE) must be reported and two systems must be modeled: one for the building’s energy costs and another for IT energy costs. PUE is the ratio of total data center energy use including process loads to regulated energy use (HVAC and lighting). Finally, a 30% energy savings from the data center’s nonprocess load, i.e., building power and cooling infrastructure, must be documented.

EA Credit – Enhanced Commissioning: Depending on the size of the peak cooling load, additional design and submittal reviews are required. For projects with peak cooling loads of <2 million Btuh or a total computer room peak cooling load of < 600,000 Btuh, the commissioning agent must conduct design reviews, including reviews of the OPR and BOD, at 95% design development and at 50% construction design. For projects with peak cooling loads of >2 million Btuh or total computer room peak cooling loads of >600,000 Btuh, the commissioning agent will conduct design reviews, including reviews of the OPR and BOD, prior to the start of the design, at 100% design development, and at 50% construction design.


EA Credit – Optimized Energy Performance: Typical buildings can be awarded up to 18 LEED points, but with LEED 2012, hospitals can now earn up to 20 points. Because hospitals have such large process loads and larger outside air requirements than typical commercial buildings, LEED 2012 will reward a hospital with more points for energy reductions similar to other building types. For example, a 12% reduction in energy expenditure will earn a hospital an extra point over a 12% reduction for another building type.

Vallort leads the Energy + Eco Services group at ESD. Vallort has served as project manager, commissioning agent, design engineer, and LEED consultant on various projects ranging from multimillion-dollar campus-wide projects to individual site commissioning services. Lorenz serves as a project manager and sustainability specialist for ESD. As the LEED consultant on many projects, Lorenz helps buildings optimize building energy performance as well as meet LEED documentation and certification requirements.

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