LEED Review Comment - Exhaust Fans

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Dear All,

We have received the following from GBCI regarding the energy modelling

"Table1.4.2 indicates that exhaust fan systems are reflected in the
Proposed model; however, the equipment capacities are inconsistent with the
exhaust fan systems (EF-1 through EF-9) as indicated in the mechanical
schedules provided for PI Form 4: Schedule and Overview Documents. In
addition, the independent fan systems of the HVAC systems in the actual
design must be modeled identically between the Proposed and Baseline
models at actual equipment capacities (fan volume and fan power) as
required by Table G3.1.10 in the Proposed building column, since the fan
air flow rates and fan power per Sections G3.1.2.8 and G3.1.2.9,
respectively, only applies to system types 1 through 8 in Table G3.1.1A.
Revise the
Proposed and Baseline models so all independentfan systems of the HVAC
systems are modeled identically between the Proposed and Baseline
models. In addition, separate the energy consumption and peak demand
energy for independent#fans in Table EAp2-4 and Table EAp2-5 of the
prerequisite form. Further,provide revised SV-A reports reflecting the

Our proposed model has supply and exhaust fans (Supply: AHU, FCU -
Exhaust: AHU, independant exhaust fans). Our baseline model has supply
and relief fans (VAV System).

Please look at Section 6 of the attached Table 1.4.2. Are we expected to
additionally model exhaust fans in the baseline case? Do they mean
exhaust fans when they say "independent fan systems of the HVAC systems?".

Thanks for all replies,

Omer Moltay, LEED AP BD+C

Omer Moltay's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
Reputation: 0


I would concede with the reviewer's first point and modify the proposed model to match the scheduled fan capacities.

To the second point of modeling exhaust systems additionally/separately in the baseline, I believe one can feasibly construct a case to support either position, but I would personally probably disagree with the reviewer and their reference to TG3.1.10 in the case of an exhaust fan system.

The term "independent fan systems" is an abstraction that is confusing the issue. I speak directly to this in the attached discussion, and would likely refute that choice of words on principle - I suspect you might have the same reviewer.

On that note, I would strongly suggest reviewing the attached recent discussion carefully from the beginning, regarding these same sections and how they may apply (or not) to baseline/proposed models. The discussion tangents a good deal, but it will be useful to see others' understanding/practice of how these sections apply.



Nick-Caton's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
Reputation: 805

Dear Crina,

Thanks for the reply. I just added these exhaust fans to my baseline
model. The reviewer is also asking for a separate energy consumption
calculation for the exhaust fans. While trying to capture this through
separate meters, I just realized that the air volume exhausted through
some of these independent fans is variable in hourly reports even if I
define them to be constant volume. I am afraid that this will result in
mismatching values for energy consumption between the baseline and the
proposed models.

1. What could be causing the air volume to be variable?
2. Is it a must that both the baseline and the proposed cases should
display exactly the same amount of energy consumption for these
independant fan systems?

Thank you,

Omer Moltay, LEED AP BD+C

Omer Moltay's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
Reputation: 0

Omer---I have your reviewer also on one of my projects...I literally just
finished the 33 comments back to the reviwer only 6 hours ago. I'm
exhausted and frustrated (hopefully I'm not alone in these feelings after
fighting with LEED & GBCI...)

I had the exact same comment, but I already had the exhaust fans in both the
baseline and proposed. I was also told to break-out the fan energy which
was annoying to have to back-track on these tedious things, add an extra
meter, etc.... I also ran into the same issue of mis-match output results
and I could not track what was the cause of it. I ended up explaining how
the discrepancy in energy is literally negligible in the whole building
picture of annual energy use. Exhaust fans and motors are small--in the
sense of the ones they are refering too and to spend a whole hour fixing,
revising, and rewriting explanations in the hopes that I appease this
reviewer is EXHAUSTING and FRUSTRATING....also this change made virtually no
change or difference in my overall results comparison as my reviewer pointed
out that these fans are considered process loads and therefore are held
equal in both cases...UGH.

Further more, it ultimately feels that GBCI and the LEED Reviwers are always
"out to get us"....What's going on with the LEED Comment discussion on
Assembly U-values being unacceptable???!!! I have never had a LEED
reviewer comment about this modeling approach and I've completed LEED sims
from LEED version 1.0. This is really starting to get to be tooo much of
a double standard for inconsistencies within the GBCI EAc1/EAp2 reviewers.
The amount of work that is required for the reporting is ridiculous. Why do
the new forms make us simulators take time to transpose the Appendix D
climate characteristic data from 90.1 into the LEED template....

There doesn't seem to be much support or comfort when "working for" a LEED
reviewer and to TAKE THE CAKE....several comments in my LEED review were
unprofessional on thier part AND they are incorrect! For example my LEED
reviewer takes the liberty to state: "...* Table G3.1.1B indicates that
the heating type for system type 7 is hot water fossil fuel boiler only, so
there must not be any energy consumption for electric space heating. "...*
The following was my response back to them where based on my 10+ yrs of
simulation & HVAC design experience warranted thier statement ignorant and
unprofessional in my opinion. Statements like this from GBCI Reviewers are
insulting to experienced simulators (maybe to inexperienced simulators too?)
and only make the LEED Reviewers look inexperienced and
unknowledgable---which makes me question thier ability to adequately review
my energy models:

*Response:* First off it is incorrect to state, "*so there must not be any
energy consumption for electric space heating." *The order of magnitude is
small enough (equalling 0.4% of the total energy use in the whole building),
that the impact of this energy is more than negligible. Thus indicating
that this electric energy usage is coming from something very small in
comparison to the over all building systems. Second, looking at the output
summary document for the simulation tool the screen shot below shows
that "*boiler
draft fan electric use is included under SPACE HEATING, not PUMPS &
AUXILLARY EQUIPMENT*." Therefore the small amount of electric space heating
that is being reported is being accounted from the hot water boiler draft

* *

I tested the model where this energy was coming from and found that in the
boiler input window the efficiency is represented as an HIR value, and there
was a small default input for the EIR input associated with the equipment. To
appease the confusion of this small amount of electric energy that was being
reported I have zeroed-out the EIR input value that was causing the results
to be unacceptable to the LEED Reviwer.

---end of response comment----

I don't really want to use the term "enemy" but with these types of stupid
comments from LEED EAc1 reviewers they certainly feel like the enemy who's
goal is to work against the Simulation crusade to better our design industry
with these integrated design tools and skills.

any amount of respect or comfort in the "expertise" of the GBCI & USGBC
organizations with regards to energy simulation for real life and for
compliance purposes.

Note to GBCI---you cannot apply a cookie-cutter approach to energy
simulation reviews, where there is literally NO cooking-cutter approach to
creating energy simulations. The EAc1 review process needes to become more
dynamic and interactive, so at the very least you can let me educate your
reviewers since it is obvious they are not getting the proper training nor
does it seem they even have any simulation experience at all to do a
minimally adequate review of an energy model.

It is my professional opinion that GBCI EAc1 Review Team is losing face
quickly amongst the greater populus of LEED simulators. At this point in
time I'd sooner start consulting to my clients that doing the *formal* LEED
process will do nothing for them but waste more money and cause more stress
and headaches in the long run. I'll certainly suggest that they apply the
"principals" and strategies of LEED but without the 'marketing-monopoly
hype' spewing from USGBC/GBCI lackies.

Furthermore as a LEED simulator and an Engineering Consultant there is ZERO
support from USGBC/GBCI in support of what reasonable simulation fees and
costs should be to comply with all of the ridiculous requirements that are
being mandated to be completed for EAc1. Over the years of new LEED
versions, the amount of information detail being "required" by the reviewers
has increased at least 3-fold, however I've observed that energy simulation
fees have been at a stale-mate for the past 10 years and have had no
opportunity for growth--in fact it is more likely that simulation fees have
been continuously decreasing over the years while the LEED work reqirements
continue to increase.

The only thing that I get out of this LEED phenomena is more headaches...all
of my LEED projects are at a profit loss due to the amount of *extra* work
imposed on us by the LEED Comments and requirements of the reviewer (i.e. my
comment example above). I spent an extra 45 minutes composing that
response and verifying that I WAS CORRECT, to prove to the LEED reviewer
that thier comment was completely false in how it applied to my project. At
an average hourly simulation rate of $125/hour, this LEED comment cost me an
extra $94 of time that could have been legitimately spent working on another
model that will be useful for the client to use and help impose an industry
shift towards sustainable building design standards.

...Instead, this comment cost me an extra $94 out of my pocket to "argue"
with the LEED reviwer who virtually isn't even there or listening to
me....so in a sense I am also throwing more money towards USGBC inclusive of
the multi-thousand dollars that my client has already paid them. DEAR
USGBC---please stop raping the industry for the money monopoly that you have
created. The sense of GREED is oozing from everything that comes out of
USGBC/GBCI with a price tag on it or a cost associated with it.

(my profit loss is due to extra unforseen time expended to fulfull LEED
comment requirements beyond the fee that I had estimated to my client.)

Pasha Korber-Gonzalez

Korber Energy Consultants


pasha at korberenergy.com

Direct Ph: 308-763-1593

* *

2011/6/16 ?mer Moltay

Pasha Korber-Gonzalez's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
Reputation: 600

Dear Pasha,

I hear that you are very frustrated with the review process, however, I find this kind of language inappropriate for a public forum and would ask that you take more care in the future.

With all best wishes,

Daniel Knapp, PhD, LEED? AP O+M

Daniel Knapp's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
Reputation: 0


I agree with your 'raping' verb and do not think it is inappropriate for the
forum. Dan is out of sync.

Paul Diglio

Paul Diglio's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
Reputation: 400

Hi Paul-- thanks for receiving my comment in the most professional sense of
the term as it relates to the economics of the LEED simulation & Compliance

I didn't really feel it was unprofessional, but I didn't desire to offend
anyone with the terms that i chose. I was pretty sure that I wasn't
completely alone with the 'feeling' or sense I was getting from others
comments I've seen with the forum (past & present).

I offer a sincere professional apology if my chosen adjectives offended
anyone. (were they adjectives? I don't know I'm not an english major...)


Pasha Korber-Gonzalez's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
Reputation: 600


No problem, it is raping as far as I am concerned. GBCI is using incompetent
reviewers and they expect us to train them. They take the application fees and
offer nothing in return except ridiculous comments.

I have a similar problem with Northeast Utilities serving CT and MA. NU offers
a modeling incentive of $6,000, an efficiency incentive up to $2.00 ft2 and a
LEED incentive up to $15,000. They employ reviewers that have no modeling or
eQuest experience. One reviewer expected that I would explain how custom
performance curves are built for an eQuest VRV system.

I told them I wasn't in the business of training their employees at the client's
expense. I would provide the manufacturer's performance tables and my eQuest
curve coefficients, but I was not going to spend time to explain how to verify
that my curves are accurate. They need to spend money to train their reviewers
or hire experienced reviewers.

I feel that the comments that you received from the GBCI were indicative of a
person who has no clue and is not qualified to review building simulations.


Paul Diglio

Paul Diglio's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
Reputation: 400

Hi Paul,

we are on the same page that the reveiwers of our LEED or Compliance models
are (majority) not as skilled as the simulators turning in the models.

I would like to share with you and others if they are interested; I
intereviewed with GBCI and Ms. Gail Hampsmire to become a LEED reviewer last
year. I thought this move in my career would be supportive to my
professional growth and the services that I offer my clients---I thought it
would make me a better simulator & LEED compliance documentarian while being
able to offer some of my simulation experience & training back to GBCI and
the industry. This was my goal.

During my interviews with Ms. Hampsmire who is the Team Manager for the EAc1
reviewers (as was my understanding); we conversed how I have felt that the
EAc1 reviewers on my past LEED projects appeared to know less about whole
building simulation than I did--therefore rendering them unqualified to
review my models or others who might have similar simulation experience to
mine. Ms Hampsmire conceded to say that it was an orgainization issue that
thier LEED reviewers do not gain on-going, present simulation experience as
they are also working only as LEED reviewers. It is her challenge as a
manager to hire the most qualified of simulation reviewers.

It was further conveyed to me that the LEED reviewers that are hired by GBCI
have a strict "conflict of interest" policy in that they cannot work on any
other LEED projects in any other capacity so long as they are employed by

Professionally & Organizationally I respect and agree with this policy.
However; as it applies to the EAc1 reviewers it is my professional opionion
that this policy is restrictive in allowing or supporting the present &
ongoing training that it is EVIDENT these EAc1 reviewers are lacking from
the comments they are providing to us when we recieve our LEED reviews
back;.and as supported by the discussion I had on this topic with GBCI
during my interview process.

Furthermore (to feed other curiosity if interested.) It was the conflict of
interest policy that would have forced me to close down my personal
consulting business, and have to immediately drop all of my clients that are
currently relying on me to provide them with simulation support and LEED
modeling services. Although the benefits pkg was IMPRESSIVE due to the
amount of money that LEED programs bring into the Non-profit USGBC
organization; professionally I felt more of an obligation to keep my clients
for the services they are needing from me in today's industry and demands
for whole building energy simulations and compliance models for ALL of thier

Lastly--it makes more sense to me that as a NON-EAc1 reviewer I will be able
to educate more simulators on how to correctly model sustainable buildings
and systems and provide more education to support the need to develop more
skilled simulators within our industry...which could hopefully bring things
full circle in the future and maybe one of the future modelers I can help
train will have more than enough experience to be hired as an EAc1 reviewer
and then would be able to offer qualified, skilled reviews of my LEED models
and all the other ones that are coming in to GBCI now. My logic was
supported on this when one of my clients actually "thanked" me for not
choosing another Professional path and closing down my business. This
client is in need of on-going simulation training and support for thier
business and the LEED and other utility compliance models they are producing
for thier clients.

Ms Hampsmire agreed in our discussions that there is a significant gap in
skilled simulators (i.e 7+ yrs experience vs. -3 yrs experience with
simulations.) The entire industry is feeling this pressure and gap with
the need to hire already skilled simulators (not just entry positions.)

I'd also LOVE to hire a skilled simulator that could support my work
load---there is just not many available simulators with more than 5years
exposure to simulations...this is the criteria I would have to require to
make it an effective position for me to invest into to help support my
business and the industry demands that my clients are asking me to fulfill
for them.

As always I am always happy to recieve anyone professional commentary and
opinion on my comments and experience with these issue. I am only one
simulator in the industry so take it as that only.

Pasha Korber

Pasha Korber-Gonzalez's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
Reputation: 600


I think you are being a bit unfair to the reviewers (full disclosure, I
reviewed EAc1 submittals in the pre-GBCI days, when consulting teams
performed the reviews).

They don?t go into a review with all of the knowledge that we had while
building up the model. All they get is the template and the supplementary
documentation that we as submitters have decided to provide them. Sometimes
these documents are a bare minimum, and sometimes it is a flood of
information that is too much to try to go over.

They have to piece together if the saving you are presenting make sense
given the building and system components that have been described. It can be
quite a puzzle to figure out , for example, if it makes sense that someone
is showing 35% ventilation fan energy savings when comparing their series
VAV system to the baseline parallel VAV system. Reviewers can try to be
helpful, and point out specific items they want verified, though sometimes
they do in fact make mistakes and look like idiots for what they are asking
(I?m thinking of the electric resistance heating question from earlier in
the thread). Alternately they can be vague with their comments and put the
onus on the submitter to prove that the savings make sense, but that can be
equally frustrating to respond to.

Additionally I don?t think it is fair for them to be experts in every energy
modeling program that is allowed under Appendix G. That is completely
unrealistic. They won?t necessarily know that one program puts boiler
supplementary energy in the space heating end use category, as that could be
different with different programs, and certainly isn?t intuitive.


Nathan Miller, PE, LEED?AP

Nathan Miller's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
Reputation: 200

Hi All--- I have been corrected thanks to Magda...

Thank you Magda for setting me straight on this. Do you offer LEED
compliance simulation training that I can get from you---looks like there
are some details that I don't clearly understand sometimes with the
complaince rules.

...please remember I am only human, and I do believe this. I don't intend
to tout any amount of "perfect expertise" as I am still learning and growing
everyday too along with the rest of you. That's why I love this forum and
the discussion we can freely have. Thanks Jason Glazer for making this
possible for all of us.

Also--you might be interested to know that another simulation off-line
wanted to "warn" me that the USGBC and GBCI EAc1 reviewers "monitor" this
list. I disagree that they "monitor" this list, but hopefully they watch
the list to see how we are all intereacting or not interacting with each
other through the forums and the simulation industry.

The bottom line is this: We simulators (GBCI or not) are all in this goal
together to change the building design industry to work for a better future
for our Planet and way of life. These are my goals to, so if my
frustration is being heard by the rest of my colleagues maybe GBCI will
consider that some of thier appoaches need to be reviewed and revised so
that the industry can be in sync together.

It's apprent to me that I have "stirred the pot" with many other out
there: "Maybe the pot needed to be stirred to get some attention brought
to these issues." I don't think I am completely alone on this
thought. If I am then I guess I will stand alone.

Thanks for all the great commentary and discussions--it is stimulating.


---------- Forwarded message ----------

Pasha Korber-Gonzalez's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
Reputation: 600


I am being fair and I expect the reviewers to experts in every energy modeling
program that is allow under Appendix G. The GBCI should refer specific projects
using eQuest or Trace or HAP to reviewers that are competent in that software.

Paul Diglio

Paul Diglio's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
Reputation: 400

Know this info from Nathan's experience actually makes me feel sorry for the
EAc1 reviewers that maybe they are not being given enough resources or
support to get what they need to properly reveiw our models.

hmmmm that is interesting information.

thanks for disclosing this,

Pasha Korber-Gonzalez's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
Reputation: 600

I second that whole-heartedly---and if it is a lack of training on the part
of GBCI----well--don't they have enough money to get the training and the
resources they need to support thier reviewer so that they are offering the
best services for the fees that the clients are paying for thier LEED
projects to get reviewed.


Pasha Korber-Gonzalez's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
Reputation: 600

Check out the article in
2 - VCT - Mechanical-Design and Percent-Energy-Savings
The title is misleading. It is my polite way of saying that USGBC, GBCI, LEED and other idealistic, ignorant and bureaucratic groups are forcing experienced architects and engineers into screwing up building design. LEED is not mandatory but it cannot be ignored because clients have been brainwashed into believing that it will save the planet. Here are some extracts:
Percent energy savings can vary with the type of building and the location. Some types of buildings (like the Middle-School + Community-Center (MCC) in the suburbs example) can exceed Std90 by 50% or more. The High-Rise Mixed-Use (HRMU) building in an urban area is an example where achieving 5% to 10% energy savings represents good, reliable and safe design that will not cause maintenance and replacement problems in the future. See
One fixed percent rating system for ranking all types of buildings and climates is like using the same yardstick to measure the performance of classical violinist and a professional wrestler.
Just because a high rise office building in an urban area does not get a "pass" or "no" certification from LEED based on percent energy savings, does not mean that it is not well designed for optimum energy and functionality compared to a single level school located in a suburban area that receives "platinum" LEED certification.
USGBC LEED rating system has created the impression among the public, including City, County, State and Federal authorities, that building quality can be measured by the LEED rating system. Architects, engineers and building developers are now under pressure from the green (meaning ignorant) public and other environmental idealists to get LEED certification.
The building design business is almost 100% labor. US Architectural-Engineering design fees for large projects have been going down because of increased competition at home and particularly from overseas where wages are lower. The client and the public now expect every building to be LEED certified otherwise it is not up to standard. The quality of building design is now measured by the green /ignorant public by its LEED certification. The design cost has increased because the public has been brainwashed into believing that LEED certifies the level of building superiority in terms of saving energy and the environment.
The impact of USGBC and LEED on energy (percent energy savings over Std90) and the environment (imported bamboo flooring saves the environment in the US; collecting rainwater regardless of whether the location has wet a climate, with rivers and lakes; roof gardens on top a high-rise building with little roof space, etc.) is questionable.

The LEED regulations and requirements keep expanding and gets more detailed and bureaucratic with time. AE firms now require a new type of specialized expert called the LEED Professional which did not exist before. It has added to the time and cost of AE design while design fees keep going down. It has also added to building construction costs. The end result is a building that is completely screwed.
Increasing social affluence in the way buildings are used, indirectly nullifies the impact of Building Energy Codes. Building energy use per person in the US is increasing exponentially. Affluence has also resulted in more indirect building energy use per person by way of transportation. The following are guesstimates for the US. In reality it might be much worse. Housing in 1950 for a family of 4 was about 1,500 sf. Today it is about 3,000 sf. In 1950 the use of public transportation was common and people lived close to the place where they worked.
Today people live as far away as possible from work and drive oversized large luxury autos (one occupant per vehicle) to and from work during the same rush hour time, resulting traffic jams which add to the commuting time and auto idle time when the vehicle uses fuel but does not move. Affluence has also resulted in families owning a second vacation home as far away as possible from their primary home. They might use this home for about a month during the year in summer. In winter vacation home has to heated to prevent the pipes from freezing. There is also the cost of transportation to and from the vacation homes. Those who do not have second homes use hotels.

Varkie Thomas's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
Reputation: 0

Why should LEED reviewers be expected to be experts in every type of modeling software? The software itself is just a calculator. As long as it meets the requirements, it shouldn?t matter which program was used. The LEED reviewers judge the models on the results and the quality of the inputs. Garbage In, Garbage Out.

Kelsey Van Tassel

Kelsey VanTassel's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
Reputation: 0


I do not understand why you do not expect the GBCI reviewer to be competence in
the software used to simulate a particular building. Your comment does not make

It is the same as saying the modeler does not have to be competent in the
software he or she uses to simulate the building. Get real, there is a minimum
level of competency required for both the simulator or reviewer on any project.

Paul Diglio

Paul Diglio's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
Reputation: 400

I do not think reviewers need to understand all of the intricacies in the art and science of energy modeling to be competent reviewers. They are judging the energy modeling inputs and results in the context of LEED, not your skills as an energy modeler. It is understood that the team that does the energy modeling for a LEED project already has the necessary skills (whether or not this is actually true). LEED reviewers ought to be trained to spot ?fishy? results and get a good feel for what sorts of energy cost savings are expected in various scenarios. Of course experience as an energy modeler would help with this, but I don?t think it is a necessary requirement. Especially since LEED already has a huge database built up of results to compare with.

I say this because I do a lot of energy modeling for Focus on Energy and I have a reviewer who is great a reviewing my modeling results. He knows immediately when something ?isn?t right,? but he does not do very much modeling himself. His skills as a reviewer come from having looked at so many different projects.

Kelsey Van Tassel

Kelsey VanTassel's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
Reputation: 0

In my experience, out of the hundreds of GBCI comments that I?ve received for EAc1 over the years, all but a few of them have been good comments. Courtesy and explanation go a long way (for those of you that have worked with the DOB and DEP in NYC, you know what I mean). GBCI has tried to minimize some of the work that us engineers have to do (like implementing the Licensed Professional Exemptions) ? if we end up getting more comments for EAc1, or some of them are not 100% accurate, no offense, but you may just have to deal with it. If you disagree with a reviewer, explain it in polite terms, and 99% of the time, you?re explanation will be accepted. After all, you?re the engineer (or modeler). And again, I reiterate that if you have questions that are fairly easy to answer, just shoot an email to the project coordinator at GBCI and they can probably find someone that can answer your question (and you can then reference that response).

James Hansen, PE, LEED AP

James Hansen's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
Reputation: 200


You opinion is frightening. I hope you expect that a mechanical engineer
understands what he or she is doing.

You state that it is understood that the team that does the energy modeling for
a LEED project already has the necessary skills.

It is ridiculous to assume that the team that reviews the energy modeling for a
LEED project does not require the necessary skills to review the project.

Sorry, but you lose, no matter how many replies you send. The simulation
reviewer needs to be competent, no if and or but. Come on, Kesley, do you
really believe that the simulation reviewer does not have to be competent in the
appropriate software? There are hundreds of inputs that eQuest requires, many
of which are based on assumed operations. How can a person unfamiliar with the
software determine if the assumed inputs are reasonable?

Paul Diglio

Paul Diglio's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
Reputation: 400

Of course I expect the modeler to understand all of the ins and outs of a particular software. Ideally, they would know exactly what every line of code means. But, the reviewer does not need anywhere near this level of understanding to judge whether or not Appendix G is being followed properly. For example, if they see that you did not use the correct baseline glass assembly U-factor and tell you to change it, they do not need to know what you should enter for the GLASS-CONDUCTANCE in eQUEST. The modeler had better know, though!

Kelsey Van Tassel

Kelsey VanTassel's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
Reputation: 0

Interesting discussion!

I do agree that the reviewer has to be a competent modeler with at least 3 years of experience.

I believe also he has to have at least a good working knowledge of the program that has been used, even though he does not have to be an expert in this particular program.

This said, we must also recognize that even experienced modelers do not know it all, and can issue from time to time inappropriate comments.


Demba Ndiaye's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
Reputation: 200


I apologize for my caustic comments of yesterday. Everyone is entitled to an
opinion. I got carried away.

This is an emotional subject for me. I expect the design and review teams to be
competent. Some of the review comments coming back from the GBCI indicate a
lack of understanding of both 90.1 and simulation software.

Paul Diglio

Paul Diglio's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
Reputation: 400

Those who?ve followed me might recognize this is an act of self-restraint on my part? Here are some condensed thoughts (really!) =):

1. To those discussing baseline constructions and massing ? I?ve posted this a few times, but attached are all the wall/roof baseline constructions ready for import, each material layer fully compliant with properties as prescribed in Appendix A. Bruce/Bill have given succinct responses as to why one ought to avoid the ?weightless? route in general practice, and the ease/consistency resulting from importing/assigning constructions like this removes any concern over the extra time involved. Credits as always to Adam Boyd for originally pulling this work together.

2. To those discussing what should be required of LEED reviewers: I think it?s clear the system can be improved ? let?s continue the discussion.

a. To directly answer why the reviewership as a whole (not individual reviewers) should represent expertise in a variety of modeling software, it is precisely because that very expertise is necessary in ?sorting the garbage,? to extend the idiom. While the standards/rules being enforced are ?software-neutral,? one needs software-specific experience to know what inputs & outputs she/he needs to check. To draw an analogy: An auto-repair mechanic may possesses the experience & fundamentals to recognize certain vibrations in an airplane ride may be indicative of a mechanical problem, but a person with expertise/experience working on planes will know how to (a) verify whether there is a problem at all, and (b) what questions to ask and what variables will correct the problem.

b. I think all model review comments could be classified as follows:

i. Those that result in correcting a misinterpretation/misapplication of the standards/rules in play,

ii. Those that result in the modeler having to provide additional information so the reviewer can do their job, and

iii. Those that result in the modeler having to explain/illustrate how the software works.

To better identify the issue: A lack of expertise in the software at-hand can result in a majority of comments to be of the last sort, which doesn?t benefit any party and eats up a lot of time without a productive result. When a review largely boils down to a ?how I do my job? narrative, it is understandably frustrating for many reasons, not the least of which in that it seems to trivialize the entire exercise.

c. I am CERTAIN some of this is the simple result of good people losing their honest efforts in translation. Effective communication is an ever-present challenge for all sides in this field of energy modeling.

3. To those discussing each other, I hope the following will close that side of the conversation: For as long as I have been here, this is and has always been an inclusive forum where we?ve enjoyed the opportunity to discuss complex and difficult issues. One can come here to share experience, ask questions, gain perspectives and (importantly!) vent. ?Railing against the system? is appropriate and even necessary for progress, so long as you aren?t pointing fingers where it isn?t called for. Due to the intelligence and grace shared by the subscribing community we all enjoy a professional atmosphere, but it is only the result of a give and take relationship. To be respected, be respectful! Doing otherwise does yourself and the list a disservice.

4. As a separate, emphasized point: Words like ?rape? are powerful and can cut deep when you don?t expect it to. Remember that we are a large body of individuals with unique personal histories and experiences. Nobody can pretend to know where everyone is coming from, but some in this world have darn good reason to be sensitive. Please, if someone objects to choice words for professional reasons or otherwise, let?s grant the benefit of the doubt and be considerate. That?s about all I have to say on the issue, but I will happily discuss further *off-list* if anyone wishes to.




Nick-Caton's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
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Wow, most of the things in the article you attached came straight from the
U.N. Agenda 21 (worth looking into) It is a brave new world out there and
Agenda 21 spells it out. As I learn about Agenda 21 I keep thinking 'Listen
to people, they usually tell you what they are planning.'

Green is the new Red.

"Is Freedom is a small price to pay to stop Global Warming?"

John Eurek PE, LEED AP

Jeurek's picture
Joined: 2010-10-07
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