Sustainability and Green Building Consulting

With the growing number of sustainability certifications available, we’re here to help you understand which certification(s) will meet your organizational objectives and define their associated value proposition. 

Our team has experience on a variety of sustainability certifications serving several different project types. Our various backgrounds allow us to be excellent problem solvers, who are tuned into a project’s schedule, budget and objective. Due to our experience and passion for sustainability, we have presented widely on the subject and have engaged in multiple leadership roles within the sustainability community.  

Our overall sustainability objective is to deliver projects that:

  • Consume less energy, water, and waste to reduce their utility bills and environmental footprint
  • Increase indoor air quality through the installation of low-emitting materials and superior building filtration
  • Provide transparency into a project’s actual performance and occupant satisfaction during occupancy
  • Secure certification(s) that ties to the project’s goals and budget

LEED v4 Consulting

With the global adoption of LEEDv4, We have taken on the challenge to debunk the perception that LEED v4 is too costly and difficult to pursue. Our team will help projects select LEED credits that will help:

  1. Reduce their project’s utility bills by implementing strategies that exceed code requirements
  2. Increase the opportunity for utility incentives
  3. Improve indoor air quality
  4. Target the certification level the project is pursuing (Certified, Silver, Gold, Platinum)

Administration

As the LEED Administrator, our team seamlessly guides our clients through the full LEED certification process, and our background allows us to consult on the MEP, architecture and construction-related credits. We are a one-stop shop when it comes to certification pursuit. 

Under this service, our team will coordinate all credit requirements, responsibilities, and meetings. We will also review the documentation before submission to the Green Building Certification Inc. (GBCI) to correct any inconsistencies and missing information in the design drawings. As the LEED Administrator, our goal is to help the team understand the certification requirements so LEED can be implemented into the design process to maximize its value and minimize its level of effort.  

MEP Documentation

We provide LEED documentation consulting and assistance related to mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) design for a variety of LEED projects. This service includes documentation for credits within the Water Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere, and Indoor Environmental Quality categories. Our consultants are proficient in documenting, uploading, and completing LEED MEP credits with minimal review comments. 

Gap Analysis

If interested in LEED v4 certification, ESD can perform a gap analysis to determine level of effort to achieve certification based on a project’s current design. The gap analysis will highlight additional scope required to achieve certification. 

LEED v4.1 Consulting

To move more towards a performance-based certification and minimize LEED paperwork, USGBC released LEED v4.1 in April 2018. LEED v4.1 grants existing projects the ability to certify or recertify under LEED by submitting annual performance data. Final LEED ratings are generated by comparing a project’s performance data against other LEED certified projects. 

Administration

Our team has experience on multiple LEED v4.1 projects. We work with our clients in collecting, managing and providing transparency into their performance data. As a result, we have successfully helped clients previously certified as LEED Silver (under LEED v2009 EBOM) to achieve LEED Gold with no changes to building operations. 

MEP Documentation

Since LEED v4.1 minimizes prescriptive methods to reducing consumption, our team can recommend strategies to help achieve ideal performance results for LEED v4.1. Deliverables can include BOD or OPR review, design review, and/or commissioning. 

Gap Analysis

If interested in LEED v4.1, our consultants can provide a high-level gap analysis of a project’s current performance to see what LEED rating it reflects. 

Green Globes Consulting

As a rising alternative to LEED, Green Globes is a green building rating system and online assessment tool for multiple project types.  Green Globes focuses on standards that have been adopted by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Administration

As the Green Globes Administrator, ESD guides our clients through the full Green Globes certification process.  We lead the project team from the beginning to the end of the certification. 

Under this service, our team will coordinate all credit requirements, responsibilities, and meetings. We will also review documentation before submission to the Green Building Initiative (GBI) to catch any inconsistencies and missing information in the design drawings. Our role as the Green Globes Administrator  is to help the team understand the Green Globes requirements so it can be implemented into the design process to maximize its value and minimize its level of effort.  

MEP Documentation

As part of the Green Globes project team, ESD can advise on MEP-specific credits. Our team can help complete documentation for credits within Energy, Water, Emissions, and Indoor Environment categories. We can support the project team and MEP design by providing consulting on credits that may require an additional level of effort vs. credits that can be easily achieved. 

Gap Analysis

If interested in Green Globes certification, ESD can perform a high-level gap analysis to determine the level of effort to achieve certification based on a project’s current design. The gap analysis will highlight additional scope required to achieve certification. 

Energy Star/Benchmarking

The online ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool enables users to benchmark their building’s energy performance against other buildings of a similar size, function, and location. ESD is an approved ENERGY STAR service provider. We have a proven track record of setting up new Portfolio Manager accounts, documenting the building characteristics required for accurate benchmarking, managing ENERGY STAR portfolios, and applying for ENERGY STAR certification with minimal review from the EPA.

In 2013, the Chicago City Council passed an Energy Use Benchmarking Ordinance. This ordinance requires commercial and residential buildings larger than 50,000 square feet to benchmark their energy use using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager as well as to publicly disclose their energy usage through the City. Every three years, commercial and residential buildings are required to submit and verify their data. We possess the ability to perform the verification protocols required by the City of Chicago. 

Passive House Consulting

ESD is helping lead the effort of bringing Passive House certification to commercial and multi-family projects. For projects interested in Net Zero Energy, Passive House certification that makes this target achievable by incorporating quality assurance and energy-efficient design decisions during the design and construction of a project.  

With Certified Passive House Consultants on staff who have also served on the board of our local Passive House community, we are in tune with the Passive House requirements and how other projects have been able to achieve this certification with little to no additional construction cost.

Our Passive House Consulting services include:

  • WUFI Modeling
  • Passive House Administration
  • Passive House MEP design guidance
  • Grant/Incentive analysis