Engineering Company

GBC Italia ORDINARY MEMBER

logo sistema di certificazione LEEDOpengineering srl was one of the first engineering companies in Italy to join the Green Building Council Italia - GBC Italia, a national association born from the wider world movement, founded in the USA in 1993, with the founding and birth of the now famous USGBC, the operating body that works actively to achieve the shared objective of promoting, disseminating and making the sustainable design culture a worldwide question. Based on the inspiring principle that thanks to the leverage of tech innovation, installation design overall can and must carry out a specific and important role in sustainable building.
Today, Opengineering srl is able to offer a full service in which the whole working process for a project is developed according to the LEED standard that sets out the guide lines for next-generation sustainable design.
This means Opengineering srl is able to guarantee its clients that its design projects will have all of the credits needed to access the LEED certification process. The certification system founded on the LEED standard appraises the sustainability of buildings by measuring their energy and environmental performances. For this purpose, five essential parameter categories are taken into account:

  • Sustainable Site
  • Water Efficiency
  • Energy and Atmosphere
  • Materials and Resources
  • Indoor Environmental Quality

Opengineering srl gives clients a highly qualified team of managers, designers and technicians with experience in eco-sustainable architecture and cutting-edge, next-generation installation design.
Specifically, thanks to its own LEED APs (LEED Accredited Professionals) and the varied collaborations established with LEED APs on the national and international panorama, Opengineering srl is able to guide the certification process and coordinate all of the activities performed by the different entities involved in the design and implementation process: owners/clients, design team (architects, installation engineers, structural engineers) and the company involved.
The professional skills of its organisational framework mean that the whole credit reporting process to the GBCI - Green Building Certification Institute – for standardised sustainability certification is in line with the LEED ITALIA protocols developed by Green Building Italia in accordance with the USGBC. Opengineering srl is able to follow the whole certification route, guaranteeing the performance of two essential activities - Commissioning and Energy Modeling - throughout the whole lifetime of the project.


LEED STANDARD

LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the international standard that sets design and implementation criteria so that buildings are healthy, energy efficient and have a limited environmental impact.
This standard is based on a holistic type rating, based on an audit of the environmental impact of buildings, according to a range of dimensions, such as:

  • energy efficiency
  • choice of construction site
  • water efficiency
  • materials used
  • waste disposal


LEED CERTIFICATION

The LEED - Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – certification system provides the methods and objective tools needed to measure a building’s performance in terms of environmental sustainability and use of resources, with the possibility to reward tech innovation, which, due to the aspects considered, has a very strong positive value. The certification system is based on the LEED standard, which assesses the sustainability of buildings by measuring their environmental performance.
In particular, this assessment considers the environmental and energy principles commonly recognised and accepted by the international scientific community, setting a balance between current practices and emerging innovations. The assessment criteria providing the basis for the whole LEED certification process is organised into five environmental categories:

Sustainable sites

Sustainable Sites as a category deals with the environmental aspects linked to the construction site, with specific reference to the management of external areas and the relationship between the building and its surroundings. LEED Sustainable Site credits promote the following:

  • site selection and development
  • reduction in the emissions associated with transport
  • creation of sustainable landscape
  • protection of local ecosystems
  • management of the run off of rainwater
  • reduction in the heat island effect
  • reduction in light pollution

Water Efficiency

LEED Water Efficiency requirements and credits approach environmental factors linked to use and disposal of water in buildings, according to the following measures:

  • monitoring of water consumption performance
  • reduction in internal consumption of drinking water
  • reduction in the consumption of water to save energy and improve environmental wellness

Energy and atmosphere

Sustainable buildings (Green Buildings) designed and built according to sustainable architecture criteria deal with problems concerning energy consumption in two ways: on one hand, reducing the building’s energy needs and on the other, using energy forms with a lower environmental impact, such as, for example, sources other than fossil fuel. The Energy and Atmosphere section of LEED promotes control of energy performance via the following stages:

  • Check of the building’s energy performance
  • Design, commissioning and monitoring
  • Management of coolants to eliminate CFCs
  • Use of renewable energy sources

Materials and resources

This credits category considers environmental themes related to the choice of materials, the disposal of waste and the reduction of same. The requirement and credits for materials and resources promote the following measures:

  • Selection of sustainable materials
  • Reduction in refuse produced
  • Reduction in waste at the source
  • Re-use and recycling
  • Use of certified wood

Indoor environmental quality

This credit category deals with the environmental worries concerning the quality of the indoor environment, the health of the building’s occupants, safety, comfort, energy consumption, efficiency of air exchanges and control of air contamination. The following strategies are important in that they deal with preoccupations and improve the quality of the environment.

  • Improving ventilation
  • Checking the contaminant substances in the air
  • Using low-emission materials
  • Providing natural lighting and vision towards outdoor space
  • Allowing occupants to check the required settings


CERTIFICATION ROUTE

The LEED certification route is wholly organised by the GBCI –Green Building Certification Institute – an independent body working according to ISO rules and guaranteeing the formal rigour of the entire process.

There are four possible certification levels for a design project, specialised according to the score obtained by the design:

  • CERTIFIED: from 40 to 49 points
  • SILVER: from 50 to 59 points
  • GOLD: from 60 to 79 points
  • PLATINUM: over 80 points


CERTIFICATION PROCESS

Opengineering srl is able to complete all of the different stages for the certification process, as presented below:

  • Strategic coordination: the stage in which the main strategies to be implemented for the purposes of certification are discussed; the design project status is analysed, together with its real potential to achieve a set final score.
  • Process administration: the stage at which the strategies identified in the previous stage are implemented, with the coordination of requirements for obtaining credits, revision of implementation guidelines, product research and revision of technical data sheets.
  • Design review: this is the stage in which all of the documentation needed to check the compliance with the requirements and credits, with the application drawn up for forwarding to the GBCI (Green Building Council Institute), via LEED On-Line V3.0 portal.
  • Management of the construction processes: this is the stage in which a system of actions and rules is identified for obtaining the necessary documents for LEED and for tracing and documenting associated activities from subcontractors. LEED Action Plans are also developed and revised; these illustrate the way in which LEED credits will be achieved. During this stage, all of the necessary recommendations are made in the event that changes and integrations are required.
  • Construction review: preparation of the final documentation (calculations, drawings, documents) needed to check compliance with the requirements and credits for the construction stage.
  • Final review: The stage in which the preparation of the conclusive certification application to GBCI is coordinated and managed; the application submitted through the LEED On-Line V3.0 portal.


COMMISSIONING

This is carried out by the commissioning agent, i.e., one of our professionals with the task of guaranteeing owners/principles that the building system overall, i.e., the building itself and all of the installations, offer the promised performance. More specifically, commissioning concerns completion of the following actions:

  • specification of performance needs for the building-installation system, as required by the owners/principle;
  • budgeting the different proposals and actions proposed by those involved in commissioning to achieve performance specifications;
  • writing up the relevant documentation;
  • ensuring that the building’s energy systems are installed, calibrated and operating in accordance with the requests of the principles and design documents, i.e., that they operate in the correct conditions;
  • ensuring that the systems are maintained in correct conditions, via the execution of performance tests


ENERGY MODELING

This is a service we provide concerning the energy modelling of the building. It is performed by our expert technicians who are well versed in the use of the specific calculation package ‘EnergyPlus-Energy Simulation Software’, a special software to simulate energy use in buildings and able to support all of the variables with the greatest effect on consumption during the design stage, identifying the best possible technology choices from an energy viewpoint. More specifically, using a Google SketchUp plug-in, known as ‘OpenStudio’, allows us to simulate energy use through a user-friendly 3D design interface.
The Open Studio plug-in automatically generates the inputs needed by EnergyPlus, while the user designs the surface using SketchUp. Thus Open Studio allows users to launch EnergyPlus simulations and then to view the results directly in SketchUp. At this point, Open Studio will generate the drawing in SketchUp, based on the input files from EnergyPlus.

Using this calculation software, it is possible to simulate a building’s energy use, commonly referred to simulation of energy consumption over the period of a full year’s use.

Energy modelling is one of the main requirements of the LEED standard because it makes it possible to assess energy consumption in a building and to quantify the energy savings that can be attributed to the design model proposed.

It is obvious how it can be profitable, as part of building design, to assess energy savings because this influences both the design and the whole decision-making process at the base of the technology solutions proposed. Energy modelling is a valid support for building design, allowing the Design Team to direct economic investments towards the best possible energy use for the building itself.




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