1. Hey Guys,

    I thought this might be useful for people who are looking working on LEED projects and looking at geo, or geothermal projects that want to become LEED certified so you can understand where the points apply. One of our instructors wrote a little white paper on LEED and Geo.

    Here is an excerpt I thought you'd find useful and link to download the white paper. Its 100% free, just thought it would be useful. Let me know what you guys think.


    According to the USGBC, the demand for Green Buildings is vast and increasing every year with millions of square feet of residential and commercial property being developed each year in the US alone. LEED is a point system used to rate building. There are 8 categories that can gain points and a large percentage of points can be delivered the energy and environment category, in which a geothermal system can gain you substantial points in three categories, refrigeration and indoor environmental quality are two of them. More and more emphasis is being placed on becoming energy efficient and using geothermal provides a huge opportunity.

    Refrigerant Management
    LEED ratings for refrigerant management are meant to “ensure performance and minimize contributions to ozone depletion and global warming.” To qualify for the only point possible in this category, two conditions must be met:

    1) Provide proof of proper refrigerant charge of the system
    2) Install a GSHP system with non-HCFC refrigerant (e.g. R-410a)

    Your ground source heat pump system will be awarded full credit for this category almost by default. All residential GSHPs are manufactured with environmentally-friendly R-410a refrigerant. Additionally, packaged units will come from the manufacturer with the proper refrigerant charge. If you put a split system in your home, it must be tested after installation by a qualified professional before the point can be awarded.

    Indoor Environmental Quality (EQ)
    There are 21 points available in this category. You will obtain a majority of these points by including a fresh air ventilation system, moisture control with a humidistat and appropriate equipment, air filtration, proper duct design, etc.

    One subcategory in EQ is combustion venting, where 2 points are available. If you use equipment that burns natural gas, propane, etc. to produce heat, you will need to take proper measures to vent the combustion gases outside. Since your GSHP system will not rely on combustion to produce heat, it will qualify for the 2 points available in this subcategory by default.

    There you have it. If you are able to capture all four points in space heating and cooling, three points in domestic hot water heating and one point in refrigerant management and two points in combustion venting with your GSHP system, you will be well on your way to LEED certification.

    Learn More

    You can download the full white paper “Let Geo LEED the way” here to understand the complete role geothermal heating and cooling systems play in the achievement of LEED certification. The paper breaks down how LEED points are accumulated, the specific categories GSHP systems affect and how to maximize your points with GSHP. To find geothermal training, taught by Ryan Carda go to HeatSpring Learning Institute or GeoConnections

Share This Page