1325 East 16th Ave, Denver, CO 80218

LEEDv4 Office Tour: Join Group14 at Rocky Mountain Green

Take a Tour of a LEEDv4 Gold Office!

Group14 has taken the plunge to LEEDv4. Our first project under the new version was with Davis Partnership for the build-out of their new office space on Blake Street in Denver’s RiNo Art District. Group14 functioned as the LEED and energy consultant and commissioning agent. The project targeted a LEEDv4 for Commercial Interiors Gold rating. Group14 and Davis Partnership will be hosting a presentation and tour of the space for the USGBC Colorado 2017 Rocky Mountain Green Conference slated for April 26, 2017. The Project Manager and Project Architect of Davis in conjunction with the Group14 LEED consultant and Commissioning Agent will lead the event. The presentation will highlight the achievements of the project and lend insight into lessons learned for future v4 projects. Come listen as we describe how an integrated approach to the project helped shape the finished product and how the team as a whole was willing to go above and beyond a typical design process to create a healthy environment and sustainable space.

While Group14 was well versed in the changes to LEED, it was the first version 4 project for the entire design team and an exciting learning experience. Despite the learning curve, the project was a success and is expected to achieve LEED-CI Gold status by the end of April 2017.

Occupant Well-being and the Modern Office Building

The scope of the project involved new mechanical, electrical, lighting, and plumbing systems with minimal envelope updates (save better glazing in clearstory with less solar heat gain and interior acoustic insulation in the roof). The chosen mechanical system is underfloor air distribution. One of the most valuable and progressive components to the office is the many movable partitions and flexible work spaces thanks to the UAFD system. Spaces can be changed as the company grows to fit the needs of the staff. To offset energy, the lighting is entirely LED, and daylighting strategies were implemented to reduce the amount of electric lighting utilized.

The team was dedicated to indoor air quality and occupant well-being. This is represented in the biophilic features incorporated into the project, which will be highlighted on the tour, and through finishes, furniture, and mechanical filters. To highlight the biophilic features of the space, there is a 20 foot plant wall in the center point of the office and dozens of plants in the open office area to reduce CO2 levels, purify the air, and improve productivity. Davis Architecture pursed the WELL Building Standard biophilia credit, earning a point under the Innovation and Design category for the Interior Design & Construction (ID&C) rating system. To enhance indoor air quality, MERV 13 filters were installed on all of the ERVs. Illumination level control and thermal comfort control was achieved through the installation of the underfloor air distribution system and individual task lighting respectively.

Navigating the New Materials Credits

Some of the most talked about changes to LEEDv4 are in the materials credit category. Through this project, the team learned new information and developed best practices for future projects. Architects have more responsibility when it comes to specifying materials under LEEDv4. The team recommends that projects consider having several material specific meetings early in design to ensure compliance with the building product disclosure and optimization credits. Blanket statements in specifications for the inclusion of projects that have Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), Heath Product Declarations (HPDs), and other criteria can cause submittal reviews difficulties. As an example, teams should outline what 20 materials and five manufacturers will have EPDs and provide limited products for contractors to choose from. Teams will need to allocate additional time to review submittals until manufacturers learn what is necessary for documentation. Several products were listed as LEEDv4 compliant on cutsheets without providing evidence that they meet credit requirements, thus requiring the team to contact manufacturers for confirmation of material compliance.

Please join us for the tour and presentation at Davis Partnership on April 26th, 2017. The address is 2901 Blake Street and the tour will begin promptly at 2 PM MST. You can register for this event at http://www.usgbc.org/event/rocky-mountain-green-2017

Group14 & the Living Building Challenge Collaborative March of Climate Change

Following Rocky Mountain Green on Saturday April 29th, Group14 Engineering, the Colorado Living Building Challenge Collaborative, and other like-minded individuals will gather at Civic Center Park to participate in the People’s Climate March on Denver. Join us in telling our elected officials on all levels that our environment matters! We will meet in front of Group14’s office, 1325 E. 16th Avenue at 9:30am to walk to Denver Civic Center together. The march will begin at 10 AM.

If you would like to learn more about our Sustainability services and our LEED experience, visit our Sustainability services page: https://www.group14eng.com/services/sustainability/

Increased Incentive – Xcel Energy Design Assistance Program (EDA)

Xcel Energy’s Energy Design Assistance Program (EDA) incentivizes developers & building owners to design and construct buildings that are more efficient through financial incentives. The program offers a comprehensive approach through energy consulting and energy modeling to predict energy use and analyze the cost savings potential of various energy efficiency strategies. Group14 Engineering has been working with Xcel Energy on the EDA program as a qualified provider since 2008. Our firm has helped over 350 buildings earn millions of dollars in incentives. With Xcel Energy increasing the incentives for the EDA program, we are excited to continue to provide energy consulting while helping building owners achieve higher incentives and increase energy savings.

New Incentive!

For 2017, Xcel Energy has increased their incentive for the Energy Design Assistance Program (EDA) resulting in increased financial incentives for the building owner or developer. The incentive calculation is based on energy savings gained from implementing systems and equipment that perform above code requirements. Xcel Energy increased the incentive for peak demand reduction from $400/kW to $450/kw. That is a 12.5% increase over 2016 – which means more money for your project. The incentive for electricity use ($0.04/kWh) and natural gas ($4/dekatherm) have remained the same.

2015 IECC Adoption

Xcel Energy increased the incentive for the Energy Design Assistance Program due to Denver (and several other jurisdictions in Colorado) adopting the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). Xcel Energy’s EDA program compares energy use of the proposed improved design to the local code energy use. In jurisdictions that have adopted the 2015 IECC, the baseline for the program changed from the 2009 IECC, thus reducing the amount of energy savings new building designs are achieving as the 2015 IECC baseline code is more efficient. To continue to incentivize energy efficiency in new construction, EDA increased the incentive for peak demand reduction. Projects that participate in Xcel Energy’s EDA program will also receive assistance from Group14 Engineering in meeting the new requirements of the 2015 IECC. Group14 Engineering helps projects achieve energy code compliance utilizing the Total Building Performance method in the 2015 IECC (Section C407). We have worked on projects in the City of Denver and other jurisdictions in the Denver Metro Area that have adopted the 2015 IECC as the energy code.

Xcel Energy EDA Program Eligibility

The Xcel EDA Program is available for all new construction and major renovation commercial and multifamily projects over 20,000 square feet located in Xcel Energy territory. Projects with aggressive energy goals of over 30% peak electricity demand savings may receive enhanced services to help cover the cost of daylighting modeling, early HVAC analysis, and / or LEED energy submittal documentation. Xcel Energy’s territory includes Denver, Jefferson, Boulder, Adams, Arapahoe, Weld and Douglas Counties. A complete list of the communities Xcel Energy serves in Colorado can be found here. If you are interested in participating please contact Group14 Engineering at info@group14eng.com or visit our EDA page: https://www.group14eng.com/services/energy-efficiency/

Group14’s Phin Stubbs Becomes WELL AP

We are proud to announce our own Phin Stubbs as the first WELL AP on our staff! When asked about this accomplishment, Phin pointed to the importance of health and wellness, “The WELL AP was important for me to demonstrate my extensive knowledge of sustainability not just through the built environment’s impact on the planet, but also on human health and wellness.”

Group14 has been at the forefront of promoting sustainable practices that save energy, reduce toxic material emissions, and improve indoor air quality. The WELL Building Standard is the first building standard addressing human health and wellness, a major component to sustainability, and thus, it is important to have WELL APs on staff to show our commitment to this standard. By passing this exam, Phin adds implementing WELL-based systems for buildings to the ways in which he can add value our clients.

From the International WELL Building Institute website: “The way that buildings are designed,
constructed and maintained impacts the way we sleep, what we eat, and how we feel. The WELL Building Standard uses innovative, research-backed strategies to advance health, happiness, mindfulness and productivity in our buildings and communities.” WELL looks at seven concepts to in measuring a buildings impact. The seven concepts are air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, mind, and innovation.

To learn more about our WELL and Sustainability experience, visit our Sustainability Services Page: https://www.group14eng.com/services/sustainability/

Group14 Remains LEED Platinum!

Group14 has kept our LEED Platinum Certification up to date via the LEED Dynamic Plaque! We achieved a verified performance score of 87, which visibly demonstrates our team’s leadership and commitment to high performance buildings.

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