LEED® Certification and Commercial HVAC

Calgary Commercial Buildings

Commercial HVAC systems are present in virtually every industrial building, office tower or skyscraper. They provide air circulation and maintain a comfortable temperature. In commercial HVAC systems, you have cold air intakes and exhaust vents, equipment to move warm or cool air inside the building and an air handling configuration to circulate or blend conditioned air inside a space. LEED® certified commercial HVAC systems can be efficient but tend to be expensive and require regular maintenance. Commercial HVAC is endorsed for LEED® certification in all its commercial product categories, including:

Control Equip. and Systems

Building Services (BS-H&A)

Other Heating Equip.

Choosing the right equipment for your LEED® application can be daunting, and we can help.

What are the benefits of LEED® certification?

One of the many benefits of LEED® certification is that it helps to ensure that commercial HVAC systems are energy efficient. By ensuring that these systems are efficient, they use less energy, save plenty in operating costs and lower your carbon footprint. Furthermore, some LEED-certified building products other than commercial heating and cooling equipment like lighting and low flow water fixtures can be installed without a permit and by your building operations team, so you can save on time and money, which is essential in today’s competitive market. 

Having an HVAC unit certified for LEED® certification is a great way to increase the value of your building. Building owners, managers and real estate professionals are more likely to take on a new project if it is LEED-certified.

Another benefit of certifying your systems with LEED® is that it provides an informative framework by connecting different models of HVAC components from different manufacturers. By comparing the performance and compatibility profiles of each model, you will be able to find one that works best with your space and budget needs. In addition, LEED® certification ensures that commercial HVAC products will meet high standards for indoor air quality (IAQ). Commercial HVAC systems eliminate potential sources of pollutants like nitrogen dioxide and volatile organic compounds (VOC) by employing filtration solutions like HEPA filters or activated carbon absorbers or both. Lastly, LEED® certification provides a framework for evaluating the environmental impact of commercial heating and cooling products, including their direct impacts as well as secondary impacts.

What is the role of commercial HVAC in LEED® certified buildings?

The role of commercial HVAC in LEED® certified buildings is that it can help a building reach its certification requirements. For example, LEED® certified buildings must have a minimum of 50% renewable resources such as solar panels or wind energy. Because commercial HVAC systems are generally powered by electricity, they can help the building meet its goal to use only renewable energy sources. Another way commercial HVAC systems can help a building reach its goals is by lowering electric consumption during peak hours. In some cases, this means savings of up to 20%. Commercial heating and cooling are important in all LEED® certified buildings because it helps reduce or offset the cost associated with other green efforts. It also helps make sure your building stays comfortable throughout the year and that it meets the minimum requirements for LEED® certification.

What type of commercial HVAC systems comply with LEED®?

Commercial HVAC systems with a boiler system, a cooling tower or chiller and a makeup air unit must meet the requirements of an appropriate chassis in the appropriate category. The most common type of commercial HVAC system, which heats it in the cooler months and cools it in the warmer months, must be certified for LEED® under section NC-2: Energy and Atmosphere. The second type is called an air handler, which circulates conditioned air inside spaces. This type of system is certified for LEED® under section NC-1: New Construction & Existing Buildings. If you are considering purchasing a commercial HVAC unit that meets these specifications, consider registering your product with LEED® via the Canadian Green Building Council (CAGBC) in order to claim points toward your certification. Registration will require serial number and model number as well as other information about your unit’s operation and performance so that you can accurately report towards LEED®’s rating system. Our team of red seal heating and cooling technicians can work with our equipment distributor network to help you in any phase of your LEED® certification, whether it be in the application phase or if you are retrofitting your building to meet green building standards.

Is zoned heating and cooling crucial for commercial spaces when it comes to LEED®?

Yes, zoned heating and cooling systems are crucial for commercial spaces. JDC Mechanical can assist with both the design and installation of zoned heating and cooling systems through both ductwork fabrication and the use of thermostats to identify zones. This will help to achieve further efficiency and lower costs all while promoting your LEED® viability and re-certification. It will also add to tenant comfort and lower strain on your operational resources due to fewer complaints of cold or hot spots.

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How does commercial HVAC air filtration play a role in LEED®?

Commercial HVAC systems that are approved for LEED® certification are in all its commercial products categories, including Make Up Air Units, Roof Top Units, Control Equipment Systems, Refrigeration & Cooling Equipment, Heating Equipment Buildings-Mixed Use Residential (BU-MU-R) and Building Services-Heating & Air Conditioning (BS-H&A) are all equipment that can help to filter and purify air. The potential three main components of a commercial HVAC system can include coils that draw in fresh air from outside the building. Inside the coils is an air filter that removes dust and dirt particles. The air handler distributes this purified air throughout a space by bringing it in through cold air intakes or exhausted out through exhaust vents. This fundamental process to filter, circulate and purify air is the role air filtration plays in LEED® certification. Remember to include the appropriately endorsed filters when you’re designing, maintaining and repairing your commercial HVAC system! Looking to optimize your filter configuration or help with filter selection? Contact us today.

Is there a dual benefit to reducing energy costs and achieving LEED® certification?

Yes, commercial HVAC systems can be more efficient when they meet the requirements of LEED® certification. The rating system used by LEED® is based on energy efficiency and sustainability. This can have a positive effect on your bottom line. With less energy use and negative environmental impact, you will save money while achieving the highest possible LEED® certification. 

How do property managers find the balance between costs and benefits with HVAC equipment and green buildings?

Property managers must find the balance between the costs and benefits of a green building with their HVAC equipment. There are many different ways property managers can make their buildings more efficient. Using low-flow appliances, installing energy-efficient windows and using zoned cooling to cool off the space in order to save on utility costs are all ways property managers can go green to compliment their eco-friendly HVAC systems. Property managers must also consider how much money they want to spend on the projects. The cost of energy-efficient appliances and refrigeration equipment may be less expensive than the cost of replacing your old HVAC system and is an important consideration. 

It’s important for property managers to evaluate these factors before making upgrades to their building. Because you have both air handlers and boilers/cooling towers/chillers in your HVAC system, it’s important that your heating and cooling systems work together effectively so that they don’t conflict with each other and waste power or create too much humidity in one area of the space. Our examination above of using zoned heating to improve efficiency by using zone control technology so that you don’t overcool one area of your building while another doesn’t get enough warm air when it’s cold outside. This will help you save on utility costs through lower AC usage, but also make sure customers aren’t uncomfortable when they come into your business because it’s too hot or too cold inside. Contact us to assess your current zoned heating and cooling needs, if they are effective and where they can be improved. This will help you to achieve the balance between cost and benefit of LEED® certification for your building.

How can certified HVAC technicians help you to achieve LEED® certification?

The process starts with getting a professional HVAC technician in your building as early as possible in order to maximize the time before you have to submit construction documents. The first step is finding out what products already exist that you can use to achieve LEED® certification. When it comes to commercial HVAC equipment, there are many products that are endorsed under different categories of LEED® certification. For example, if you own a commercial space that requires heating and cooling, there are three different categories of product types that might be appropriate for this type of system: Make Up Air Units, Roof Top Units, Control Equipment Systems, Refrigeration & Cooling Equipment, Heating Equipment Buildings-Mixed Use Residential (BU-MU-R) and Building Services-Heating & Air Conditioning (BS-H&A). If all these product types don’t work for your particular needs, the next step is finding out which specific product type will fit best for your project which we can help to you determine with a no obligation assessment. 

Once you’ve found the right product type, the next step is finding out which specific manufacturer has the specific type of equipment you need and can provide it with your LEED® application. We can assist with the selection of the appropriate commercial HVAC equipment and help you identify the manufacturer, model, serial number and all other specifics required for both your LEED® application and HVAC equipment inventory. JDC Mechanical is your top-to-bottom commercial HVAC solution for all sizes of commercial buildings, including those that wish to achieve LEED® certification.

Property owners in Calgary are seeking economical, qualified, reliable and honest HVAC service. JDC Mechanical is not only red seal certified we also have over 25 years of experience to handle all of your commercial HVAC equipment installation and service needs.