Category Archives: All Things LEED

Information and awareness resource for LEED Certification and LEED v4 updates.

Efficient Hot Water Distribution System

LEED V4 Credit Rating System
One of the credits we’ll be pursuing in our prospective LEED Platinum project is “Efficient Hot Water Distribution System”, which can earn up to 5 points in the LEED V4 Credit Rating System.
The objective of this credit is to minimize energy used to heat hot water and distribute it to the fixtures.

One of the ways to accomplish this is to minimize the length of pipe between the source, (Hot Water Heater), and the fixtures. This is done by either locating the hot water heater in a centralized location, and/or designing the layout so that bathrooms are either placed back to back or stacked one over the other.
In our case, we will be using 1/2″ pex piping. So the maximum allowable length from the hot water heater to the furthest fixture, including the total length of piping, is 40 feet.

This particular project lends itself to this credit because the total living are is so small, 584 ft². And we were able to easily locate the Rinnai Tankless Water Heater in a centralized laundry closet. We chose the Rinnai gas water heater model RUCS65iN as this was perfect for this application.

Larger homes can be more of a challenge. But one way to accomplish this credit in a larger footprint is to have multiple water heaters near each fixture. Small electric water heaters can be concealed in cabinets below bathroom or kitchen sinks. This allows you to bring cold water lines to the heater and heat directly at the fixture as water is circulated through the line.

One of the other criteria of this credit is that we insulate all hot water piping. This includes taping at all joints and Ts, and using min. R4 pipe insulation.
Next week we hope to be at the rough plumbing stage and we will be able to provide illustrations of the information provided here.
feel free to post any question regarding Efficient Hot Water Distribution Systems below and keep checking back for updates on other LEED credits being pursued and the methods for achieving them.

Featured in Modern Builder+Design Magazine- “Sustainability in Sacramento”

My Christmas Present just arrived in the mailbox today.
The latest addition of Modern Builder+Design Magazine featuring Hiline Builders Inc.
The article, entitled- “Sustainability in Sacramento” represents our commitment to raising awareness of the benefits of Green Building Principals and Practices.
The payoff comes not only in energy efficiency savings but the health benefits are often overlooked and underappreciated as well.
Click Here to read the full article.
Stay tuned as we document our current prospective LEED platinum project which is currently under way.
The photos of one of our completed projects in this article were graciously provided by Dave Adams Photography.

LEED Platinum Hiline Builders Inc.
Progress continues on our residential prospective LEED platinum dwelling Photo by Phil Vanderloo

Proper HVAC Equipment Sizing- Why to Avoid Over-Sizing

Proper HVAC equipment sizingOver sizing HVAC systems is all too common among contractors who think they’re doing their clients a favor.
One of the problems with over-sizing is over cycling. Over sized systems have shorter run cycles because it takes less time to bring the temperature to the desired setting. It’s like starting and stopping a car. The shorter the run cycle, the more often your system turns on and off thereby dramatically shortening the lifespan of the system. Continue reading Proper HVAC Equipment Sizing- Why to Avoid Over-Sizing

What to Expect from LEED for Homes v4

We use LEED as our instrument of collective expression in the world for people who are doing something to improve the planet through the built environment. LEED is an instrument of common expression; that’s a beautiful thing.”
Scot Horst, Senior Vice President, LEED, U.S. Green Building Council

The USGBC recognizes that for LEED to continue to drive market transformation it must constantly evolve along with the building industry and needs of the marketplace.
Among other objectives, LEED v4 strives to reduce carbon emissions more than any of the LEED rating systems.
You can read more about the intents of the revised version on USGBC’s website here- About LEED v4

After months of hard work and review of public comments, the USGBC is finally wrapping up the details to LEED v4 and preparing for implementation in June of 2013. When introduced , the use of v4 will be optional and not become mandatory until some time in 2015. Those who wish to continue using LEED 2009 can opt to do so.
I’ll be highlighting some of the changes coming up in v4 as well as reviewing existing credits that remain unchanged. You may want to read the full v4 update on the usgbc’s website here LEED V4 Draft

The LEED for Homes certification process offers several different credit options to pursue as well as some mandatory prerequisites that are required in all LEED for Homes Certifications.
These credit options are grouped into 9 different credit categories. Some of which include Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Location and transportation, and Indoor Environmental Quality. We’ve included one credit example below and will continue to feature other LEED v4 credits and revisions in the weeks to follow.
Your comments and questions are welcomed as we continue to try to create awareness for LEED and the benefits that can be obtained in LEED Certification including Healthier indoor environments for you and your family and greatly reduced energy costs to name a few.

Credit Example
Integrative Process IPc1
Integrative Process credit 1 will remain unchanged for the most part.
This credit’s Intent reads as follows:
To maximize opportunities for cost-effective adoption of integrative green design and construction strategies.

There are 3 options associated with IPc1
The options listed below are abbreviated versions. To read the full IPc1 credit requirements click here Credit Details

Option 1 involves assembly of the integrated project team and involving the team in the home’s design and construction Process.

Option 2 Is the Design Charrette
This involves conducting a full day workshop or 2 half day workshops with the project team

Option 3 involves training project subs in LEED protocol .
The trades training must include at least the following trades
• Plumbing
• Insulation
• Air Sealing
• Mechanical Systems
• Framing

I’m Proud to Announce my latest accomplishment- LEED® AP for Homes Credentialing

I’m very proud to announce that I just passed the LEED AP for Homes exam.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the largest Green Building Certification body in the world.
My new designation as LEED Accredited Professional for Homes is complimentary to my existing LEED Accredited Professional for Building Design and Construction credential.
This qualifies me to guide clients through the LEED Certification process and participate in LEED Building Design Charrettes for planning and implementation of the LEED Program.
This also allows projects to aquire 1 point towards LEED Certification for having a LEED AP as a member of the project team.
This enables me to participate in certification of commercial or residential projects.

Net Zero Community in Davis Ca.
The West Village Net zero Community, Davis Ca.

I’m looking forward to applying my newly acquired credential and helping to promote the growth and development of the Green Building Movement.
If you’re considering LEED Certification for your next project, call me for a free consultation.
Thank You,
Phil Vanderloo,
916 612-1704

LEED and Passive House paving the way toward a Greener Future

I’ve been reading a lot lately about Passive House vs. LEED standards for sustainable building certification.
Although LEED is by far the most recognized green building certifying body in the United States, there are those who believe that The Passive House Standards are more easily adaptable for those who are wishing to build green.

The United States has actually lagged behind over the years compared to other nations in the area of sustainability. Europe has far surpassed the US when it comes to energy saving methodologies. Continue reading LEED and Passive House paving the way toward a Greener Future

LEED Certification – Credit Categories and Strategies

In the interest of creating awareness and informing people about the process of LEED Certification, I’ve decided to run a series of blogs about the point scoring system and credit strategies involved.


This series will address the LEED Building Design and Construction and the LEED for Homes rating systems.
Since it’s inception in 1998, LEED, (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), has evolved into the most recognized Green Building Certification Body in the world.
Certification is attainable at 4 different levels based on the amount of points acquired per the credit categories.These are- Continue reading LEED Certification — Credit Categories and Strategies