Important updaes to the Existing Building Performance Green Star rating tool.

Ensuring Stellar
Performance

EBP (Existing Building Performance) rating in the time of Covid-19

The GBCSA are continually considering the impact of Covid-19 on their products and services, and have produced a document that highlights that existing buildings are still able to achieve ratings related to this time.

The document outlines guidance for how project teams should address the impacts of Covid-19 on projects, and provides technical guidance for the EBP rating tool. It is a working document that will be continually reviewed and updated as the situation unfolds, and contains information pertaining to:

Credit types for Green Star – Existing Building Performance v1

Projects currently registered/registering for Green Star – EBP will have been affected by both the short- and long-term impacts of Covid-19, namely due to lower occupancy rates as well as partial or complete shutdown. As Green Star – EBP assesses the operational performance of the building during a performance period, the project has potential for an artificial improvement due to lower greenhouse gas emissions, potable water consumption and waste measurement. The following guidance related to the credit types is aimed at ensuring that shutdowns do not have this artificial impact; although it cannot be guaranteed.

Policy & Plan Type credits
The lower occupancy rates, or the shutdown of a building due to Covid-19 should have no measurable impact on the project’s ability to target Policy & Plan Type credits at initial or re-certification periods, as they relate to the processes and policies that apply to the building.

Survey Type credits
Some Survey Type credits such as transport surveys or occupant satisfaction surveys may be unable to be conducted due to their reliance on building occupants and for public health safety reasons. For this type of credit, surveys or audits, team members are advised to see the suggestions in the credits listed in the outcomes section, as well as look at ‘Covid-19 Impacts on Green Star & GBCSA Ratings_Rev2’.

Measurement & Audit Type credits
The majority of these credits fall under the Indoor Environment Quality (IEQ) category, although some like MAN-3 – Maintenance Management & Tuning Testing, MAN-4 – Cleaning Audits and MAN-7: Learning Resources – Awareness Programmes require measurement and audits. Refer to the suggestions in the credits listed in the Outcomes section, as well as ‘Covid-19 Impacts on Green Star & GBCSA Ratings_Rev2’.

Data Type credits
Data Type Credits will be affected by a building having lower occupancy rates or having been shut down, with the impact for greenhouse gas emissions, potable water and operational waste credits being affected. For this credit type, see the suggestions in the credits listed in the Outcomes section, as well as ‘Covid-19 Impacts on Green Star & GBCSA Ratings_Rev2’.

COVID-19 Impacts on Green Star & GBCSA Ratings –April 2020

Building Type credits
Building Type credits at initial or re-certification periods rely on the physical attributes of the building and as such, the lower occupancy rates, or the shutdown of a building due to Covid-19 should have no measurable impact on the project’s ability to target this credit type.

EBP COVID-19 ELIGIBILITY RULING
Projects that wish to adapt any of the standard Existing Building Performance v1 criteria need to be put through an EBP Covid-19 Eligibility Ruling, which the GBCSA will need to approve. This needs to be requested via Zendesk, with the subject line ‘EBP Covid-19 Eligibility’ before submitting Round 1, and should detail the proposed adjustments, including:

  • Clarification on performance periods being used for the project
  • Explanation of building’s occupancy during the time proposed to be rated
  • Clarification of the building’s performance period and energy and water performance period
  • Detailing of any major changes in percentage of occupied space between the periods above
  • Description of the project team’s approach to surveys throughout the project submission
OUTCOMES

Eligibility criterion relating to the building
characteristics (occupied at minimum 70% occupancy
throughout the performance period) and the timing of
the certification need to be taken into consideration.
ENE-1 & WAT-1:
Due to Covid-19 conditions, the GBCSA is
permitting project teams to submit normalised
data by removing data that was affected between
15 March 2020 and when building occupants were
allowed to return to work/the National State of
Disaster lifted; and replace it with data from the
same period in 2019.
MAN-4: Green Cleaning Performance [3.5pts]
This includes the development of a green cleaning
policy with an addendum for cleaning during
Covid-19 response time. Points are awarded for
the purchase of green cleaning consumables; but
various stipulations are outlined in the document
which consider circumstances where chemicals
that did not meet MAN-4 compliance were used
during 2020. Resources and a list of antimicrobial
ingredients approved by the EPA’s Design for the
Environment Programme is given.
IEQ-1: Indoor Air Quality
(occupancy orientated) [5pts]

Carbon monoxide (CO) levels and carbon dioxide
(CO2) levels are entirely dependent on occupancy,
and so these audits would need to have taken place
after the building returned to ‘new normal’ occupancy
(i.e. after National State of Disaster lifted). If the
required occupancy was not obtained, the points
cannot be targeted.
IEQ-2: Lighting Comfort
All points are still able to be targeted as they are.
IEQ-3: Thermal Comfort
These temperature measurements can only be taken
with the relevant occupancy.
The surveys can be done according to the technical
manual, or two alternative options are outlined in
the document.
IEQ-4: Occupant Comfort Survey
The surveys can be done according to the Technical
Manual, or two alternative options are outlined in
the document.
IEQ-5: Acoustic Quality
These points can still be targeted, as a qualified
reviewer will know what to look for.
IEQ-6: Daylight and Views
All points still able to be targeted as they are.
TRA-1: Alternative Transportation
The surveys can be done according to the Technical
Manual, or two alternative options are outlined in
the document.
MAT-2: Solid Waste Management
The waste to landfill diversion remains applicable
as this is a percentage figure, and the reduction of
total waste volume (by at least 10%) for an applicable
point is only applicable if waste data is extrapolated
for periods of reduced occupancy.

For those who feel like they are being negatively impacted by the current situation, or the directions outlined in the document, and need help in this regard, please contact GBCSA Technical Manager, Jenni Lombard jenni.lombard@gbcsa.org.za.

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