19-1025 v3.X Partial Building Certification

QUESTION

Our registered project is a 4 unit for sale condominium in Fort Collins, Colorado. We finally started construction in May 2019. My husband and I are the developers and also the architects. We will live in one of the units which we plan on Petal Certification with Energy, Place and Beauty. However, for the other three units, we have no idea if those owners will be inclined to go through the certification process or not. Of course, we hope so, but we hope the ILFI will allow us to partially certify the building (our unit) to promote LBC Net Zero housing in our area.

ANSWER

The proposed individual unit is eligible for certification per the guidance provided in Dialogue post 19-0319 Partial Building Certification.
Teams may certify portions of a building if the portion of the building to be certified meets all of the following conditions:
  • Separately funded,
  • Separately owned,
  • Separately operated, and
  • Physically & visually distinguishable (e.g. clean vertical or horizontal break, separate entrance, separate whole floor, separate wing, etc). A distinction between occupancy types may also play a role in distinguishing the different portions of the building, but is not enough on its own.
The project must include in its Project Area (not pro-rate):
  • Shared systems or equipment, if they cannot be clearly separated (e.g by metering)
  • Portions of the site that are controlled or partially controlled by the certifying project owner, and are integral to compliance or the function of the certifying portion of the building.  
Any project using this certification path will require approval of their certified project title through the Institute (e.g. cannot say "building" if it is not the whole building). 
In this case, the individual units may be considered "separately funded" if they are sold or leased. 
However, the project is encouraged to pursue certification for the building as a whole. The certification can be based on the net use of the entire building allowing for variability in the energy consumption of individual units. If the entire building falls short, you may submit your unit for certification without re-starting the performance period. If submitting only one unit, you may either clearly define the renewable systems that are attributed solely with your unit (and provide production data from them), or provide calculations that demonstrate the amount of renewable production from the shared system is allocated proportionally to your unit. The latter approach aligns most closely with I06-SJ 1 Projects with a Constraint or Opportunity listed on page 21 of the Living Building Challenge 3.1 Energy Petal Handbook. To clarify further, if the renewable systems are not shared between units, you may submit an individual unit, but you may not count renewable production from any other unit towards your unit's production.
Another option that may suit the situation would be to submit the other three units for Zero Energy Ready designation. This option is not a certification, but recognizes projects that are designed to achieve Zero Energy performance, but do not yet have performance data to demonstrate achievement of Zero Energy. To learn more about "Ready" designation, reach out to us at lbc.support@living-future.org or check out the certification page on our website.

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