When designing for LEED and Energy Star certifications, there are inherent and unique challenges that may be faced. It’s important to have a comprehensive understanding of sustainability requirements to design the correct systems and deliver successful results.
Since many residential projects RTM has worked on have been grant based, incorporating LEED and Energy Star efficiencies has been crucial. With these grant requirements, it’s necessary to abide by every credit rule and ensure that they don’t contradict each other while keeping the design within code. It’s also important that the designers and engineers are financially responsible to keep the project on track with the often limited budget.
In terms of sustainability and green building, a variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system is a new technology with a very efficient design. Though there are upfront costs, it provides energy savings throughout the life of the system. Recently, a client received a grant to install a VRF system so RTM had the opportunity to design this technology for a large residential project. It proved to be a great design and the client was very happy, especially since they already are seeing the energy savings.