Dual Assessment Framework to Evaluate LEED-Certified Facilities' Occupant Satisfaction and Energy Performance: Macro and Micro Approaches

Abbas Chokor, Mounir El Asmar, Claire Tilton, Issam Srour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Given the importance of buildings as major consumers of resources worldwide, several organizations are working avidly to ensure the negative impacts of buildings are minimized. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system is one such effort to recognize buildings that are designed to achieve superior performance in several areas, including energy consumption and indoor environmental quality. This paper discusses testing these hypotheses by examining LEED-certified buildings on the Arizona State University (ASU) campus in Tempe, AZ, from two different perspectives: the macrolevel and the microlevel. Heating, cooling, and electricity data were collected from the LEED-certified buildings on campus, and their energy use intensity was calculated to investigate the buildings' actual energy performance. In addition, indoor environmental quality occupant-satisfaction surveys were administered to investigate users' satisfaction with the space layout, space furniture, thermal comfort, indoor air quality, lighting level, acoustic quality, water efficiency, cleanliness, and maintenance of the facilities they occupy. From a macrolevel perspective, the results suggest ASU LEED-certified buildings consume less energy than regional counterparts and exhibit higher occupant satisfaction than national counterparts. From a microlevel perspective, results of the data analysis suggest an inconsistency between the LEED points earned for the energy-and-atmosphere and indoor-environmental-quality categories on one hand, and the respective levels of energy consumption and occupant satisfaction on the other hand. Accordingly, this paper showcases the variation of LEED-certified buildings' assessment results when approached from different perspectives. This contribution necessitates consideration of the complementary macrolevel and microlevel assessments in tandem. To ensure a fair and representative LEED certification system, the authors recommend basing the awarded LEED points on the actual performance of the building during the occupation phase as opposed to the intended performance during the design and construction stages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA4015003
JournalJournal of Architectural Engineering
Volume22
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

Keywords

  • Energy consumption
  • Higher education facilities
  • Indoor environmental quality
  • Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
  • Occupant satisfaction
  • Sustainable construction
  • Thermal comfort

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts

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