Monday, May 31, 2010

What does LEED Gold mean for the Great American Tower?

With the Great American Tower rising higher and higher everyday, many are touting it for its LEED Gold precertification. But what does LEED Gold mean for the tower? LEED has four certification levels: LEED Certified, LEED Silver, LEED Gold, and LEED Platinum. A LEED Gold building must attain 60-79 of the possible 110 points in the LEED rating system. It must also be understood that the LEED core and Shell certifcation that the tower is receiving does not cover the interior spaces used by individual tenants. The USGBC has a separate rating system for commercial interiors that each tenant can implement in their rented spaces. The Core and shell certification encompasses only the building elements that the developer has control over such as construction practices, HVAC, common spaces, plumbing, structural components, and windows. Here is a list of some of the LEED attributes of the Great American Tower.

- Use of locally manufactured construction material.
- 90% of pre-exisiting Western-Southern parking garage was recycled.
-Bike racks and showers provided for those who want to ride to work.
-Location: The buildings location is close to both public transit and common amenities. (This reduces automobile usage)
- High efficiency plumbling fixtures reduce water consumption.
-High efficiency facade design and curtain walls reduce energy consumption by 14%
-Individual energy metering of tenants leads to more thoughtful use of energy.
-Solar reflective roofing material
-All building materials emit low amounts of chemicals such as volatile organic compounds, which can trigger allergies and other respiratory problems.
-All maintenance staff will be trained to use eco-friendly cleaning products.

For more information about the tower, you can visit their site.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Energy Rebates Available in Ohio: Part 1

Duke Energy Smart Saver Rebates

This is the first part in what I hope to be a long series of updates on residential energy rebates available in Cincinnati. Duke Energy is currently offering a number of rebates on high efficiency heating and cooling systems. Though the rebates only top out at around $600.00, if you are interested in updating your HVAC system, it's something that you must take advantage of.

The program includes rebates for systems in new homes and also retrofits in older homes. In order to qualify for the rebates, you must receive both your gas and electric services from Duke Energy, even if you are only seeking a rebate for a gas powered system. All information about Smart Saver rebates is available at this site:

Before purchasing any new HVAC equipment, it would be smart to consider an energy audit. Basic audits are usually $60.00-$100.00, while more rigorous audits involving blower door tests and other technologies can cost over $200.00. Using audit information ensures that you won't buy a HVAC system that is too big or too small for your home.