Setting LEED Goals with PlanIT Impact

Dominique Davison / March 6, 2017

The feature image shows just how easily a PlanIT Impact score translates to Energy Optimization points for LEED (Table 1 is from the USGBC LEED Credit Library). Because LEED is so widely-recognized as a benchmark for building performance, at PlanIT Impact we often field questions regarding our suitability for the LEED certification process. While PlanIT Impact is not suitable for direct reporting or validation, our application is designed to support the achievement of LEED certification by providing the means to make early, data-driven decisions that keep a project on track.

PlanIT Impact keeps a LEED project on track first by fitting right into the existing design process. The design process requires nonlinear thinking, with files being handed between teams and converted between many programs and concepts. Early on, quickly-evolving ideas demand software that can keep up. Until now, the lack of a proper solution has prevented data from heavily influencing conceptual and schematic design—that’s where PlanIT Impact comes in.

To integrate into a complex web of interaction between teams, PlanIT Impact’s interface was designed to be useful in conceptual design, but powerful enough to refine an idea as it takes shape. PlanIT Impact fits right in with easy-to-use SketchUp, to which Rhino, Revit, and other programs can export. This means PlanIT Impact is useful for a longer period of time. You can keep coming back to it in a manner that doesn’t disrupt workflow, until you’re ready for more time-consuming, complex modeling for LEED approval.

When one platform is the common ground for all disciplines early on, the resulting conversation keeps goals clear when driving for potentially sophisticated LEED credits. Often, other software packages have separate applications for separate professions, but sustainable building performance can only be achieved when everyone is speaking the same language. In order to make sustainable design accessible, we designed PlanIT Impact to invite input from everyone, enhancing the entire design process and going beyond being just another “calculator.”

PlanIT Impact currently supports several LEED categories and credits. Here is the list of credits that PlanIT Impact can support, with more support on the way for these categories:

Integrative Process (1 point): Energy- and Water-Related Systems

• Water Efficiency (required): Indoor use reduction

• Energy and Atmosphere (up to 18 points): Optimize Energy Performance

In the future, we’ll dive into specific credits. Be on the lookout for how future versions of PlanIT Impact can keep your team on track to achieve points in the categories of Location & Transportation, Sustainable Sites, and even SITES-LEED equivalency.

In our next blog, we’ll talk more about trends in green design, and why it’s critical to have a platform that gives you the edge in predicting environmental performance.

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