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Friday, November 6, 2009

LEED Charrette Planning Guide

As usual, another great post from Real Life LEED blog:
Repost: http://www.reallifeleed.com/2009/10/leed-charrette-planning-guide.html

My firm has a new LEED project that I've been asked to help plan a startup charrette, a first for me (though I've participated in a few others). After noticing google mostly just references you to firms providing LEED charrette facilitation services, I thought it would be helpful to compile a list of resources that I found useful in my planning. ...A boring post to be sure, but a necessary one all the same. If you have no idea what I'm talking about right now, I recommend starting with this EDC article that serves as a great intro to the concept.
Charrette Fight

Spontaneous outbreaks of violence are generally a good sign that you've lost control of your charrette


By far the most comprehensive and useful resource I've seen is the Whole Building Design Guide's resource page for charrettes, which led me to a free copy of the NREL's 116 page Handbook for Planning and Conducting Charrettes for High Performance Projects. Between these two resources you can probably figure out 99% of what you'll need to do.

Case Studies and Sample Agendas


  • The Net-Zero Commercial Buildings Initiative of the Building Technology Program from the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Group at the US Department of Energy's (would love to see an org chart on these guys if you know where to find one) page on charrettes lists presentations and 4-5 case study reports on notable sustainable projects.

  • USGBC 1/2 Day Eco-Charrette- This seems like a very good template... introduce the benefits, develop a vision and strategies, and then tally up the LEED points at the end. Most everything I've seen has said the LEED checklist itself can be a poor crutch if pulled out too early. If you can pull it off, I think it's best to get the owner to forget about points and certification levels entirely and just worry about doing what's best for the project.

  • Oregon Sustainability Center- On the other end of the spectrum, this WEEK LONG planning/design charrette includes numerous in-depth group breakouts, presentations, and even a 'blog launch' to help document the process as it continues through construction. I would also highly recommend that blog for anyone planning a living building, or just looking for activities to help facilitate brainstorming. There is a HUGE amount of meat covering why the building design has developed into what it is today. Also, anyone looking for visualization photos won't be disappointed either.

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