Tuesday, April 28, 2015

GreenPoint residential "green" rating, vs. CALGreen and LEED

Earthbound Homes Blog, "LEED vs. Green Point Rated (GPR), 4/26/10.

.... "As a builder.  I am much more inclined to ask my homeowner to get their home GPR certified and spend the extra $8K on improving the quality of the insulation, installing a larger PV system or a Solar Hot water system.

Planning Commission, approved
project, 4/6/15, Harmony@1, Lot 2
Image result for green building picture
NIMBY appealed, revised, built 12/20/2025
"Happy Holidays", Harmony@0, Lot 2
While it is great to have a LEED rated Home on my palmares,  their $8000 would be better put to use, increasing the quality of their insulation, say from blown in cellulose to close cell polyurethane foam, which will dramatically increase the efficiency of the project and result in a positive savings on their heating and cooling bills, forever.  LEED has bragging rights, but that is about it."

Reference, spreadsheet. Green Building Rating, code 2014, pdf pages 2. "Comparing residential green building rating systems and the CALGreen Code in 2014."  Spreadsheet comparison:  GreenPoint Rated v6, CALGreen 2013 Tier 1, CALGreen 2013 Tier 2, LEED for Homes v4. ....  "The measures and credits compared here are not necessarily equivalent... "Where 'no CALGreen Reference and 'no LEED credit reference' is noted there is not direct measures or credit that aligns within that system compared to Green Point rated." This document has been reviewed by StopWaste, San Francisco Department of the Environment, Build It Green, the US Green Building Council, and USGBC California. ..."

Reference, websites.  GreenPoint Rated.com, version 6: GPR New Home Rating Manual version 6.0, January 2014. Clear, clean website.  About:  .... "GreenPoint Rated was launched in 2006. It was developed by a diverse set of residential building stakeholders including production builders, contractors, architects and designers, multifamily home developers, state and local government leaders, utilities, regional and national building-science experts, suppliers, and green building advocates. GreenPoint Rated´s recommended measures and performance benchmarks specifically address climate and market conditions in California. They are backed by sound building science, have been tried and tested in the field, and are recognized by third party sources, including the California Air Resources Board, the California Energy Commission and the Association of Bay Area Governments." 

Also see,  State of California, Housing and Community Development (HCD), CA.  CA:Green 2013: California Green Building Standards Code California Code of Regulations, Title 24, Part 11. (Typical indirect, confusing government website).  And, US Green Building Council, LEED for Homes version 4, includes embedded green building educational/marketing videos/audios.

Note photographs. Planning Commission, 4/6/15, Item 2, approved project, from Harmony@1, Lot 2, Facebook, photograph 2 of 9.  Imagined NIMBY delayed hillside revision, built locally by non-professionals 2025, from Big Diner.com, "Architecture full glass green architecture for roof  home green architecture for natural housing."

Posted by Kathy Meeh


Anonymous said...

the nonprofit that offers Green Point was created by timber interests, and retains close ties to wood, paper, plastics and chemical manufacturers whose products are well-received by Green Point but not by LEED.

LEED awards buildings points for using wood harvested under the Forest Stewardship Council green rating system endorsed by the Sierra Club, World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace. The oher gives equal credit to lumber harvested under the rival Sustainable Forest Initiative created by the timber industry, which permits much-larger clear cuts, routine use of herbicides, and a plantation approach to growing and harvesting trees.

The new LEED v.4 will award points for using nontoxic building materials and disclosing ingredients of building materials. the other is financially supported by vinyl, chemical, wood and plastics manufacturers that are alarmed by those new standards.

Dan Murray said...

It seems reasonable to me that if the builder or its agent Chavaria wants to substitute Green Point rather than the already approved LEED materials, they should be able to explain why and provide the data to support their argument.

If it's just a simple matter that LEED costs too much, well.. that's not really supporting a need for change.

THis entire Harmony project was regarded as contentious by many residents and one of the deciding factors for approval was the emphasis on using LEED approved materials. Anything less seems to change the intent and scope of the approval process.

As these are multi-million dollar homes being built, I would think that the obviously well-heeled potential buyers would not balk at paying a few extra thousand dollars.

Whatever the cost, the Sonora Shores developers will likely still walk away with wheelbarrows, if not truckloads, of money.

Hold them to what they agreed.

The Local Libertarian said...

@ Dan

Why are you bothered about the kind of profit Sonora Shores stands to make?

Can you explain specifically how LEED and/or Green Point standards conformance will help citizens of Pacifica?

Anonymous said...

Nothing about this project helps Pacificans. Sonora Shores is, in a sense, appealing to be able to make more money with a project that seems to be off to a really slow start. What's in it for Pacifica? Nada, so of course it's going to happen. The bar is lowered, though probably not for long.

The Local Libertarian said...

@12:40 -- I too can claim that anything that might benefit others does not benefit __fill__in__your__favorite__rant__

Please qualify how it doesn't help Pacificans or why Pacifica stands to gain nothing.

Anonymous said...

A failure to follow the pre-conditions to the letter will provide the city the opeming it needs. Harmony@1 will be stopped and instead of ten luxury homes, ten sewage retention tanks will be built.

The old Denny's location? A new sewage tank! Fresh & Easy? Sewage tank. Remove the dead whale and put a sewage tank in its place. We don't have money to improve the city *Palmetto* *cough* *cough* but somehow we've got plenty for as many sewage tanks as we need. Shit for as far as the eye can see!

Pacifica: Sewage By The Sea

Anonymous said...

Look at your sewer bill and you'll see were the money for the sewer basin comes from.

Anonymous said...

Harmony will be one of the best things to ever happen to Pacifica.
Finally, some wealth moving INTO Pacifica.
Imagine that.
People who don't worship poverty.
People who's idea of fine dining doesn't include plastic utensils.
People who don't go shopping in their bedroom slippers.
People who will insist on civic pride instead of quarry pits filled with dog shit.
Bring it on.
Your days are numbered you dirty hippies.

Anonymous said...

What the? Are the new residents warlocks? Only ten homes are being built. Calm down, Harmony@1 isn't the nouveau riche steamrolling into Pacifica to rescue you.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a plan.
They'll tell two friends and then they'll tell two friends and so on and so on.
There may be some hope yet for Pacifica.
Saw an ocean front bungalow in Carmel last week (smaller than a Linda Mar rancher) - $3,700,000.
Don't think the new homeowners would be very patient about whale carcasses and boarded up commercial areas.

Anonymous said...

I find 211s adoration of his betters remarkable. Is that self-loathing or envy? Sure, Harmony, if it succeeds, will be a nice addition, a wealthy enclave. Good for the image. Certainly better than a poop pit. But like a poop pit it does nothing for our commercial base and the city's chronic financial failure. That's my only problem with it. And there's no solution. It's done. Land use in a town where there's precious little land with which to generate revenue has to be smarter. Other cities exert more control, are proactive, with better zoning and planning. Here, we just wring our hands or accuse anyone who questions these projects of being a nimby. Eh, WTF, I live near it. If it's a success, my property values will go up nicely and I can cash out. The hell with Pacifica's money woes. They appear insoluble.

Anonymous said...

But 202, in Pacifica it is written that all money comes from the sewer bill. Is it not so everywhere?

Anonymous said...

258 Yup, I'll put a spell on you, baby. Warlocks and wizards living up on the hill. You think Safeway after 930PM is weird now, you just wait.

Anonymous said...

Is there anything more inspiring than the dreams of realtors? Buyers with big bucks, refined palates and fine cutlery will lead us to the Promised Land which turns out to be Carmel. Who knew?

The Local Libertarian said...

@3:48 PM -- Its private property. The city has control in so far as code and other ordinate compliance.

Harmony @1 will improve appraisal values for homes in the area. And city will be able to harvest some of that increase when people like you cash out.

Can you explain how Harmony @1 project will put citizens of Pacifica at a financial and/or environmental disadvantage? I am still waiting for a logical and coherent response from those that oppose this project.

Anonymous said...

Any news on our other little bit of heaven, the quarry? Juicy gossip will do.

Anonymous said...

Local Lib, of course it's private property. Like you, this city seems unable to move beyond that. Pretty passive in the face of financial disaster. Too late now. That large parcel will go to a few expensive homes producing less than 75K annual total in property tax revenue for the city. A pity when there is so little land within Pacifica that could produce significant on-going revenue for Pacifica. Other cities are not so passive about their options, pursuing economic development partnerships to create real revenue. If property tax is the only game in your town, which it essentially is, then your town is in trouble, which we are. All that aside, personally, I wish much success for Harmony. Buckets.

Anonymous said...

Local Libertarian

How will a 4.5 million dollar custom new Harmony @ 1 house have on a 750K Linda Mar Rancher.

Let me clue you in, it won't!

Anonymous said...

809 Assuming you meant to ask what effect a Harmony home would have on the appraised value of a basic LM rancher, obviously they're not comparable, but, it sure can't hurt!

Anonymous said...


Are you a:



Anonymous said...

I'm going to try to answer LocalLib's questions "Can you explain specifically how LEED and/or Green Point standards conformance will help citizens of Pacifica?" I suspect these answers are not going to change any mindset - even those disguised to look like it weighs the facts and comes to a rational judgement. (the Hippie/NIMBY nexus).

Leeds focuses on building materials that go beyond merely how much is used (Green Point) to get a better understanding of what's in the materials we spec for buildings and the effect those components have on human health and the environment. BENEFIT DERIVED - lower health costs, better quality of life.

Leeds takes a long-term view on indoor environmental quality emphisising that is "performance-based" as opposed to short term cost savings. BENEFIT: ensure improved occupant comfort.

Unlike Green Point the LEED program is a a more mature infrastructure developed to support the leaders in the industry. BENEFIT: Builders costs are reduced. the efficiency of their buildings, freeing up valuable resources that can be used to create new jobs

LEED-certified buildings cost less to operate, reducing energy and water bills by as much as 40%. BENEFITS are obvious.

Anonymous said...

A rising tide lifts all boats. C'mon Harmony!

Anonymous said...

849 Thanks for the info on LEED. Anyone going to speak up for the virtues of Green Point by comparison?

Kathy Meeh said...

1032, vs. 40% energy efficiency "BENEFITS" for GreenPoint? And the developer will spend that extra GreenPoint cash savings to do more for the land and house conservation of this project. (Planning Commission, 4/6/15).

GreenPoint is the practical "green" rating approach, while energy conservation methods continue to evolve. (Evolving example, today Tesla announced a new battery for solar panels which will improve the storage sunlight).

As for the prior complaints, harvesting forest lands and the use of pesticides (for whatever "save the forest" reasons) function within updated government regulations. But, there is the assumption that it's probably not a good idea to eat the housing structure. And, of course, these new "green" structures will be modern and superior to the houses each of us live in.

Anonymous said...

@10:29 That's fine if you have a boat!

Anonymous said...

We all live in the Good Ship Pacifica.

Anonymous said...

315 We do indeed and I like the optimism implied in "a rising tide lifts all boats". Of course, some people, you know the type, were born with the buoyancy of an anchor.

Anonymous said...

I have to do this message in at least two parts because it is apparently to long, so here goes:

Every person participating in this discussion should listen to the 4/6/15 planning commission meeting on this subject. You can find it here:


The LEED certification vs. no LEED certification discussion begins at around 10:50.

The discussion itself is remarkable because the commission actually talks the developer DOWN from its initial offer to compromise on the LEED certification issue.

The build up to that remarkable result starts at around 46:25, where the developer specifically reaffirms that "if the commission feels that LEED is way to go, we are obviously not going to stop the project for that.” He goes on, however, to describe the developer’s counter-proposal: Establish a condition similar to what was done with the [unintelligible ??] residence, which apparently was as follows — do what is comparable to the requirements of a LEED certification following the requirements of green points without going through the specific LEED certification process. He goes on to say that “we may even be willing to obtain just plain LEED certification although we are going to go substantially further with the green points.”

When asked to clarify what he means by this last statement, the developer explains that “our green point rating of 152 points is going to be probably better than or equal to LEED gold, however, trying to achieve LEED gold certification creates a substantial amount of work. If we can have the green points and we can have LEED certification — just certification — that would be a good compromise that establishes that building has some LEED certification, while still complying with what the code is asking us to do, which is the green points.”

Amazingly, after hearing the developer say this, Tina Whatever-her-name-is from the city offers the developer a different, weaker proposal (starting at 48:12); namely that “the project construct the home and be reviewed by the plan checker to a LEED standard, but that the actual certification process, which is the part that I think is really onerous, not necessarily be required." She goes on to suggest "that the project construct the home on lot 2 to LEED gold standards and at least obtain a green point rating of 152 points.” And she specifically notes that, by doing this, the developer would "achieve what commission originally set out to do with the project."

[NOTE — the 152 points standard is a goal the DEVELOPER offered to meet (see 50:14, where Tina W admits that she used the 152 points “because that is what they [the developer] came in with so at least they wouldn’t go backwards.” This point will become important in a moment . . . ]

(part 2 to follow)

Anonymous said...

part 2 --

At 50:12, Commissioner Cooper — who supports allowing the developer to back out of its contractual obligation to obtain LEEED certification for these homes— seizes on the 152 green-point requirement (the one the DEVELOPER has offered as a compromise) and argues that imposing this requirement on the developer in exchange for giving the developer a pass on the LEED certification requirement would be too onerous because the initial COA only required the developer to achieve 100 points on the green scale.

In other words, Cooper is perfectly fine ignoring the provision in the COA that requires the developer to obtain LEED certification, but he is adamantly opposed to holding the developer to the developer’s own offer to up the green-point ante to 152 points (from the initial 100 points set forth in the initial COA).

At 52:25ish Comissioner Campbell acknowledges that not requiring the developer to obtain LEED certification is backtracking from the COAs.

At 52:46ish — Cooper adamantly reasserts that the initial agreement only requires the developer to achieve 100 points on the green point scale and he again argues against adopting the DEVELOPER'S proposal to increase the green points to 152. NOTE: Again, the developer is NOT making this argument! This argument is coming from planning commissioner Cooper!

At this point Tina W. agrees with Cooper. Specifically, she says “you are absolutely correct — I was just using what the applicant submitted for this particular home, but you are right it does not need to go above 100.”

At 53:55 — Tina W. revises the already weakened proposal she had initially made (described above) to read as follows: "the project is to construct the home on lot 2 to LEED gold standards and achieve at least 100 points on the green point rating system."

THIS is the proposal that was adopted! And it is far weaker than the one the developer made.

Thomas Clifford said...

From the "letter of Commitment" for Harmony at @1

Based on all the feedback from the neighbors,community members,activists,Planning Commissioners, planning Department,business leaders and a host of other concerned citizens,we wanted to make clear our intent on key aspects of the project. This letter sets forth the terms that will be memorialized in the CC&Rs and Design Guidelines for Harmony at 1.We are open to making these condition of Approval for our project based on the wishes of the commission and council

Condition #5 of 45
Required integration of LEED standards into the project based on professional advice from a LEED certified expert to achieve the highest level of LEED CERTIFICATION POSSIBLE.

Anonymous said...

Not surprised Jeff Cooper would take the lead!! Impressive professional credentials, BS in Engineering and Const Mgmt and a law degree. Partner in Cooper Pugeda Mgmt, Inc. " a full service construction mgmt and gen contracting firm..." Major projects include City and Cnty of SF, Bart (Oakland Airport Connector), SFO, Caltrain and Caltrans (Devils Slide and District 4 on-call CM).