The “LEED” green building rating system and the eBike

leed.jpgvs Ebike White

Since I got my ebike, I have been thinking of the many ways that it can apply both to my personal and work life. The other day I began wondering how the ebike could change the way I do my work as an architect.

It seemed pretty straight forward that I could demonstrate the benefits of a zero-emission vehicle to a building owner through the existing LEED green building rating system. But that is not as easy as it seemed.

LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a performance-based standard for green buildings rated through real-world assessment of their built project. It is administered by the Canadian Green Building Council, whose vision is a transformed built environment leading to a sustainable future. So it seemed straight-forward that this little ebike might be a step towards a more sustainable future.

So I began doing some research into the LEED accreditation system, which is made up of a series of building performance credits which add up to a LEED building rating: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum. The obvious place for a credit for eBikes are under the Alternative Transportation credit, which allows hybrid cars, car-sharing programs, etc. From the LEED Guideline Manual, the intent of the Alternative Transportation: Hybrid and Alternative Fuel Vehicles credit is to reduce pollution and land development impacts from automobile use. One of the requirements for the credit is to install an alternative fuel refuelling station within 500 meters of the project site. For an Electric Vehicle (EV), they define the refueling station as a 208-240v outlet (which is similar to the plug for your clothes dryer).

But more interestingly, the LEED standard also explicitly states that “electrical outlets that may or will be used for block heaters are not acceptable for this credit”. So by my straight reading of the guidelines, an ebike recharging station (a.k.a a wall socket) would not qualify as a credit for LEED. Luckily, all points are open to interpretation and review by the board, so I believe one could argue a case for a recharging station that is not intended to be used by automobile block heaters.

Explore posts in the same categories: Ebike Design, The Enviornment

One Comment on “The “LEED” green building rating system and the eBike”

  1. lockhughes Says:

    As an architect, please just go ahead and “design in” 120v outlets on the outside of your buildings!

    I have been opportunity charging all over Toronto for six years now.

    Many of the older buildings sport outside outlets, but many of the newer buildings seem not to.



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