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The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically altered patterns of building occupancy. Some spaces are empty. Others are staffed by a skeleton crew of essential workers. Some critical facilities are working well-over capacity. The bottomline is that these facilities are subject to what LEED would call COVID-19 impacts.
These projects can indicate this condition in Arc and LEED Online. This will allow them to change occupancy settings, modify reporting periods reviewed by GBCI, and access additional options.
More information about LEED and COVID-19 is available in the LEED FAQ document.
Arc users have new options for:
Projects can indicate that they have been impacted by COVID-19 in both Arc and LEED Online:
Note, LEED project teams only need to make this selection once. The information is shared between LEED Online and Arc
Last-day occupancy is the current default for Arc Performance Score calculations. This means that Arc uses the occupancy on the last day of the reporting period as the denominator for energy, water, and waste scoring. It also establishes sample sizes required for transportation and human experience.
No action is required to use last day occupancy.
COVID-19-impacted projects may elect to use time-weighted occupancy. This option may be useful for projects that have experienced short-term changes in occupancy. The time-weighted occupancy option will smooth over short-term disruptions and reflect annual average occupancy.
Project teams can select the time-weighted occupancy option in Arc or LEED Online:
When this option is selected, Arc displays the current time-weighted occupancy. Note that this value may change based on the occupancy values entered and vary day-to-day or for different reporting periods. When submitting for LEED certification, Arc will display the time-weighted occupancy for the selected reporting period.
Box 1: The following calculation illustrates time-weighted occupancy calculation.
Reporting Period: June 1, 2019 through May 31, 2020
June 1, 2019 through February 29, 2020: 600 occupants (274 days of the reporting period)
March 1, 2020 through May 31, 2020: 10 occupants (92 days of the reporting period)
Calculation: ((600*274) + (10*92))/(274+92) = 452 occupants
LEED requires surveys to understand transportation and human experience. By default, project teams must survey a certain fraction of occupants.
Checking the “Impacted by COVID-19” not only alerts the reviewers that the project is following the LEED COVID-19 guidelines, it will also ensure that the transportation and comfort survey response rates are calculated based on the occupancy on the day of the survey rather than the full building occupancy.
In addition to selecting the COVID-19 impact flag, the project must explain and justify their survey approach in the Additional Information section of the Submit for Review screen.
LEED requires an annual waste audit to estimate waste generation and diversion. By default, Arc uses occupancy on the last day of the reporting period to estimate waste generation and diversion intensities (e.g., weight per person). COVID-19 impacts mean that occupancy on the date waste data are collected may be significantly different from occupancy at the end of the reporting period. Arc users can adjust this calculation by:
Note, this adjustment requires the project team to update occupancy for the period covering the waste audit.
Flexible Reporting Periods
If neither of the preceding occupancy calculations are adequate, COVID-19-impacted projects have the option of selecting reporting periods for different performance scores. This functionality and detailed instructions will be available on October 30, 2020. LEED project teams may specify a reporting period for any category. The team must indicate that they have been impacted by COVID and specify the:
The GBCI team will use this period in the review process. These can be submitted as a component of the review package using the Additional Information upload or field on the Submit for Review screen.
The Arc team knows that these are challenging issues, and we are committed to working closely with project teams, LEED Technical Customer Service, and GBCI to make things work. You can reach us at email@example.com for more information or assistance.
Notes for Arc Essentials Users
The preceding capabilities are available to all Arc users. Arc Essentials subscribers have additional tools, including:
Arc Essentials subscribers can use these tools for any project. Learn more and get started.