[Re] measuring [LEED] sustainability: from a global rating system to tropical specificity

Díaz-Lamboy, E.L., 2023. [Re] measuring [LEED] sustainability: from a global rating system to tropical specificity. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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This research explores the applicability of the LEED certification system in regions/contexts different to those initially designed for. The topic is explored via the case study of Puerto Rico (P.R.), a United States (U.S.) Commonwealth island in the Caribbean, where LEED has become widely recognized as a standard because of the geopolitical relationship with the mainland. Although LEED is used internationally, it was initially launched in 1998 by the U.S. Green Building Council as a tool to measure building performance in a modern American urban environment with temperate climate, a steady economy and easy access to technology. Furthermore, regionalization strategies such as Regional Priority Credits (RPCs) and Alternate Compliance Paths (ACPs), do not address the sociocultural reality of many regions. Therefore, the focus of this research is to analyse current indicators and explore which ones should be added, modified, or substituted to develop a revised LEED model for the specific sociocultural context of P.R.

The contribution of this research is to propose a framework to assess applicable sustainability criteria for the local context and strengthen LEED’s cultural sustainability component. The mixed methods research design includes a comparison of international and tropical Sustainable Assessment Systems (SAS) such as LEED, BREEAM, the Living Building Challenge, SB Tool, BCA Green Mark (Singapore), RESET (Costa Rica) and TERI-GRIHA (India), among others, to explore current trends and needs. Furthermore, an action research agenda guided the development of research instruments (survey and interview questions) to promote a strong collaboration with local design and construction professionals of LEED certified case study schools to ensure that the proposed modifications are relevant for the local context. The analysis of Architectural and Placemaking strategies employed by participants in their projects informed the development of six (6) new LEED context-specific cultural Pilot Credits and the revision of five (5) existing ones. These indicators are included in the LEED Cultural Sustainability Credit Guide (Appendix X), developed to facilitate the dissemination process of this research findings amongst LEED users. The research methodology and proposed indicators can be adapted for other contexts and SAS.

Item Type: Thesis
Description: Abridged version
Creators: Díaz-Lamboy, E.L.
Date: May 2023
Rights: The copyright in this work is held by the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed to the author.
Divisions: Schools > School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 19 Jul 2023 13:42
Last Modified: 29 Aug 2023 08:44
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/49394

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