Comparing Environmental Performance and Indoor Comfort of LEED(TM) certified and Conventional Schools in Houston, Texas
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LEED(TM) for schools was introduced in response to research that showed the influence of classroom environment on energy savings and students’ performance. There is however a need to investigate the relationship between credits achieved by the LEED(TM) for schools rating system and its impact on building performance. This study quantifies and analyzes resource consumption and indoor comfort of two LEED(TM) certified elementary schools in Houston, Texas by comparing them to their conventional counterparts. Year-long metered data for 2015 was analyzed for resource consumption. Indoor comfort was analyzed by recording visual and thermal comfort metrics for a north and south oriented classroom in each school. Both LEED(TM) schools had greater energy savings and better visual comfort as compared to the non-LEED schools. However, the water consumption savings and thermal comfort varied by school. Also, the LEED(TM) Gold School didn’t exhibit higher energy and water consumption savings than the LEED(TM) Silver School.