LEED Performance Analysis Intern

Executive Summary:

The U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED rating and certification program for buildings emphasizes energy efficiency through conservation and innovative technologies. Points toward certification are earned on the basis of designed building performance compared to a baseline model. While there are performance models for all LEED buildings, there is currently no comparison of predicted results with actual performance for the University's LEED projects. In order to have an effective adaptive management approach to capital projects at the University, this comparison must be made. Interns will be hired to perform the energy use analyses of University LEED-certified buildings and other capital projects. The project will entail the collection of actual energy performance data for the University’s completed LEED projects, and the predicted performance data for planned projects. Other comparisons of design baselines to actual performance will be included in this position (i.e., water, product performance comparison, etc.). Creation and maintenance of a database from this information will serve as the basis for evaluation of the effectiveness of LEED building standards on campus as well as the efficiency of other renovations and new constructions. Case studies will be developed, posted on the CPO website, and linked to other sites across the University domain.

The interns will work in the Capital Projects Office, and fall under the guidance of the Sustainability Manager, Clara Simon. The internship will be open to any student with a suitable educational background and personal interest, and will be available for four quarters, preferably filled by a new student each quarter. Priority will be given to students in a Capstone or similar program, so that the results of their efforts are shared  with other students via a student-designed presentation. Advertising of this opportunity to the College of the Environment and College of Built Environments will make this emphasis clear.

Student Involvement:

The position, if used to provide opportunities for Capstone Experiences or similar student projects, will provide 4 students with intimate working knowledge of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating and building certification system as it is practiced and implemented on current University projects. The compilation of data will be an ongoing project, but each student will be responsible for maintaining the database and making necessary analyses during his or her time in the position. Interns will have the opportunity to gain USGBC-required experience necessary to achieve accreditation that is usually only available to working professionals in the architectural, engineering, and consulting fields. 

Education & Outreach:

The goals for outreach will be open availability of the data to students, faculty, administration, and the public, as well as sufficient advertisement of the internship position to ensure well-qualified candidates. Success will be measured by the usefulness of the data for policy-making and student projects, and by the preparedness of the students to qualify for LEED accreditation after the internship is over. 

The position will be advertised through the College of the Environment and the College of Built Environments as an opportunity for a Capstone Experience as well as an open position to be filled by a suitably-qualified candidate enrolled in the University. The Capstone Experiences culminate in departmental presentations, and there will also be a link to the resulting data file on the departmental websites so that other students can benefit from the research performed by their colleagues by using it for their own unique projects and analyses.

The data will be shared by the Capital Projects Office, Housing and Food Services, and the Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability offices as described in section 6 of this application. 

Environmental Impact:
  • Energy Use
  • Water
Project Longevity:

Environmental Problem:

The project will directly address electricity and water use on campus. There are currently no comparisons being compiled for actual energy and water use versus the theoretical models used in the LEED certification process, or for any other University of Washington capital projects. If we are to verify and improve our resource use, these comparisons must be made. The campus will benefit by gaining awareness about the effectiveness of LEED designs, and thereafter be able to refine the process to achieve cost savings.  

Explain how the impacts will be measured:

The impacts of the project will be the synthesis of data relevant to building energy use. We do not know the indirect impacts that the project will have on energy use reduction, because the comparisons of designed and actual energy use of new buildings have not been made. With the implementation of a data collection system and database, the energy savings resulting from various technologies in our new and planned buildings will be quantified, leading to the development of best practices for reducing energy use. 

The successful completion of the internship project will entail a database that can be used by Housing and Food Services and the Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability office as a basis for future policy recommendations regarding energy use, as well as for the Capital Projects Office as a basis for policy regarding building design standards. Work on this database will serve as the foundation for the students' Capstone (or similar) presentations to other members of the student body. Success will also be measured by student and faculty awareness of the internship opportunity and associated projects. 

Total amount requested from the CSF: $14,080
This funding request is a: Grant
If this is a loan, what is the estimated payback period?:


ItemCost per ItemQuantityTotal Cost
Personnel & Wages
1,950 hours/academic quarter$16/hour4 quarters$12,480
LEED Accreditation Materials$400/student4 students $1,600

Non-CSF Sources:

Project Completion Total: $14,080


TaskTimeframeEstimated Completion Date
Advertise Position5 weeks/quarterASAP
Interview Candidates 5 weeks/quarterSpring 2011
Begin InternshipN/ASpring 2011
Advertise as NecessaryAs NecesasryWinter 2012
Comlete InternshipN/AEnd of Spring 2012

Project Approval Forms: