LEED Standards for Existing Buildings

Improve re-commissioning of existing buildings on campus...

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LEED Standards for Existing Buildings is a Leadership goal in the Cornell Climate Action Plan (CAP).

Freshly refurbished, Warren Hall has been certified LEED Platinum / Jason Koski
Freshly refurbished, Warren Hall has been certified LEED Platinum / Jason Koski

Assess the feasibility of applying US Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards to existing buildings, in addition to new construction projects.

Goal: Evaluate the feasibility of performing existing building commissioning (LEED EB) on Cornell facilities in a five-year cycle (every building re-commissioned every five years) versus current re-commissioning practices. This analysis could yield recommendations to improve upon current re-commissioning practices in a cost-effective manner.

Currently Cornell re-commissions campus building controls on a regular basis in order to maintain the energy efficiency of our facilities. To perform a comprehensive LEED EB re-commissioning on every facility on a five-year cycle would be considerably more labor and cost intensive than what we do now.

The proposed feasibility analysis will quantify the additional effort and costs associated with this LEED EB certification, as well as possible benefits that would result, including the potential to earn additional STARS points.

Next Steps

  • Evaluate the current re-commissioning program and make recommendations for: 1) how to better coordinate building re-commissioning among the teams who are assigned to do this work, and 2) how to incorporate re-commissioning practices into regular maintenance schedules for campus buildings.
  • Identify incremental improvements in existing maintenance processes that could be implemented in order to save energy and reduce costs, while also improving Cornell’s LEED EB and STARS ratings.


The Buildings Team will complete this analysis within the next two years, in consultation with the Energy and Sustainability Department Office.