Creating the baseline building requires a good understanding of ASHRAE standard 90.1, and an excellent knowledge of Appendix G, within the standard. Anyone modeling for LEED should read appendix G in its entirety.
Location is always an important factor, and LEED is no exception to this. The first thing we need to determine when starting a LEED project is the climate zone
In this climate zone map of the US, you can see the climate zones for the each county in the united states. Of course, these are listed by state and then county in Appendix B of 90.1
It’s important to consider the wording, which is often listed as, in this example, “Zone 3A except”. This means that if the county is not listed, it is zone 3A. However, if the county is listed, the corresponding climate zone will be listed alongside it. Upon determining the climate zone, construction of the baseline building can begin. It’s a good idea to simply create a copy of the proposed building and start there, but it depends on the software package used. Regardless of software, one of the first steps to implement a baseline building is selection of the Opaque Envelope