You have a construction project coming up the pipeline and you’ve decided to go for LEED certification. You’ve discussed the costs, benefits and timelines, involved the engineers, architects, contractors and tenants in the process to ensure a better chance of success, registered the project and submitted all the proper documentation. What do you do if you succeed?
Upon receiving LEED certification, many building owners / facilities managers make the mistake of thinking the journey is over and they are ready to move on. This is not the case. LEED certification is just the beginning of a much bigger initiative where the purpose is to recognize environmental leadership in the building industry and raise consumer awareness of the benefits of “green” building design. LEED provides the initial rating system, but it is the owner’s responsibility to provide methods of sustaining that high level of environmental responsibility awarded through LEED certification.
This is by no means a strict code to follow, but here are a few strategies that can be taken to help your building as a whole continue making a minimal impact on the environment:
– Engage current and, where possible, future tenants.
It is critical to approach the tenants of a building that is certified LEED with the understanding that to achieve highly eco-friendly performance ratings, their participation is required before and after occupancy.
– Provide a newsletter.
By putting out a quarterly newsletter to the staff / occupants / tenants of a building, it creates a forum that can be used to outline all initiatives currently being undertaken and any successes achieved in “green” operation and design. This in turn will provide motivation for others within the building to do the same. As well, a newsletter is a frequent reminder of the LEED process and the initial purpose behind getting certification.
– Create a committee.
Include tenants and staff in a committee that gathers to discuss goals and processes ongoing or available to which they can contribute. This allows everybody within the building to have an opportunity to voice ideas or concerns they have regarding the opportunity, desire or feasibility of any proposals being discussed. Also, it would be beneficial to use this as a platform to institute challenges and provoke competition among the occupants of the building to gain higher levels of eco-friendly performance.
– Budget for future opportunities.
During the LEED certification process, not all credits will be possible to attain. There will however be some that are attainable but not within the initial scope of the project. These can be set aside as goals to achieve within a certain timeframe after certification is awarded and the building is occupied. As an example, adding a green roof to the building can be an expense that can be planned for in the future.
Call us today if you would like to learn more about the LEED process and how our services can help you.
1. Ashley Halligan, Property Management Analyst Software Advice
2. Rachel Hardesty, LEED AP, Director of Business Development, S.D. Keppler & Associates
Interview @ NFMT (National Facilities Management & Technology Conference / Exposition) 2010 discussing keeping LEED momentum and budgeting for upgrades.
Improve communication between team members and instill pride in everyone involved.
Benefit from a more streamlined process, improved quality – and a significantly better end result.
Ensure your green initiatives are working. Top quality control at every phase.
Stay on budget and on schedule. Optimize performance and occupant comfort.
Get your building performing at peak efficiency and avoid inferior operator and maintenance knowledge.