LEED is becoming a common household name in the construction industry today.
It’s rare that a project is completed that doesn’t have an association with LEED, or green principles at the very least. Owners like to boast that they have LEED certified buildings and contractors like to boast that they built them. It’s a practice that helps contribute to the sustainability of our planet. But the process for a project to become LEED certified isn’t as easy as just recycling or reusing rain water. I can tell you first hand that LEED certification is just as much about the documentation of the proof that the LEED criteria was met as it is about incorporating LEED criteria into the design of a project and then carrying out those principles throughout the lifecycle of the building.
There are different levels of LEED accreditation. They are: certified, silver, gold and platinum. Accreditation is based on a point system. Points can be earned based on the site you pick, by incorporating design principles that are energy efficient, using recycled building materials, etc. Regardless of how the points are being accumulated, no points will be awarded without the proper documentation.
The first step in collecting the LEED documentation is to start early and follow-up frequently until certification is awarded. It’s often said that this step takes a back seat to actually building the building. Don’t wait until the end to complete this task, you may find that the information you need has been long forgotten and difficult to obtain. To help the process along, explaining the requirement for this documentation at all project kick-off meetings should be made known and documentation should be collected during the submittal process to ensure that the correct materials are being used. If this happens, and the LEED online calculator is filled out prior to submittal completion, then the construction team can turn over their credits by substantial completion. Long story short, completing the LEED documentation no later than project completion allows the owner to submit their application and possibly receive their accreditation prior to their building opening. This results in a happy owner and potential future business!
What are the reasons you pursue LEED accreditation?
Kayla Timulak, Project Manager