Post Number: 167
|Posted on Saturday, February 07, 2009 - 11:50 am: |
[moved from other forum]
I have a Client who now has been mandated by Board to secure LEED certification on all new projects. There is one that has already commenced construction phase. Luckily we as the designers already incorporated many green elements including some that were essentials for earning LEED credits and meeting prerequisites such as the Waste Management Plan and implementation thereafter.
My question to the learned fellows of this forum, is simply will the USGBC accept registration for a project already in construction phase? Can we hand in the design submission during construction phase or even after the project is completed, perhaps together with the construction submission?
Has anybody done this and secured a LEED certificate?
bruce - Guest
The USGBC will accept registration for any project that has been completed for no longer than one year from the registation date. Design credits and construction credits can be submitted at the end of the construction phase.
russ - Guest
I have worked on several projects that come to the table late in the design (CD phase. The challenge was always commissioning. We also had a very large VA hospital that decided to secure certification after construction had started. Again, the key that our team focused on was commissioning. Fundamental commissioning is a prereq, - so it it required.
The credit requires review of the documentation by the commissioning agend (CxA)prior to bidding. Our team included people in our firm deeply involved at USGBC for many years. The owner hired a CxA who then reviewed the documents. Their comments were then acted on and Change Orders issued to affect those comments. The exact steps taken were worked out by the team and I believe a phone call or two to the USGBC was made (or CIR asked) to verify the course of action was going to work.
UI have since left the company, but I believe the team has gotten over that hurdle and is proceeding with certification.
joel - Guest
It's possible, though if you're too far along sometimes materials and resources credits that are normally simple become impossible (i.e. VOC requirements not met).
Check the prerequisites first (i.e. commissioning) to make sure you're good there, and then start looking at what other credits could reasonably achieved.
I wrote a post about this subject that you may find helpful. At the least some of the comments are enlightening
Best of luck!
Thank you all, good advises; the Client wasn't sure whether LEED is a go until recently, so we figured best to proceed as LEED compliance as possible watching out for commissioning and other prerequisites such as Waste Management Plan etc.
Joel, I am in Shanghai, it seems the Great Firewall of China is preventing me from looking up your link, any other way to peek at the hints?
Several years ago I was asked to "green" a project for LEED certification. A construction contract had been executed, but I don't think that work at the site had begun. The firm I was working with had not done a LEED project and neither had the MEP consultant. Although the architect was able to come up to speed, another MEP firm had to be found to do the basis of design and energy analysis. Of course, a comissioning agent had to be hired as well. The client did not want to spend a lot of money to upgrade the project other that what was absolutely required for LEED, but their projects (a big box chain) were pretty "green" already. At the very end of the project, the design team was needing the documentation for a LEED point to achieve certification when the client said, "Never mind."
On a couple of other projects, clients have said, "Let's design it 'green'; at the end of the project, we will total up the points and see if we can get it certified." This statement displays a fundamental misunderstanding of what LEED is about, namely a wholistic approach to the building procurement process from initial site selection and programming through commissioning and "shakedown cruise".
Deciding to attempt LEED certification very late in the design phase or early in the contruction phase can be successful in achieving certification, but the building will probably not be as good as it might have been had LEED certification been identified as a goal during the pre-design or programming phase. "High performance buildings" are the result of a thoughtful process that is more analytical and therefore more responsive to an owner's requirements, to a building's environment and climate, and to its occupants. I believe that the higher level of collaboration required by this approach can result in a building that not only performs better throughout its useful life, but is better understood and therefore better operated by its owners and occupants.
With the way the system works now, you can get a building under construction certified; you may have to do a lot of backtracking, and make some modifications (certainly add to the project's soft costs), but I believe that the real benefit that the LEED process offers is a higher level of collaboration between owners, designers, and builders. You can even get an existing building LEED certified, but I would suggest that retrofitting an existing building will be not only be more expensive than starting with an intentional "ground up" process, but it will probably not perform as well.
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