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Specifications for LEED “Certifiable” Projects: 4 Approaches

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Jun 27, 2012 01:01 AM
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by Tristan Roberts last modified Jun 26, 2012

Author name:  Mark Kalin, FAIA FCSI LEED BD+C Blog Category:  GreenSpec Insights Mister Tristan Talks LEED Many owners and municipalities are requesting LEED “certifiable” buildings from their design teams. How is a specifier to respond? The ZGF-designed "Living Learning Center" at the University of Oregon was designed to the LEED Silver standard but did not apply for certification. Colleges & universities frequently take this approach. Photo Credit: University of Oregon In our experience with over 200 (real) LEED projects, we have seen four approaches. Approach 1: Declare an early victory The team completes the LEED scorecard and declares victory. There is no mention of LEED in the project manual and the contractor is asked to “make the right green choices.” There is no review of the scorecard after construction. While this is clearly a useless LEED approach, there are many who accept this result. In fairness, some are municipalities that are not able to mandate certification, others are architects who believe their professional training and personal commitment is the correct measure of sustainability. Specifier’s Response: As always, at least include low-VOC products, high-performance products, and construction waste management in your specs. Approach 2: Sprinkle in some requirements The team completes the LEED scorecard, makes a determination of which design credits could be easily achieved, and includes only a few requirements in the specifications. Perhaps construction waste management, FSC - certified wood , and Green Label Plus carpet are sufficient to demonstrate some interest in sustainable design. Data-intensive credits such as recycled content, regional materials, and low-emitting materials are typically avoided. Again, the scorecard is not evaluated after construction. read more






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