|The benefits of LEED Certification
There are volumes on understanding LEED. Here are some basic thoughts to consider that go beyond the obvious energy savings, efficiency, quality of air and environmental impact.
This process is about a consideration of the entire building as a unified system. When plans are approved and the construction begins, the construction of the building can be left up to the mercy of contractor and building consultants. Choices might be made using cheaper building products, prefabrication or retrofitting things to fit. Once the building is closed up & dry walled, no one will ever know happened. This could potentially make the building less efficient or faulty in its design.
The LEED system is about accountability, collaboration & communication. LEEDs third party verification inspects that the plans, spec sheets and documents for construction are being followed to the detail. For example, if an HVAC system with an efficiency rating of 85% is called out, the exact model with exact efficiency rating has to be installed; guaranteeing the efficiency the owner is expecting will be delivered. This process forces all consultants on the job to come to agreement and work together to meet the LEED demands, therefore creating a building with the best possible results. There is no guess work. There is only a final solution brought together by all minds involved in the project build-out. All consultants from Engineer to Architect and Electrical to Contractor will discuss the best method of accomplishing the LEED goals as a team.
Instead of calling it a LEED Building Process, I like to call it a Smart Building Process.
LEED adds a guarantee of value. It helps regulate the current standard building process which is not scrutinized or regulated until there are complaints.
Its not about getting points and a certification award; its about creating a smart way of building. Its also about building what the Client is paying for and not being left to the mercy of your contractors judgment. -That is always smart!