LEED the way . . . a snap shot of USGBC Certification

LEED the way...a snap shot of USGBC Certification

Headwaters Camp – Horse Barn, Big Sky, Montana

LEED the way…a snap shot of USGBC Certification:  The built response has a significant impact on our quality of life, the natural world, health, economy and productivity. Consistently, new building means and methods, technologies and equipment are available to architects and owners alike who want to build in a responsible manner; benefiting from economic and environmental performance.

The US Green Building Council http://www.usgbc.org/ utilizing a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification program has rapidly transformed the old way of building structures into a celebration of performance based achievement. Through a process of third-party verification, a long list of completed tasks are assigned a point value that upon tabulation, will recognize the structure as either Certified, Silver, Gold or the highest achievement Platinum. Credits towards certification are earned in each of the following categories: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, Innovative Design, and others depending on your building use and designation.

THE PROCESS

So exactly what is the next step for those desiring LEED Certification? It actually begins with a commitment from the owner; in the big picture of things the owner makes all things possible. Next…your architect needs to think critically while delivering good passive techniques, planning and design for high performance standards. No less important are the buildings support systems, including state-of-the-art HVAC, lighting, controls and other technologies that will improve the performance of your structure.

Concurrently and during the design phase of service, your architect will assist you with the selection and engagement of a Certified LEED Consultant or Provider. Providers play a very important role in the over-all process, which unfortunately at times are quickly forgotten upon making the mark. As third-party verifiers, it is very important that the Provider be contractually accountable to the owner only, not the architect or contractor; allowing for unbiased reviews of the completed work that will be documented and shared with the owner and the USGBC. Additionally, Providers offer over the shoulder review of evolving design and later contribute critical direction during the construction process. Lastly, your contractor must competently execute the plans and the various lists of assignments required to successfully meet the objectives.

It is important to note that registration, use and access of the “Final Check List” are controlled by the owner; again…not the contractor, architect or even the USGBC; so make sure that the final registration is in the owner’s name exclusively.

CONCLUSION

While it is easy to over-simplify the process, achieving LEED Certification is a commitment whose thread can be traced from concept to completion, requiring months or years of diligence. As we move towards Net-Zero Buildings, the USGBC–LEED program has cleared a path for sustainable practice and continued reform for much of the built environment. Utilizing LEED criteria, energy codes and modern building efficiency standards, Dan Joseph Architects http://www.djawest.com/ is ready to assist you with LEED Certification. Give us a call…

POINTS TO REMEMBER

1. Construction means and methods, technologies and equipment are constantly being updated.

2. LEED Certification for new projects is available through a process of third-party verification of completed tasks.

3. Your architect needs to think critically while delivering good passive techniques, planning and design for high performance standards.

4. As third-party verifiers, it is very important that the Provider be contractually accountable to the owner only, not the architect or contractor.

5. Contractors must competently execute plans and the various lists of assignments required to successfully meet objectives.

6. Registration, use and access of the “Final Check List” are controlled by the owner…not the contractor, architect or even the USGBC; so make sure that the final registration is in the owner’s name exclusively.

7. The USGBC–LEED program has cleared a path for sustainable practice and continued reform for much of the built environment. #djawest

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