LEED for Exisiting Buildings – is it worth the trouble?

June 17, 2008 at 11:48 pm Leave a comment

Now I am in favor of there being more green buildings and the more efficient we can be the better off the planet, our companies and all of us are.  However I am unsure if going to the trouble of acquiring a certification really provides and adequate return on the investment of time and money required.

That brings us to the newly revised LEED-EB or LEED for existing buildings. The original program had many issues, some of which were simply growing pains inherited from conversion of the original LEED new construction program.

Now I have read a couple of articles lately on this subject and they make points about how the consultant and the process will help the facility manager find overlooked opportunities and similar advantages, but I am skeptical.  One fo the articles is here at Building Operating Management magazine: (http://www.facilitiesnet.com/8967bom).

Also you can read all about it at the USBGC site: http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CMSPageID=221

Now the other piece I read gets into the important at least for me part the actual additional cost of teh process. This source figures that the total cost of getting a building certified comes to $2.48 per square foot!  I don’t know about you but I would have to have missed a whole lot of efficiency issues to recover that kind of cost even the intermediate term of 5 – 10 years.  You can read his full article here: http://reallifeleed.blogspot.com/2008/05/leed-eb-fees-explained.html and the report for the Leonardo Academy that he references can be found here: http://www.leonardoacademy.org/download/Final%20Report%20on%20the%20Economics%20of%20LEED-EB-2008-4-23.pdf

Finally I think I can sum this post up by saying that I agree with the column by Jeff Crane in Today’s Facility Manager magazine found here: http://www.todaysfacilitymanager.com/tfm_08_04_fmfrequency.php and his basic proposistion is that your CFO isn’t going to pay for the extra cost for certification if he can use that extra money to make the building even more efficient and save even more money!  That is a very hard argument to win and I don’t think I could easily be induced to even try.

As always I thank you for your time and interest. Please take the time to Digg, or add to the other social network of your choice to help me spread the word about these issues. Please forward any questions or suggestions to: askthefm@gmail.com

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Entry filed under: Design, Planning, Recycling, Technology. Tags: , , , , .

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