September 17, 2010
Ok- we have building permit and the client has decided one thing for absolute sure: We WILL pursue LEED certification. Now we have to hire a LEED provider. LEED providers are consultants who guide, regulate, enforce, observe, check and sign off on each of the LEED ‘features’ involved in the construction of this house, and thus the points we get within LEED.
These points are all cataloged and recorded in specific forms within the USGBC's LEED for Homes system. There have been a lot of jokes made and criticisms of the LEED points systems because in some cases it seems that you can get a lot of easy ‘low-hanging fruit’ points and not really do much to enhance a building environmentally speaking. Perhaps the best and most overplayed example of this is the ‘bike rack point’ in LEED commercial project construction.
While it may be true that there is some low hanging fruit, there are mostly a lot of other points to be achieved that are truly difficult and have a big impact on a project’s carbon footprint. Basically the LEED provider will make sure that we are reaching these points and that it is all documented. Once we have hired one, we will meet as a team – owner, architects, contractors, sub-contractors, structural engineer, landscape designer, and civil engineers and review all of the possible points and set targets for what we think we can achieve. After that it will be a matter of making it happen. Some things will fall by the wayside because they are too hard to achieve or too expensive but we will make our best effort to meet as many points as we can. We all are shooting for LEED Platinum- the highest rating available.
For more information on the LEED for Homes rating system please go to the USGBC (United States Green Building Council) Website http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CMSPageID=147