Working With Other Departments on a LEED-EBOM Initiative
May 2011 - Green
What advice would you offer facility managers who find themselves needing to work closely with other departments (HR, IT) and their vendors in order to gather the required data for certification?
For starters, get buy-in from everyone who will be involved as early in the process as possible. Give department heads and all others involved a sense of ownership, and get everyone thinking like a team. Willingness to collaborate will help things get done smoothly when a new cleaning policy has to go in place, or a waste audit has to happen with collaboration between housekeeping and the folks in the garage where the waste will be sorted.
Part of the reason for getting an early start is also logistical. As LEED-EBOM consultant and head of Ackerstein Sustainability, Dan Ackerstein says, “The LEED requirements are so technically complicated and messy that anyone who you need help from is going to need a little bit of time to look at the requirements and documentation so that they can give you good info.”
Ackerstein also notes, “Those individuals need to know that their bosses are supportive of the effort and are not going to be annoyed that they’re spending time on it.” Rather than having someone say “I would love to go test exhaust fans all over the building, but I don’t know that my boss cares about your LEED project,” you want to hear “I talked to my boss and he wants me to get this done.”
Finally, make sure that that everyone has good access to help. Questions are an inevitable part of the process—rather than letting unanswered questions stall the momentum, have a LEED expert on staff who can help quickly, give your staff direct access to LEED-EBOM consultant, and/or get a team membership to a credit-by-credit help resource (and user forum) like LEEDuser.