2 FM quick reads on LEED-EBOM
1. Where To Start With LEED-EBOM
Today's tip is about where to start with LEED-EBOM.
"Hey, have we ever looked into this LEEDS (sic) for Existing Buildings thing?" your CFO asks you one morning.
"We have, but not seriously," you reply, with a sort of sinking feeling, because you know what's coming next.
"Well, let's give it a try, I think," she says. "I'd like to put that our building is Platinum in the next annual report. Let me know what it'll take and how much it'll cost."
The problem is, your 95-year-old corporate headquarters building is hovering at an Energy Star score of 56, and since your capital budget has been cut every year for the last five years, you haven't had the opportunity to make energy upgrades to improve it much.
Indeed, your building, for the time being, isn't even a candidate for LEED-EBOM. That's because a prerequisite of certification is a minimum Energy Star score of 69.
So what do you do? The inclination of many FMs would be to simply throw up their hands and decide to put LEED off until later — whenever "later" might be. As Jenny Carney, a principal with YR&G Sustainability Consulting says, when you do your EBOM credit gap analysis, and realize you're too far away, it can be a quick stopping point.
It's one of the main differences between EBOM and NC - with NC, all the prerequisites require about the same amount of effort, Carney said. But with EBOM, you could spend two years just getting your building up to the prerequisite-level Energy Star score.
In this case, the best strategy, she said, is to set incremental goals. Obviously, you're not going to be able to go from uncertified to LEED-EBOM Platinum in six months. Instead, build in milestone markers and budget accordingly.
As with most challenges, this is an opportunity in disguise. As you go through and work on your efficiency projects, there's nothing that says you can't begin implementing other operational policies and procedures for which you can get credit in EBOM. That way, on that exciting day when your building finally reaches your Energy Star goal, you'll be all ready to take the next step for certification.
2. Where Are The LEED-EBOM Points Available?
Today's tip is about the points breakdown in the LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance rating system.
Without looking, do you know which category offers the second-most points after Energy and Atmosphere, which offers 35? You may be surprised to learn it's actually Sustainable Sites, with 26. That may seem odd to some facility managers, that there are so many points for site available for an existing building rating system. But a big chunk of the Sustainable Sites available points is to develop plans for alternative transportation for building occupants. Points are also available for cool roofing, stormwater control strategies and pest control.
The Indoor Environmental Quality section lands in third for points, with 15 available points. It also has three prerequisite, tied with Energy and Atmosphere for the most of any section. Water Efficiency is fourth with 14 available points, and Materials & Resources has 10 available points.
The last two categories include the Innovation in Operations section - where 6 points are available for exemplary performance in any of the other LEED credits or for creative sustainable strategies. Finally, four points are available for regional priority credits. This section was an addition to last year's LEED 2009 revamp.
In total, 100 points are available, and facility managers need 40 for the Certified level, 50 for Silver, 60 for Gold and 80 for Platinum.