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What are the first steps facility managers should consider before embarking upon a LEED-EBOM initiative?
Before embarking on any LEED initiative, the FM and staff should become educated about sustainable design, operations and maintenance. A great way to learn is to become a LEED Accredited Professional with an “Operations and Maintenance” specialty. This education and accreditation will arm the FM with a thorough understanding of the LEED-EBOM program, and give them the confidence to move forward.
From a project perspective, there are several “first steps” that an FM should consider, including determining what your objectives are for the project. Typical objectives include improved operations and maintenance performance like energy and water savings, earning an Energy Star label, improved employee productivity, PR and outreach or earning tax incentives. After objectives are determined, the FM should identify any financial requirements for the project that the building owner may require like payback requirements, ROI for any necessary improvements to the property, etc. The ultimate goal of this first phase is to use all of this information to define the “Owner’s Project Requirements” (OPR) that is necessary for the LEED-EBOM program.
The next step is to identify the targeted LEED-EBOM certification goal (Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum) and the preferred timing for earning certification. Timing and scheduling is very important with a LEED-EB: O&M project because it’s all about the Performance Period.
It’s very valuable and cost-effective to engage a knowledgeable LEED consultant at this point (or earlier) who has experience with the LEED-EBOM program and your particular project type. An experienced LEED-EBOM Consultant will help to develop a high-level certification strategy for the project and create an initial timeline for certification, including the LEED-EBOM Performance Period. Additionally, the consultant should coordinate and communicate the organization-wide sustainability initiatives and how they fit with the mission of the organization in order to ensure a successful project.
Answers provided by Charlie Popeck (firstname.lastname@example.org), President, Green Ideas Sustainability Consultants
The First Steps Of A LEED-EBOM Initiative
The Advantages of the LEED Accredited Professional Program
The Three Biggest LEED-EBOM Challenges
Getting Started on a LEED-EBOM Initiative Now