Formal LEED-EBOM Certification
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: This PagePt. 2: Tips On Difficult LEED-EBOM CreditsPt. 3: Working With Other Departments on a LEED-EBOM InitiativePt. 4: How To Maintain (Or Improve Upon) Certification
Why should facility managers take the extra steps and take on the extra cost to go through formal certification when they could simply use the rating system as a guide for free?
If you want to dip your feet in the LEED water but not fully commit to certification, using the rating system as a checklist can be a good starting point. However, don’t think that you’ll get the same result if you skip completing all the LEED documentation and having a third-party scrutinize it.
As Dan Ackerstein, a LEED-EBOM consultant, told me, “It’s tempting for a facility manager to say to his guys, ‘What are we doing on X?’”—indoor air quality auditing for IEQc1.1, for example. “They say, ‘We’ve got X covered,’ and that’s the end of the conversation.”
The same situation can unfold with vendors. Let’s say you’re reviewing green cleaning products used by your vendors. You get your rep on the phone and she tells you that the cleaning program used in your facility is top-notch.
Without LEED certification to verify data and results, how many facilities managers will take the next step and ask for an itemized list of purchases with dollar amounts and sustainability criteria used for selecting each product? And then take the next step, scrutinize it, and ask for changes to improve sustainability objectives? If you’re one of the few doing this without LEED to spur things along, my hat’s off.
Hiring a LEED-EBOM consultant adds another expense, but used properly, it can be cost-effective. As Ackerstein says, “It’s helpful to have the consultant working as the bad cop, while the facility manager is saying to their people, ‘I know this documentation is ridiculous, but just do it.’”