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What specific steps should facility managers take after certification is achieved to ensure the building maintains its certified level of performance?
The vast majority of active LEED-EBOM projects right now are initial certifications. That means that a lot of projects will soon be up for recertification (required within 1–5 years), but it also means that there is not a lot of collective experience on recertification.
Adoption of sustainability metrics into job descriptions is the most important component in successful recertfication, says LEED-EBOM consultant and head of Ackerstein Sustainability, Dan Ackerstein.
If, as Ackerstein points out, facility managers’ success is often measured by two metrics—occupant complaints and staying within their budget—there has to be a third number that is sustainability based. A LEED score that can be generated each year through tracking that becomes a routine part of everyone’s job can be that third metric.
The facility manager isn’t the only relevant job. Maintaining LEED-compliant purchasing and solid-waste diversion rates might be metrics for other individuals’ job descriptions, for example.
“If the next time we talk about certification is four years after we get our plaque, it’s not going to work,” says Ackerstein, who advises for annual LEED discussions, at a minimum.
Also, keep in mind that USGBC and GBCI themselves don’t yet have a lot of experience on recertification, and they haven’t put out a great deal of information on how it works. Just as there were some bumps in the road with the launch of LEED 2009, I would expect some bumps with LEED recertification—and I would watch closely for information and systems to develop.
How To Maintain (Or Improve Upon) Certification