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Building Operating Management

Planning Green: LEED Strategies for Existing Buildings





The U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) newest iteration of its LEED for Existing Building rating system — officially titled LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (LEED-EB:O&M) — offers many tools to help facility executives avoid greenwash. USGBC touts LEED-EB:O&M as a blueprint for a holistic green facility management plan.

Joe Havey, senior vice president of U.S. corporate real estate for Lehman Brothers, offers some tips for getting the most out of LEED-EB:O&M:

  • Use EPA’s Portfolio Manager program and benchmark the building’s ENERGY STAR score. LEED-EB awards points with ENERGY STAR scores of 63 (one LEED point), 67 (two points), 71 (three points), and so on.
  • Implement no- and low-cost energy conservation measures, including an internal audit of heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) operations. Review tenant requests for weeknight and weekend HVAC. Denver Place implemented this at no cost in 1995 and started saving over $20,000 annually.
  • Meet with your local utility company regarding their retrocommissioning program. Focus on cost-effective ways to optimize your building’s performance. Forecast impact on increasing ENERGY STAR scores and LEED points.
  • Provide mandatory training and education programs for on-site managers and staff on topics such as energy management, utility costs, demand control, load-shedding and lighting retrofits.
  • Prepare for the LEED-AP exam. Classes are readily available through many sources. Read the USGBC Reference Guide twice.
  • Hire a LEED-EB expert to assist with the property analysis and LEED administration.
  • Do rough-cut, first-pass analysis of LEED points that are readily achievable.
  • Use the ENERGY STAR Building Manual to assess feasibility of various energy retrofits. Get “order of magnitude” cost estimates for various projects.
  • Assess rough feasibility, without incurring large consulting fees, of achieving various LEED ratings (Certified, Silver, Gold, Platinum).

posted on 9/1/2008

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