Successful LEED certification takes time and proper planning. Unlike LEED for New Construction, certifying an existing building is more of a journey than a singular event. It might take years of planning and execution to achieve.
The first step is to register the project on the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) website. This process involves providing contact information and basic project descriptions, including square footage, location, site area, and building type. Managers also can set up a preliminary scorecard and track the certification process.
The next step is to acquire the needed technical support from in-house staff and outside consultants and begin integrating LEED requirements into operations and maintenance. Because LEED-EB: O&M is operations-driven, it requires a substantial amount of time from managers, as well as from executive- and director-level personnel responsible for procurement and planning. Although time is the true currency in LEED-EB: O&M, managers might need to establish budgets for capital upgrades.
The next step is to begin the process of documenting the project in LEED-Online, a web-based tool that allows in-house staff and consultants to manage project details and document compliance of the various credits and prerequisites. Once managers have substantiated this documentation, they can submit it online to GBCI reviewers, who assess the documentation and provide feedback that ultimately should result in certification.
Managers also need to be aware of certification fees, which begin at $1,500 for members and $2,000 for non-members for projects up to 50,000 square feet. For larger facilities, the fees are $0.03 per square foot for members or $0.04 per square foot for non-members.
A Facility Manager's Guide to LEED-EB O&M Rating System
Overview of Points System for LEED-EB O&M
Successful LEED EB O&M Certification May Take Years to Achieve
Options to Explore When LEED EB O&M Certification Not Possible