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Building Operating Management

Successful LEED-EBOM Projects Require Resourcefulness, Realistic Timelines





Even with a very efficient building, say one with an Energy Star score of 100, like The Aventine, a 250,000-square-foot multitenant facility in La Jolla, Calif., EBOM is far from a slam dunk. Other obstacles often arise. Carlos Santamaria, vice president of engineering services for Glenborough, The Aventine's management firm, says that when he went to the general partners to propose EBOM in late 2008, he was denied the funds. The economy was just beginning to melt down and panic was setting in. The missed opportunity kept him up at night, Santamaria says. He says he started thinking about Radar O'Reilly from MASH, who was always resourceful, and decided to explore other ways to get the funding. This included petitioning vendors for sponsorships to pay for the LEED consultant and the LEED submission fees. "They found it valuable to be able to use a LEED Platinum building in their marketing," he says. After that, in the midst of the EBOM initiative, a key property manager left. "The new property manager had to be brought up to speed and expected to contribute at the same level," he says. "That was a huge challenge for us, especially when you're going after Platinum and every point is critical."

For Santamaria, neither of those presented insurmountable obstacles, and the building was awarded its LEED-EBOM Platinum certification in December 2010.

4. Timelines and Goals — Realistically Speaking

Once you've performed the gap analysis, and have a reasonable degree of certainty that you're a "go" on your EBOM initiative, that it fits within an approved cost structure, and that your staff and management are on board, it's time to spell out exactly who should do what, and for how long. Goal-setting and responsibility delegation are essential to ensure that you stay on track throughout a difficult six months to a year — or longer. Throughout the initiative, "continuously review the whole process, daily and weekly," says Rerat.

And don't get discouraged if you're coming up on the deadline and you're not quite ready yet. Just press forward. At Harvard, Smith says a goal of June 2011 for submitting for LEED for the Blackstone South Office Building fell by the wayside. But the team didn't stop, and submitted in September, earning its certification in January.

"It's an intensive process, and it does take time," says Smith. "This isn't the only thing people are doing, and sometimes there are breaks. But you have to stay focused. You have to make it a priority."


posted on 4/20/2012

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