The Three Biggest LEED-EBOM Challenges

OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: The First Steps Of A LEED-EBOM InitiativePt. 2: The Advantages of the LEED Accredited Professional ProgramPt. 3: This PagePt. 4: Getting Started on a LEED-EBOM Initiative Now

What are the three biggest challenges FMs face during any EBOM initiative?

Figuring out what to do, meeting the prerequisites and getting “buy-in” from the project team.

Figuring out what to do. Since FMs typically manage only a few facilities, even if they have completed a LEED-EBOM certification previously, their experience level is probably low.  There are 11 prerequisites and 110 points within the LEED-EBOM program, so even if the FM has used the program before, chances are that he or she has not experienced the intricacies of 110 different LEED points. Here again the value of engaging a knowledgeable LEED-EBOM consultant for advice and guidance in evident. Even if the consultant is only engaged to conduct the charrette (a brainstorming session) for the project, it is time and money well spent because the Consultant will give the FM peace-of-mind that the project is heading in the right direction.

Meeting the prerequisites. Most facilities have not implemented a comprehensive operations and maintenance program like LEED-EBOM before. Therefore the requirements of the prerequisites may be foreign to the project team. If all prerequisites are not met the project cannot achieve LEED-EBOM certification, so focusing the project team on collecting the necessary data and preparing the required documentation is paramount to a successful LEED effort.

Getting “buy-in” from the project team. Our experience with LEED-EBOM project teams has been a mixed bag.  Some people accept their responsibilities with open arms, realizing that becoming knowledgeable about LEED and applying it to their facility will be good for the facility and good for them personally. On the other hand, many people look at LEED-EBOM as just “more work to do." These folks have been known to slow the process down and even sabotage the strategy. That’s why getting “buy-in” from the project team is so important. The LEED consultant should help the FM in charge of the project with coordinating and communicating the organization’s sustainability initiatives to the team and clearly spelling out how they fit with the mission of the organization in order to ensure a successful LEED-EBOM project. Another helpful strategy is to conduct a LEED-EBOM training session as the project is starting in order to help the team understand the details of the LEED program so that their assignments are not a mystery.

Answers provided by Charlie Popeck (, President, Green Ideas Sustainability Consultants. 

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  posted on 6/7/2012   Article Use Policy

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