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Six Steps To LEED-EBOM
May 9, 2012 -
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Today's tip is about six important steps any facility manager should take when endeavoring upon a LEED for Existing Buildings, Operations and Maintenance (or LEED-EBOM) initiative.
The first step is to know your rating system. Make sure you've spent the requisite time studying and understanding what LEED-EBOM will require in terms of calculations, data management, policy creation, and future recertification.
Secondly, do a gap analysis to determine where your building is now, and what will need to be done to meet the requirements of LEED-EBOM. This means calculating your Energy Star score, as well as taking a hard look at existing policies and procedures - green cleaning, for one.
Third, don't give up before you’ve even started. What I mean by this, is that if you calculate your Energy Star score, and it's well below the minimum 69 required for any level of certification, it may be tempting to throw up your hands and quit. Don’t. Use a stepped approach to energy efficiency over a finite period of time to improve your score, and then look at LEED-EBOM as a whole again.
Fourth, do set timelines and goals. This means being realistic, without overtaxing your staff. Too long a timeline, and EBOM may slip down the priority list, but too short a timeline, and you'll anger your staff by possibly overworking them. Also, set goals for which credits you hope to achieve and at what level. And of course, set a certification goal - certified, silver, gold or platinum.
Fifth, understand you can’t go it alone. Get your tenants, occupants, upper managers, and most importantly, your staff, highly involved with your LEED-EBOM initiative. The more involvement, the more buy-in. And the more buy-in, the more support you'll have for any new policies and procedures.
Finally, make sure you have long-term plans. Understand that, unlike LEED for New Construction, LEED-EBOM is NOT a one-time certification. The U.S. Green Building Council requires recertification at least every five years. Most experts suggest planning for your recertification as soon as you receive the certification plaque. That way, you always have a goal — a way to keep your eye on the prize.