Wednesday, May 6, 2009

What I have found challenging about LEED so far

Since recently learning that I'd be managing/coordinating a LEED certification project, I have experienced the following challenges -

  1. I have no buildings experience, no mechanical engineering experience, no civil engineering experience. It's a new world of terminology that is foreign to me.
  2. The benefit of it being all encompassing is a double edge sword. You have to coordinate with a LOT of people. Unless your organization is magically organized around the LEED certification contstruct, the information you need is squirreled away in 15 different places.
  3. There's math involved. If it were financial math, I'd be modestly ok (I have an MBA, but let's just say finance has never been my specialty; same goes for accounting and statistics). But this is some engineering like math that is fairly complex (see #s 1 and 2 for elaboration on why this is hard for me).
  4. There are a number of assumptions that must be made, and it makes you feel like you can go horribly awry is this. Assume a certain peak load level of parking in your facility in order to calculate how you have reduced commuting impacts. Create some highly complex model for the average potable water use for water efficiencies (see #s 1-3 for elaboration).
  5. I am not a LEED Accredited Professional (AP) and don't have time to get certified. We need to start the process now if we're going to achieve this in a timely manner (which is never a good reason to hurry up and do bad planning).
  6. If people aren't willing to help you out, they can really cripple you. I don't foresee this, but it is going to be a group effort for sure.
  7. Just because there are LEED AP's around you, doesn't mean they know about "LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance" (LEED-EBOM), which is what I'm focusing on.
  8. With no experience in this, it is challenging to set a path forward. It is much easier to set up a schedule when you have a solid idea of what you are doing. Having a construction background would help.

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