Archives for May 2012

LEED Eats its Young

LEED 2012 is just around the corner and, as expected, accessibility will plummet. According to a recent blog LEED 2012: Too much change? , by Allison Beer McKenzie many who were previously committed to LEED have decided to abandon it if the proposed changes are implemented.

What really are the proposed changes? Among the many, here are some I found to be most impractical:

The number of prerequisites will increase from 9 to 15.
SERF ‘s policy is that all of our points are fully fungible. Our applicants select which sections they desire to pursue and which ones make little practical sense to them. Prerequisites also make it practically impossible to perform a compliance evaluation post construction. LEED must now (more than ever) be on the agenda right from the conceptual phase of the project, hence increasing design costs.

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Can Governments Really Afford LEED?

There seems a refreshing change in the air questioning municipal, state and federal agency mandates to LEED certify new structures under their purview.

No one finding their way here will question the environmental and social good–even a social demand–for building green by our public sector.  But in the midst of budget crises resulting in spending cuts at every level of government, the high cost of obtaining LEED certification (some 10 times higher than SERF, often more) is beginning to raise fiscal eyebrows.

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Paying (and paying) for the LEED Label

As mentioned in past blogs, the burdensome cost of LEED certification–measured in both time and money–lies in  consultant fees and documentation.  A very reliable study commissioned by the US General Services Administration (GSA) proves the point.

The GSA is an independent federal agency responsible for the construction, operation, and maintenance of federal facilities, including courthouses, office buildings, land ports of entry, and research facilities.

GSA commissioned this report to identify the incremental cost of LEED certification for two buildings: A new mid-rise federal Courthouse and a mid-rise federal office building modernization. The report analyzed both the incremental construction costs as well as soft costs–i.e. LEED-based documentation and consultation fees.

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