Getting Up To Speed On LEED: Green Building Facts & LEED Lessons

January 12, 2015 at 7:08 am  •  Posted in Building Green  •  0 Comments

With the demand for green buildings on the upswing, it’s no surprise that achieving LEED certification—the “Holy Grail” for green buildings—is a top sustainability goal.

From money-saving rebates to zoning allowances and energy savings, green buildings are worth their weight in gold.

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Most contractors are up to speed on energy-efficient buildings and LEED. But are you spending enough time evaluating your LEED tasks before the bid? What could you learn from seasoned industry veterans? In this article, we’ll dive into a few green building facts and LEED lessons from the pros.

Green Building Facts

According to the Green Building Council, in 2012, U.S. respondents to an international survey projected that 58 percent of their building activities in 2015 would be green.

Because knowing is half the battle, here are a few more green building facts:

  • Energy-efficiency financing has the potential to climb from $20 to $150 billion annually. When that happens, over one million jobs could be created. (Cha-ching!)
  • From 2011 to 2012, the number of LEED-certified federal building projects in America increased by more than 50 percent.

In other words, buckle up, folks: The demand for energy-efficient buildings isn’t going away anytime soon. To win bigger and better business, now’s the time to beef up on LEED.

LEED Lessons From The Pros

To help you better manage green building projects, here are a few lessons learned from a LEED consultant, David Gibney of M+W Group. (Thanks to Building Design & Construction for the info.)

Review LEED Expectations During The Pre-Bid

Let’s say you’re working on lighting for a new building. Will you take the time to evaluate LEED tasks before signing off on your bid? Is everyone on the same page, or will dreaded “scope creep” start with minor adjustments, then quickly snowball from there?

If your bid doesn’t reflect the work at hand, timelines get stretched out, profits take a nosedive, and everyone scrambles to keep up. Guess who eats the loss? That’s right, you.

While today’s contractors are pretty comfortable with LEED, oversights still happen. According to Gibney, many contractors neglect to evaluate their required LEED tasks when bidding. To make sure your proposal lines up with a project’s LEED requirements, I recommend you go over everything in detail during the pre-bid process.

Get Clear On LEED Goals

If the building design team changes gears on LEED requirements midway through a project, there’s not much you can do. Hopefully you have an ironclad contract that specifies what happens in such scenarios.

According to Gibney, too many projects list a certain LEED rating as a project goal, not requirement. That kind of ambiguity doesn’t exactly compel the construction team to meet any level of certification—and therein lies the rub.

Before you get started on a LEED project, make sure everyone’s on the same page. Is LEED listed as a requirement in the project manual? Should it be? When push comes to shove, having everything down on paper can help you reduce contractual uncertainties.

Graybar Can Help

Wading through the myriad of LEED requirements can be challenging. And there’s no shame in asking for help. Graybar’s LEED® Green Building Certification program was designed to help you navigate many of the various prerequisite and credit categories for each of the LEED-rating systems. Click here to learn more.

Over To You

What’s your experience with LEED projects? Join the conversation by leaving a comment below, or connecting with us on Twitter @GraybarESP or on Facebook.

Todd Reed, National Market ManagerAbout The Author
Todd Reed, National Market Manager

Husband to a professionally licensed architectural engineer and lighting designer, and son-in-law to an electrician, Todd knows the importance of efficiency, safety, and productivity for electrical contractors. Todd is a seasoned professional, with 5 years’ experience within a family-owned distribution business and 10 years as a senior Graybar employee. As National Market Manager at Graybar, Todd’s goal is to find the best products and solutions to help contractors work more efficiently, stay safe on the job, and win more productive and profitable business.

Sources & Credits
U.S. Green Building Council: Green Building Facts
Building Design + Construction: Top 10 LEED lessons learned from a green building veteran

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