After inspecting, verifying, documenting, data collecting, months of meetings, reviews, submittals and clarifications you’ve finally reached your goal. Your building is now LEED certified. Whether it earned platinum, gold or silver, however, the job is far from over.
Before the shine fades from the plaque, you’ll have to resubmit the necessary documentation in order to maintain the certification. The LEED requirements are not something tucked away in a file somewhere only to be dusted off for renewal. Once certification is awarded, it’s now time to live up to the standards. So what’s next?
Everyone involved with the operation of a green facility must review and assess their LEED practices against the baseline established when LEED status was first achieved. The criteria for LEED is continually being refined. Part of your review is understanding the current standards and adapting to them.
There are a number of points to consider. Are the cleaning standards being met? Are your recycling numbers different since you were first certified? Are we following up with your new and existing tenants to remind them of their role and educating them on proven green practices? Has the engineering team been diligent in tracking, measuring and documenting energy and water efficiency goals in Energy Star? If so how is it trending? Is it time to have that discussion with the owner to address the potential savings identified during the commissioning?
The process is really no different than when a new facility is built and turned over. The finished product is just the beginning. The challenge to maintain and improve is ongoing. A team effort from ownership, management, engineering, housekeeping, security and the tenants is required to keep your LEED certification current.