In some cases, the LEED checklist can include add-ons that are required for certification but are not necessary for the client. These unplanned and unneeded items, such as bike racks and showers, add unforeseen costs and are a source of frustration to the client. A good designer will find ways to maneuver through the checklist and incorporate the “hidden” costs into the allotted budget of the project. However, these are still dollars that could have been saved or applied towards other desired features. Because not every client “fits” the traditional checklist approach, LEED certification requirements are responding to the increasing need for clients to understand how their building performs beyond the certification plaque.
In the age of data, the future of the sustainable building industry will be based on performance requirements, goals, and targets. Familiarity with the various certification standards allows designers to look beyond the rating system specifics to the core commonalities of building performance to achieve a client’s goals. By working with clients to determine goals and the resulting project requirements, designers will be held accountable to a measurable outcome. The questions of “How much?” “How good?” and “To what level?” enables designers to convert a client’s goals and objectives into measurable performance criteria.
Without evidence-based performance, owners can only hope that their buildings perform as expected.
Only by comparing simulated and actual performance, can an owner determine whether a building has achieved the goals set forth at the start of the project.
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