Practical Approach – LEED Certification & Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

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Having LEED certification may prove to be an extremely powerful tool for companies looking out for Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).

Leadership in Energy and Efficient Design or LEED as popularly known; is a certification given by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED energy modeling is the new-age design that has to a certain extent transformed the way buildings are constructed, remodeled, maintained or operated.

This program has numerous criteria including sustainable site, water and energy efficiency, quality of indoor environment, along with the materials and resources used for construction.

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Getting a LEED certification may prove to be a great avenue for achieving long – term and highly beneficial goals, since GRI reports identify different ways to improve in these areas, and they create an environment impacting these factors.

So, if you are looking towards achieving that coveted LEED certification and meet your GRI goals; here are some of the strategies that may help you get through.

1. Set LEED-Certification Targets Smartly – Go for Targets that Closely Correlate with GRI Goals:

As we know, LEED certification passes through four levels like certified (has 40-49 points), with silver, you can garner 50 to 59 points, gold gives you 60 to 79 points and platinum bestows 80+ points.

You can achieve desired certification level by correlating it with goals resulting from GRI reporting. Let’s take an example; if your organization desired to focus energy efficiency, then you may associate it with maximizing passive solar gains, as well as installation of daylight-responsive controls.

This creates an opportunity to improve your organization’s built environment as it closely correlates to the social, environmental and financial performance.

2. Use Lifecycle Value Engineering:

When designing the project, decide expenses across the lifecycle of the building and how it may affect the building performance.

Instead of this cost-value engineering, one can take up Lifecycle value engineering as it takes a broader view on features having higher upfront cost — but will quickly pay for their own self. These money-saving features may lower energy or water use adequate to pay for themselves in decreased operating costs within a few of months, even though it has high upfront cost. This view also enables the team to bring into line with GRI tracking.

3. Get a Goal-Oriented Team:

A team with a common goal and desires, which works collectively and constantly toward achieving it – makes it much easier to achieve the required result. Make sure that everyone on board including architects, engineers, developers, subcontractors, project managers, landscape designers, are well aware of the LEED and GRI goals as well as their outcomes. Be open to their suggestions and feedback.

4. Set High Goals Stimulate Creativity:

Some organizations set higher or unrealistic goals for LEED certification in the initial planning phase itself to spur creativity and out-of-the-box thinking among the team mates. This may prove to be helpful, but if in earlier brainstorming sessions if it turns out that some of the ideas are high-priced or don’t pass a cost analysis, narrowing down these plans is much more advisable.

Attaining LEED certification might not be a cake walk; but aforementioned strategies may work to your advantage in achieving this not so difficult goal!

 

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About Author:

Bhushan Avsatthi

Bhushan Avsatthi is a senior manager, consultant, BIM expert and a green building advisor with more than 15 years of industry experience. Bhushan imbibes the prophecy of efficient and prudent use of energy in his day to day life and advices his team to do so as well. He is also involved in green initiatives like nonprofit tree plantation project and promotes using cycles for commuting small distances. Bhushan, handles a team of architects, Structural and MEP engineers, LEED consultants and Energy modeling experts.

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