The last few weeks I’ve been cramming for the LEED Commercial Interiors AP exam. It’s a bear of material to memorize. It’s also turning out to be information well worth knowing.
Rest assured, over the next few years green building construction as defined by the LEED certification process is going to be a Tsunami of change crashing upon the construction industry.
A huge chunk of public work is going to require LEED construction techniques. I’ve been hearing rumors about pressure being applied to Fortune 500 companies who receive government contracts. Don’t be surprised if several of the techniques work their way into building codes.
No trade is going to be left untouched. My former trade is one that is suffering some of the most dramatic impact.
Prior to jumping sides, I was a consulting mechanical engineer who designed, commmissioned, and retro-commissioned many a mechanical system. I often went into the field to take performance data on existing sytems, designed retro-fits, verified system start-up, tested control systems, and tuned control loops. Many of the services our select manufacturing clients valued – and no commercial clients ever were willing to pay for – are now being required by LEED.
To say that I am shocked and delighted would be a grand understatement. The positive impact on mechanical engineers, mechanical contractors, test and balance contractors, and operations and maintenance staffs is almost mind-boggling. Finally, buildings and their occupants will receive mechanical systems that operate as they should to maintain comfort and health with minimal energy consumption.
Your trade will be touched. Bank on it.
Your costs will rise as productivity drops, materials cost more. material handing consumes more time and the volume of paperwork sky rockets.
My recommendation is:
1. Learn the LEED requirements that apply to you.
2. Take on a couple of small LEED projects to get a feel for the change in job costs.
3. Build your strategy to take advantage of competitors who fail to respond to the rapidly changing landscape.