It has been much talk about the LEED certification and the requirements needed to get it, but very little about what should then know to achieve this guarantee.
by Duvan Agudelo Chaverra
As we have detailed in previous articles, the LEED Certification Green Building Council US (USGBC - acronym) is a guarantee granted by this private entity to buildings (buildings or residences) that meet various requirements that make the property a sustainable building and high efficiency.
This certification has different categories from Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum, according to the type of construction and its technologies or resources installed. Obviously, this kind of buildings or residences significant investment needed to enter the list, resulting in that you must also take into account a responsible maintenance check the correct operation of the property.
It is for this reason that this time we asked about an issue that has not had the relevance it deserves: it is to know what happens in a building after obtaining some type of certification (regardless of category)? Can you lose the LEED Certification? How is tracking makes the USGBC?
To discuss these and other related topics, we invite José Luis Correa, director of the Colombian company KW Engineering, who is also Senior Consultant Sustainable Construction: Energy & Comfort, LEED AP O + M, and a member of Chapter Colombia ASHRAE.
To introduce the topic, it is important to discuss the basic requirements needed to maintain LLED Certification; in this regard, our guest commented. "We must meet minimum program requirements, all prerequisites and get at least 40 points in the credits These three themes vary LEED certification for sucking project, for example : BD + C (Building Design and Construction), O & M (Operation and Maintenance), etc. It is also important to always consult the corresponding LEED reference guide ".
Regarding the type of monitoring that makes the certification body to LEED buildings or residences, according to Jose Luis, this is an action that is rarely executed. However, during the 18 months after the certification, the USGBC construction can ask any documentation related to it. Also during this period, the council may schedule an observation visit.
Another aspect that causes concern among builders and building managers know whether a building is LEED must notify some kind of renewal that is done to the property after certification. On this matter, the expert engineer explained that "no notification is required, however, if the building is Certificate in Design and Construction (BD + C) and make greater changes to 50% of the total area or cause relocation of at least the 50% of the occupants, then it will be considered a new project. " It is that this project would come to qualify in another category.
What aspects should advise a building after obtaining the LEED Certification? According to our guest, administrators and technicians responsible for the operation and modernization of a property they should discuss different issues of utmost importance.
"Buildings should seek advice on measurement and verification to ensure that the project continues, and even improve, the performance levels achieved. They must also do so in advanced commissioning, reviewing, 10 months after completion of the project, and resolve if necessary that the operation of the building is maintained as designed, "said the director of KW Engineering.
The correct advice also allow you to understand that maintaining technologies and designs that made the building has certified some specific requirements. "Each prerequisite and credit LEED certification has a section dealing with considerations to take into account for the operation and maintenance".
Can you lose certification?
According to José Luis Correa, this kind of guarantee itself may be lost, for it is sufficient that in an area established rules are not followed or the subsequent monitoring process hindrance; however, unrelated cases are known. "Can I lose it: be denied access to the project for carrying out the audit or site visit, or not afford the review of information related to the certification, this will be revoked; not know cases in Colombia or internationally ".
However, LEED can recover or not, depending on the following circumstances: yes, if it was certified LEED in Operation and Maintenance (O & M) and let it pass over 5 years without renewal. No, if your certificate was revoked.
Finally, our guest shares his views against the current landscape of LEED certification in Latin America, highlighting its growth and emphasizing that greater government support to sustain and increase the current pace of construction to meet this guarantee is needed.
"Countries in Latin America have come will grow significantly in the field of sustainable construction, thus achieving large reductions in energy consumption, water use, emissions of carbon dioxide and solid waste generation. To sustain this pace, it is imperative to continue improving efficiency in buildings, and the continued implementation of certification schemes like LEED and building codes as the NTC in Colombia, that better policies, financial support and government support for organizations aimed at issues of sustainable construction generated ASHRAE and internationally. "