Some buildings not living up to green label

There's no guarantee that earning LEED will lead to energy savings, but one consulting company is now guaranteeing LEED certification.

08/31/2009


According to a story in The New York Times , the Federal Building in downtown Youngstown, Ohio, features an extensive use of natural light to illuminate offices and a white roof to reflect heat.

It has U.S. Green Building Council LEED certification, the country's most recognized seal of approval for green buildings.
But the building is hardly a model of energy efficiency. According to an environmental assessment last year, it did not score high enough to qualify for the Energy Star label granted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which ranks buildings after looking at a year's worth of utility bills.

The building's cooling system, a major gas guzzler, was one culprit. Another was its design: to get its LEED label, it racked up points for things like native landscaping rather than structural energy-saving features, according to a study by the General Services Administration , which owns the building.

Wayne Robertson is a consulting engineer and the founder of Energy Ace Inc. , a firm that guarantees LEED certification for its clients. According to Robertson's story on Reuters , the process to "LEED" is fickle and unpredictable. For every project, there are hundreds of different sustainability combinations that can be used in order to meet certification requirements. It is not hard to envision the potential for failure to occur.

Facing government and industry mandates requiring higher levels of sustainability, engineers, contractors, and sustainability consultants are finding themselves between that proverbial rock and a hard place. Their clients want a guarantee that the project will be LEED-certified, but there is no hard and fast formula for LEED certification.

If an Energy Ace project misses its LEED target level or fails to earn certification, the client is refunded its LEED administration fee, which typically runs 30% to 45% of the total project fee. This is a relatively small price to pay in comparison to the prospect of a potential lawsuit involving attorney fees and damages that could dwarf initial consulting fees.

Taking the threat of a lawsuit out of the equation helps keep consultants focused on the task at hand. Because clients go into the agreement with eyes open (with regard to the failure clause), this model has the extra benefit of keeping the client committed to the task.

Read a Sept. 3 update on this story from Environmental Leader.

 





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
The true cost of lubrication: Three keys to consider when evaluating oils; Plant Engineering Lubrication Guide; 11 ways to protect bearing assets; Is lubrication part of your KPIs?
Contract maintenance: 5 ways to keep things humming while keeping an eye on costs; Pneumatic systems; Energy monitoring; The sixth 'S' is safety
Transport your data: Supply chain information critical to operational excellence; High-voltage faults; Portable cooling; Safety automation isn't automatic
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Maintaining low data center PUE; Using eco mode in UPS systems; Commissioning electrical and power systems; Exploring dc power distribution alternatives
Synchronizing industrial Ethernet networks; Selecting protocol conversion gateways; Integrating HMIs with PLCs and PACs
Why manufacturers need to see energy in a different light: Current approaches to energy management yield quick savings, but leave plant managers searching for ways of improving on those early gains.

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.