What factors should an owner consider to find the most value
in the process?
Make sure that the RFP includes what you want out of the
certification process. Are you also trying to solve an indoor air
quality issue? Improve energy performance? Cut expenses? If
you have goals other than LEED, be sure that those are clearly
identified up front so that consultants have a chance to get
into greater depth in their proposal.
For the same reason, an owner shouldn’t necessarily go into
the process with a given certification level in mind. That will only
encourage a consultant to figure out the quickest and cheap-est path to the certification goal, which may not align with your
performance goals. That approach can result in spending money
on points that don’t add much long-term value.
What should owners do before writing an RFP?
One mistake is to ask on day one, without knowing where
your building stands, for the full price to get EBOM certification. We recommend first hiring a consultant to do a gap
analysis, which is a simple way to identify the best path to
certification. A consultant comes to the building, does a site
walkthrough, reviews its ENERGY STAR score and building
BUILDINGS editor Chris Olson talked recently with Brad Pease of
Seattle-based green consultant Paladino and Company about
factors that undermine the value for building owners in the
What obstacles and opportunities do building owners
overlook when pursuing LEED for existing facilities?
LEED has created a fantastic common
language to talk about green certification.
It allows an owner to put out a certification
RFP and consultants in the marketplace
to understand what the owner wants. The
owner will probably receive a number of
comparable proposals from consultants.
But that ease can be misleading. There
are many paths to accumulate points for a
certification goal, but the paths have different value for the building owner. LEED
is a rating system based on optional points. To get the most
out of the process, owners need to collect the points that have
the greatest value to them; a blanket RFP may miss those key
points if they are not called out.
Gaining the Greatest Value from Existing