- Set a clear environmental target. Before you begin the design phase of your project, decide what level of LEED® certification you’re aiming for and settle on a firm overall budget. Also, consider including an optional higher certification target — a “stretch” goal — to stimulate creativity.
- Set a budget that is clear, concise and adequate. If you’re reaching for a higher level of certification, such as Platinum, additional expenditure will be required. Budget for these extra steps accordingly.
Stick to your budget and your LEED® goal. Throughout out the design and building process, be sure your entire project team is focused on meeting your LEED® goal on budget. Maintain the environmental and economic integrity of your project at every turn.
- Engineer for Life Cycle Value. As you value-engineer your project, examine your green investments in terms of how they’ll affect expenses over the entire life of the building. Before you decide to cut a line item, look first at its relationship to other features to see if keeping it will help you achieve money-saving synergies, as well as LEED® credits. Many energy-saving features allow for the resizing or elimination of other equipment or reduce total capital costs by paying for themselves immediately or within a few months of operation. Prior to beginning, set your goals for “life cycle” value engineering rather than “first cost” value engineering.
- Only Hire LEED®-accredited professionals. Thousands of architects, consultants, engineers, product marketers, environmentalists and other building industry professionals around the country have a demonstrated knowledge of green building and the LEED® rating system and process — and can assist you in meeting your goal. These professionals can suggest ways to earn LEED® credits without extra cost, identify means of offsetting certain expenses with savings in other areas, and spot opportunities for synergies in your project.