by Timothy Hughes
The USGBC has imposed extended reporting requirements as part of its minimum program requirements for LEED. It appears the extended reporting already adopted may only be an initial step. We may see extended reporting requirements backed up by decertification; we may see on-going recertification as a basic part of LEED program structure. I admit this is speculative, but we may be seeing a shift from LEED using energy modeling towards an actual performance model.
Given the overall goal of improved building performance implicit in LEED, these changes and speculated upon shifts may make sense technically. These changes, however, raise some significant questions regarding risk and responsibility. The ultimate impact on risk, and thus embedded costs, of these changes may vary dramatically from state to state because of each state’s underlying legal framework. Placing these changes into the complex network of construction contracts, contractual allocations of risk, and shared responsibilities raises some interesting observations and questions:
These are just a few of the wrinkles that come the mind when one places an overlay of extended performance obligations into the context of LEED. We will keep a close watch on these developments moving forward. We believe that continued movement on the extended performance axis by USGBC will have some serious economic impact on the financial aspects of LEED projects, who “wins” and who “loses” based on these changes, and where bottlenecks may develop on the economic risk side of the equation in reaction to extended performance obligations.