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Leed certification

Good question from a client today, we answer this question every few months, always glad to have informed clients.

Andrew Osterlund AIA LEED AP

OsterlundHall Architects||||


From: Andrew Osterlund [] Sent: Thursday, June 27, 2013 1:24 PM
To: M
Subject: RE: Leed certification

Hi M –

This is one of my favorite questions, and I’ll pursue it with you as far as you dare. My partner and I are both LEED accredited, and we would love to see [your project] LEED certified. Here’s the breakdown:

1. Is it possible – YES, absolutely, you are an ideal candidate. You are pursuing urban settings, reusing materials, and considering overt and expressive sustainable strategies in your design. You are committed to your concept.

2. Costs – Certification is a process of documentation, form-filling, contractor coordination, and review by the certification board in DC.

a. Certification fees: $1200 + $2750 = $3950

b. Coordination fees: our office [fees are x] for this time-intensive process.

c. Construction costs – This is a matter of value and budget. Sustainable materials, reuse, and urban locations are similar cost to destructive or unspecified materials and settings. ADDING systems such as rain capture or photovoltaics do add cost upfront that can be recouped in energy savings. Sustainable planning, including building orientation to the sun and daylighting decisions do not add cost, and are included in your fees of working with an expert and conscientious design firm like ours!

3. Programs – I know of subsidies for photovoltaics, jobs programs for new businesses in underserved areas, but not for the LEED certification status itself.

4. Reasons – for business, LEED is about marketing. LEED gives us a guideline for being progressive in sustainability, and gives us a means to communicate that investment. These are design decisions you and we are already making, and LEED is an authority that lets you promote your values.

5. Criticisms – LEED can allow a company to be rewarded for imprudent decisions. For example, LEED buildings can be less efficient and more carbon-intensive than standard construction. However, a well-reasoned design process can avoid those pitfalls.

6. Timing – the LEED decision should be made during the design process (where we are now.)

Hope that helps! I’m always happy to talk this through. Most clients stop listening after point #2 above, but it is fair to expect that LEED Certification will bring significant marketing attention to your project.

Andrew Osterlund AIA LEED AP

OsterlundHall Architects||||


From: M
Sent: Thursday, June 27, 2013 12:47 PM
To: Andrew Osterlund
Subject: Leed certification

Hey I have been researching LEED Certification for our drive thru. Do you think this is a possiblity? I bet it costs more up front but could save on operating costs. Are there any government tax savings for doing this as well (probably a question for my cpa).

What are the requirements?


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Osterlund Architects is a full-service architecture and interior design firm, committed to our clients and their work from concept through construction, and through to their next opportunity. Our firm has expertise in all project phases, including programming, pre-design and planning through construction administration and closeout, as well as interior design, including furniture, fixtures and equipment (FFE) services.

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