USGBC Expands LEED Volume Program to Building Operations
By Evan Dick
Retailer Kohl's is among the early participants in the LEED-EBOM Volume certification program. Real estate companies Bentall Kennedy and Cushman & Wakefield have also had several buildings certified under the new program already.
Large property owners and managers are increasingly turning to LEED to certify not only their new buildings but also their operations, through LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance (LEED-EBOM). To meet that need, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) now offers volume LEED-EBOM certification through its LEED Volume Program, introduced in 2010 (see LEED Volume Certification Program Launched). The program streamlines the certification process for larger LEED customers—those seeking certification for 25 or more buildings within three years.
Like the volume program for LEED design and construction, the program for LEED-EBOM focuses on a LEED prototype as the basis for volume certification. Rather than relying on design and construction elements and physical features, though, the prototype uses standardized strategies and quality-control measures for maintenance and management that can be implemented across a variety of dissimilar buildings.
The prototype is designed to target LEED credits that are not site-specific. For example, the retailer Kohl’s has certified 59 stores through the LEED-EBOM volume program and reports increased energy efficiency and reduced indoor and outdoor water use. As with the volume program for design and construction, the program for LEED-EBOM considers technical and managerial uniformity as well as quality control and education plans as key components for certification. There is an audit and penalty structure to make sure that customers meet their commitments to the program.
More information about the LEED Volume Program and the application process is available on the U.S. Green Building Council website.