[Sometimes I get great emails from readers and we discuss a green building topic or blog post. Then I sit on the topic for a while, waiting for the right time to share with the Green Building Law Update readers. Now seems like the right time to share an email I received from a reader.
I received this great email from a reader who manages the operations and maintenance of a LEED Gold Certified building. What follows is his response to my question "how are the green building efforts going?"]
At its best the going is very slow. At its worst… we’re kind of afraid to go. I’m meeting with the building HVAC technician once a week to try & review our LEED report and the 2.1 spec. We have a request in to our boss for information/documentation from the architectural firm that got us certified (M&V plan, etc.). We may or may not be deemed worthy of actually talking to the firm. I’m also putting in a request to purchase the ASHRAE books we seem to need (55, 90.1, etc.). Right now I’m kind of frustrated with two aspects of this whole thing: 1) the lack of resources for anyone inheriting these buildings 2) the lack of clarity regarding who owns what. The HVAC tech & I are pretty sure we’re only verifying we got the building that was sold to us, but we have NO idea exactly how much of this we have to verify, how exactly to verify it, and how much we’ll suffer for calling out anything wrong. State mentality FTL, I know, but blue-collars are that way due to experience.
There’s the geek part of me that wants to set aside a portion of the Web to try and do something about this. But where do I start? My understanding of the problem is so small I can’t even focus on that little nugget I "need to fix". There’s also part of me that really doesn’t care. Chasing unfocused spec with no real understanding of who owns what or who is responsible for what is not something I want to focus my time on. To using a coding analogy (which I’m not even qualified to use)… Right now all I see is a lot of coding framework for very little functional code. I’m not even sure I want to continue coding in this language. I’d rather focus on playing guitar for a weekend band. :p
[This is a perfect example of the green building performance gap. The building may be designed with the most state-of-the-art, energy saving strategies, but no one bothers explaining the operations and maintenance to the operations and maintenance crew. You may recall that the performance gap is what led to USGBC authorizing LEED de-certification. Green building education provided to operations and maintenance staff could go a long way to closing the performance gap.]
Photo: Jim at Sonicchiken