In Ohio, there is LEEDigation brewing. But it’s not the LEEDigaiton that I anticipated.
The Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) requires that new OSFC-funded schools achieve LEED Silver certification. The Washington-Nile school district is balking at the additional costs incurred as a result of the LEED certification requirement.
When a school project is pursuing LEED certification, OSFC provides three percent more funding than the estimated project costs in order to pay for the incremental costs of certification. According to Washington-Nile Superintedent Patricia Ciraso, 3 percent is insufficient to cover the costs of LEED certification in her school district (red dot in the picture on the left):
"’It might cover it in Columbus, or Cleveland, where you have people that deal with LEED constantly. These contractors down here, this is new to them and they’re going to have to deal with it. They’re probably going to have to bring in some people, or at least have some people trained,’ she said.
To help prove the need for greater LEED funding at smaller, isolated districts, the school has retained an attorney in Columbus, with experience in school projects, to research the equity of LEED funding for schools in Ohio. Ciraso said the outcome of this battle could have local impact on LEED funding for school projects at New Boston and Clay also.
‘If you are co-funding these projects and you have said silver is the appropriate LEED certification, why would you not want to fund to that level?’ she asked."
I had always assumed LEEDigation would involve post-construction disputes when a project failed to achieve its green building certification. A pre-construction dispute involving public funding for certification is a new issue, and one that could impact other state green building programs.
Did you see this coming?